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Prof. C. V. Vishveshwara

Prof. Channapattana  Venkata Ramayya Vishveshwara (6th Mar 1938-16 Jan 2017) was one of the renowned scientists in the field of black holes physics, who did pioneering work in this area. He joined the Theoretical Physics group at the Raman Research Institute in 1976 as Associate Professor. He became Professor and served till 1992.

Early Years and Education

Prof. C. V. Vishveshwara was born to Sri C.K. Venkata Ramayya and Smt. K. Venkatsubbamma in Bangalore on 6th March 1938. His primary education was in Bangalore. He obtained BSc (Hons) in 1958 and M Sc. in 1959 from Mysore University. He received his A.M. degree from Columbia University, New York in 1964. He acquired Ph. D from University of Maryland, USA in 1968.


Prof. Vishveshwara started his career as a Post-doctoral fellow and served as a visiting faculty member in the University of Maryland. He was a NAS-NRC Resident Research Associate at the Institute for Space Studies, New York 1968-69. He was an Associate scientist at Boston University (1969-72); a senior Research Fellow in New York University (1972-74) and a Visiting Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh (1974-76). He joined Raman Research Institute in October 1976 as an Associate Professor. He became Professor in 1980. He moved to Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore in December 1992 as a Senior Professor.

Prof Vishveshwara was visiting faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA (1980 – 1983), University of Maryland, College Park, USA (August 1985 – January 1986), Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune (1990-1993).

Apart from regularly teaching courses in general relativity, various types of educational activities have been pursued by Prof. Vishveshwara, which include organizing and directing special schools like Summer Institute in Relativity at Madurai in 1984; Instructional Conference on Gravitation, Gauge Theories and the Earth Universe at Bangalore in 1986 and  Inter-University Graduate School in Gravitation and Cosmology, Pune, 1989. He was also involved in the preparation of the Eleventh and Twelfth standard physics text books brought out by National Council of Educational Research and Training.  He established the Planetarium at Bangalore and was the Founder Director of the Planetarium during November 1987 to March 1990.

Scientific Work

Prof. Vishveshwara has worked extensively on the theory of black holes, making major contributions to this exciting field of research since its very beginning.  He was one of the first to analyze the structure of black holes employing space-time symmetries thereby demonstrating the existence of the ergosphere. He proved the stability of the non-rotating Schwarzschild black hole, a crucial factor that ensures its continued existence after formation. Further, he discovered the quasinormal modes of black holes. These modes of black hole vibrations would be one of the main targets of observation when the gravitational wave detectors, being set up all over the world, become functional. In recent years, he was investigating black holes in cosmological backgrounds, an important aspect of black hole physics that has hardly been explored. Vishveshwara has also made significant contributions to other areas of general relativity


Prof. Vishveshwara was elected as the Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore in 1977.


Prof. Vishveshwara held membership of many learned bodies such as - American Physical Society; International Astronomical Union; Advisory Committee on Gravitation and Cosmology; University Grants Commission, Government of India;  Executive Council, Internal Society for General Relativity and Gravitation; Steering Committee and Governing council of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune; Science and Technology Advisory Council, Government of Karnataka


Composing cartoons

Born 6th March 1938,
Bangalore, India
Died 17th January 2017
Bangalore, India
Field General Relativity, Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology
Institutions University of Pittsburgh, USA
Raman Research Institute, Bangalore
J N Planetarium, Bangalore
Alma mater University of Maryland
University of Mysore
CV Curriculum Vitae

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