AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Bryce S. DeWitt, the Jane and Roland Blumberg professor emeritus at The University of Texas at Austin and an internationally recognized scholar in quantum field theory, has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the nation’s preeminent learned society.
Dr. Bryce S. DeWitt
The Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.”
Membership includes more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.
DeWitt is renowned for his fundamental contributions to the study of classical and quantum gravity and non-Abelian gauge theory. Particularly important are the background field method he invented and the methodology of ghost loops in gauge theory, which he did much to develop.
His name is associated with the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, which provides the basis for most work on quantum cosmology, and with the Schwinger-DeWitt expansion, which is widely used in studying field theories in curved space-time and in string theory computations.
DeWitt holds three degrees from Harvard University. He joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina in 1956 and taught and directed research there until he joined the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin in 1972. He was director of the Center for Relativity from 1972 until 1987.
His research brought him the 1987 Dirac Medal of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics and the Marcel Grossmann Award, jointly with his wife, Cecile. He and his wife led a 1973 Texas expedition to Mauritania, Africa, to measure the deflection of light by the sun during an eclipse — considered one of the most careful investigations ever made of that relativistic effect.
DeWitt is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
For further information contact: Richard Bonnin, Office of Public Affairs (512) 471-3151.