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Physicist Earns Humboldt Prize

UC Riverside Physicist Earns Humboldt Prize

Chandra Varma has Earned Germany’s Highest Honor for Senior U.S. Scientists and Scholars

(April 8, 2004)

Chandra Varma

Chandra Varma

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- Chandra Varma, a Distinguished Professor of Physics at UC Riverside, has earned The Alexander von Humboldt Prize, Germany's highest research award for senior U.S. scientists and scholars in all disciplines.

Varma, who came to UC Riverside in 2003, focuses his research on Quantum Statistical mechanics of strongly interacting systems. He will be accepting the award in Germany this June.

The Humboldt Prize was re-established by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1953 as an expression of gratitude to the United States for its post-World War II aid under the Marshall Plan. No more than 40 of the prizes are awarded annually. The prize grants the recipient twelve months of research support in a period of five years at any German university or Max Planck Institute. Among past winners of this prestigious prize are 31 Nobel Laureates.

Before coming to UCR, Varma most recently was a “Distinguished member of Staff” in the theoretical Physics department at Bell Laboratories. He has authored over 150 papers in physics and has over 12,000 citations. He has been a visiting professor at College de France and has been awarded the Lorentz chair at University of Leiden in 2000.

Varma received his BS in electrical engineering in 1963 at Osmania University in India. He received his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Minnesota in 1968.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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