Ramamurti Rajaraman (born March 11, 1939) is an Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at the School of Physical Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is also currently the co-Chairman of the International Panel on Fissile Materials and a member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists's Science and Security Board. He has taught and conducted research in physics at the Indian Institute of Science, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and as a visiting professor at Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and elsewhere. He received his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1963 from Cornell University. In addition to his physics publications, he has written widely on topics including fissile material production in India and Pakistan and the radiological effects of nuclear weapon accidents.
He completed his B.Sc (Honours) from Delhi University in 1958 and his PhD in theoretical physics in 1963 from Cornell University with Prof. Hans Bethe as his supervisor. After a brief postdoctoral stint at TIFR in 1963, he returned to Cornell to teach and continue research. In 1969, after spending two years at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton he returned to India, working first at Delhi University (1969–76), then Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (1976–93), finally JNU (1994- ) where he is now Emeritus Professor. He spent long sabbaticals at the Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, CERN, University of Illinois and Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Rajaraman evaluated the full three-body energy of nuclear matter non-perturbatively, unlike perturbative methods used till then. These developments, summarized in a review article with Hans Bethe in 1967, subsequently led to the hole-line expansion and Coupled Cluster method in Many Body theory. During the seventies, he shifted to high-energy physics, both phenomenology and Quantum Field Theory. His work on quantum Solitons and his book, the first in the field, have been widely used by both particle physicists and condensed matter theorists around the world. With John Bell, he explained the status of the remarkable phenomenon of Fractional Charge, experimentally observed in polymers and in quantum Hall systems. Later, with Jackiw, he solved exactly an anomalous gauge theory in 2 dimensions and in subsequent papers established the canonical structure of such anomalous theories, until then wrongly considered to be inconsistent. In the nineties, he worked mostly in condensed matter physics. Among other results, he constructed, with SL Sondhi a field theory for the order parameter for fractional Hall Effect and discovered, with Allan MacDonald, very interesting canted spin ground states in ? =2 Double layer Hall systems.
Professor Rajaraman has written numerous articles on higher education, nuclear energy and disarmament. Since the 1998 nuclear tests, he has intensified efforts to write on nuclear weapon accidents, civil defense, minimal deterrence and anti-missile early warning systems. He has analyzed in detail the Indo-US nuclear Agreement and its impact on India's nuclear arsenal. Some of the books and articles published by him are:
He is the recipient of the 2014 Leo Szilard Lectureship Award from the American Physical Society and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Physical Sciences in 1983. He was also recipient of 1989 Dr. G.P. Chatterjee Memorial Award and 1995 S.N.Bose Medal of the Indian National Science Academy.