Marcelo Gleiser bigraphy, stories - Brazilian-American physicist

Marcelo Gleiser : biography

19 March 1959 -

Marcelo Gleiser (born 19 March 1959) is a Brazilian-born physicist and astronomer.


Gleiser is a world-renowned theoretical physicist and author. He received his bachelor's degree in 1981 from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, his M.Sc. degree in 1982 from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and his Ph.D. in 1986 from King's College London. After this he worked as a postdoc at Fermilab until 1988 and from then until 1991 at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Since 1991, he has taught at Dartmouth College, where he was awarded the Appleton Professorship of Natural Philosophy in 1999, and is currently a professor of physics and astronomy.

Gleiser's current research interests include the physics of the early Universe, the properties of solitons in quantum field theories, and questions related to the origin of life on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe. He has contributed seminal ideas in the interface between particle physics and cosmology, in particular on the dynamics of phase transitions and spontaneous symmetry breaking. He is also the co-discoverer of "oscillons," time-dependent long-lived field configurations which are present in many physical systems from cosmology to vibrating grains. The author of over one hundred papers in peer-reviewed journals, Gleiser has also published three popular science books in the US, A Tear at the Edge of Creation (2010), The Prophet and the Astronomer (2002), and The Dancing Universe (1997/2005). "A Tear at the Edge of Creation" was published in 12 languages. His books offer a uniquely broad cultural view of science and its relation with religion and philosophy. "The Prophet and the Astronomer" and "The Dancing Universe" won the Jabuti Award for best nonfiction in Brazil. Apart from many contributions to magazines and newspapers in the US and abroad, Gleiser writes a weekly science column for the Brazilian Folha de São Paulo newspaper. He is a leading science popularizer in his native country. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and currently serves as a General Councilor. He has been awarded the Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House and the National Science Foundation. He is also a member of the Brazilian Academy of Philosophy. In Brazil, he received the José Reis Award for the Public Understanding of Science from the Brazilian National Research Council. He has been featured in several TV documentaries, including "Stephen Hawking's Universe," the History Channel's "Beyond the Big Bang" (2007) and "How Life Began" (2008), as well as many radio programs, including Fresh Air, Radiolab, On Being, and many others. In Brazil, his two science series for TV Globo's "Fantastico" were watched by over 30 million viewers. He is the co-founder of the science and culture blog hosted by National Public Radio, a leading science blog.


Living octopus

Living octopus

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