Dimitri Nanopoulos (13/09/1948 - )
He was born in Athens on 13 September 1948. He studied Physics at University of Athens and later at University of Sussex, UK, where he completed his PhD in 1973 on the subject of High Energy Physics. He later became a researcher in CERN, Ecole Normale Superieure and Harvard University. In 1989, he received tenure at the Physics department of Texas A&M University and he is the director of Houston Advanced Research Center.
His scientific work revolves around the subjects of particle physics, high energy physics and cosmology. He is mainly involved in solving the problems that evolve in the effort to create the Theory of Everything. He is also interested in supersymmetry, supergravity, superstring theories and biophysics. He has published over 520 scientific articles in peer-to-peer journals with a high impact factor; he has been cited over 26,900 times.
In 1996, he was awarded the title of Brigadier of the Order of Honor of the Greek Republic. In 1997, he became a regular member of the Academy of Athens, while twice, in 1999 and 2005, he received an award by the Institution of Gravity Science in Massachusetts, USA. In 2006, he received the international award of the Alexandros Onassis Foundation, and in 2009, he received the Enrico Fermi award of the Italian Society of Physics (SIF). He has also been twice nominated by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science for the Nobel Prize in Physics.
In 2007, for the first time, the MAGIC telescope in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, recorded a four-minute deviation in photons from the Markarian 501 Galaxy, half a billion light years away from Earth. This event opened the possibility that the speed of light that Einstein thought was constant and was the basis of his famous equation, might not be constant at all; this might mean that the Theory of Relativity that has defined how mankind perceives of the universe for over a century might crumble to pieces! This fact enhanced a theory that Nanopoulos and two other scientists had formed earlier; they claimed that the speed of light is related to frequency; slight changes may only be recorded by studying light emitted from sources far away from Greece, which is why this had not been observed earlier. A way to evaluate the “relative” speed of light is to study photons of different frequencies that are emitted from distant galaxies. According to Einstein, photons of different frequencies should arrive on Earth at exactly the same time, while the theory of Nanopoulos’ group claims there should be a deviation. If the data from the MAGIC telescope are true, then this could mean the dissolution of very popular theories and beliefs.