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Department of

Photo of Sunil   Mukhi

Sunil Mukhi

Honorary Professor Emeritus and Raja Ramanna Chair


String Theory, Quantum Field Theory, Particle Physics


Sunil Mukhi has a PhD in theoretical physics, with a specialisation in quantum field theory and supersymmetry, from Stony Brook University, USA.  He held a postdoctoral position at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy and was a faculty member at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Mumbai for 27 years where he held the posts of Senior Professor, Dean, Graduate Studies and Chair, Department of Theoretical Physics, before joining IISER Pune.


Quantum field theory, gravitation, black holes, string theory, quantum entanglement

Prof. Sunil Mukhi's research addresses fundamental properties of the theory of quantum fields and strings. It includes the study of conformally invariant quantum theories, which are useful to understand both critical systems at phase transitions as well as the propagation of strings. Another important area of study has been the existence and role of duality symmetries in string and field theory, and the nature of localised and extended excitations in these theories. His most recent focus areas have been: (i) the classification of rational conformal field theories using the mathematics of modular forms, (ii) the study of quantum gravity partition functions, (iii) the computation of entanglement entropy in the context of AdS/CFT correspondence. The "replica" procedure for free-fermion Renyi entropy was revisited at finite temperature and finite system size. The procedure was found to be inconsistent with modular invariance in its original form, and it was shown how to repair this inconsistency. On the way, a classic theorem about genus-2 Riemann surfaces was rediscovered and a novel generalisation of it to genus-n was conjectured. More recent highlights have been the first complete classification of two character vector-valued modular functions, and a new integrable example of AdS/CFT duality in three bulk dimensions where the boundary dual is an ensemble average.

Selected Publications

Meruliya, Viraj, Mukhi, Sunil and Singh, Palash (2021) Poincaré series, 3d Gravity and averages of rational CFT, Journal of High Energy Physics 04 (2021) 267

Mukhi, Sunil and Poddar, Rahul (2021) Universal correlators and novel cosets in 2d RCFT, Journal of High Energy Physics 02 (2021) 158

Mukhi, Sunil, Poddar, Rahul and Singh, Palash (2020) Contour integrals and the modular S-matrix, Journal of High Energy Physics 07 (2020) 045

Chandra, A. Ramesh and Mukhi, Sunil (2019) Towards a classification of two-character rational conformal field theories, Journal of High Energy Physics 04 (2019) 153

Mukhi, Sunil, Murthy, Sameer and Wu, Jie-Qiang (2018) Entanglement, replicas, and thetas, Journal of High Energy Physics 01 (2018) 005

Bagger, Jonathan, Lambert, Neil, Mukhi, Sunil, Papageorgakis, Constantinos (2013) Multiple membranes in M-theory, Physics Reports 527 (2013) 1-100

Mukhi, Sunil and Papageorgakis, Constantinos (2008) M2 to D2, Journal of High Energy Physics 05 (2008) 085