MacArthur Fellows Program

Juan Martin Maldacena

Physicist | Class of 1999

Cambridge, Massachusetts
31 at time of award
Area of Focus
Published July 1, 1999

About Juan's Work

Juan Maldacena, a physicist, is redefining the boundaries of mathematical physics.

He works in the highly abstract field of string theory, which postulates the existence of fundamental constituents of matter too small to detect with current experimental apparatus. In his graduate work, Maldacena showed how radiation from a black hole can be explained within the context of string theory. More recently, he captured the attention of the theoretical physics community by postulating a critical theoretical link between the 4-dimensional structure of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) and a 10-dimensional theory based on strings. By identifying a plausible method for explaining the earlier QCD theory in the context of the newer, but purely theoretical field of string theory, Maldacena’s work holds out the promise of a “grand unification” of all known physical forces.


Maldacena is a professor at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton. He taught previously at Harvard University (1997-2001).

Maldacena completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Buenos Aires (1988). He received a Licenciatura (1991) from the Universidad de Cuyo, Bariloche, Argentina, and an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1996) from Princeton University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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