User picture for Abhas Mitra
Abhas Mitra
About Abhas I am an astrophysicist in India. My research interest spans Gamma Ray Astronomy, High Energy Astrophysics, General Relativity, Gravitational Collapse as well as Cosmology. I was probably the first astrophysicist to show that the supposed Ultra High Energy Gamma Rays from the enigmatic X-ray Binary Cygnus X-3 (considered to be an outstanding problem in 1983-94) was likely to be the Photo-meson Process rather than what everybody else believed: Proton-Proton collision process. I happened to be the 2nd Indian astrophysicist to work on ``Diffusive Shock Acceleration Mechanism'' considered very important for Cosmic Ray & High Energy Astrophysics. My 1995 Astronomy & Astrophysics (L) paper happened to be the first theoretical paper related to modern paradigm of Gamma Ray Burst central engine & shock formation published from India. In 1997, R.K. Kaul & I first suggested that some of the UNIDENTIFIED GeV gamma ray sources found by the NASA space borne Expt. EGRET could be due to the shocks associated with the strong winds of hot & massive Wolf-Rayet stars. And this paper may be the only paper of Indian origin cited in the science brochure of NASA's currently operational GLAST (now renamed FERMI) Gamma Ray Telescope. My institute BARC is one of the largest R&D institutes in India, something like Los Alamos Lab. And I happened to be the first BARC scientist (and also the first from the state of Jammu & Kashmir) to start publishing papers in Astrophysical J., Astronomy & Astrophysics, A&A (Lett.), MNRAS, PRD (D15), & GRG. In 1989, I received the ``Best Young Physicist'' prize from Indian Physical Society for proposing Photomeson process as the leading UHE gamma ray production mechanism in Cygnus X-3. Upto 1998, there were hardly any news report about BH alternatives; and Einstein's opposition to BHs was considered as the act of an intellectual senility of a person who failed to grasp the virtues of Mathematical Relativity. But, in 1998, I first emphatically claimed that Einstein was right, and though the ``Black Hole'' exact solutions are important and correct, the observed ``black hole candidates'' cannot be true mathematical BHs. And, I suggested that BHs must be non-singular quasi-static states ``Eternally Collapsing Objects'' (ECOs). Since then various authors have agreed that the BH paradigm is rather unphysical, and have proposed various other alternatives of BHs: ``Gravastars'', ``Fuzzballs'', ``Dark Energy Stars'', ``Dark Stars'', ``Non-singular Black Holes'' and ``Black Hole Mimickers''. Following such developments, in 2006, Marcel Grossmann Conference on General Relativity (Berlin) held a parallel session on ``Alternatives to Black Holes''; this was an unprecedented and unforeseen development in GR research. And now, in 2011, if one would do a google search with ``No Black Hole'', ``Black Holes Do Not Exist'', one would get dozens of news items even from most prestigious magazines such as Nature and Science. One would find many You -Tubes videos too on similar lines. But all this awareness started with my lone intellectual battle in 1998 onwards; though others joined me on the way too. In 2006, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University issued a press release on a research which claimed that the famous Quasar 0975 contained a (Magnetized) ECO, and NOT a BH, as was conceived and predicted by me in 1998-2000.
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