Louise Dolan ’71 is a mathematical physicist and professor of physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She does research in theoretical particle physics and superstring theory and is currently on leave at Princeton University.
After graduating from Wellesley as a physics major, she received a Fulbright scholarship and studied at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. She received her Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University from 1976 to 1979. She then joined Rockefeller University in New York City where she became Associate Professor and Lab Head.
Ms. Dolan's discoveries significantly influenced the study of physics. She co-authored "Symmetry Behavior at Finite Temperature", now regularly cited, in 1974. This paper became a part of the foundation of quantitative analysis of phase transitions in the early universe in cosmological theories and is widely recognized as a seminal work. In 1981 she pioneered the uses of affine algebras in particle physics and her contributions to string theory have included symmetries in the Type II superstring and integrable structures in super conformal non-abelian gauge theories.
In 1987, she was given the Maria Goeppert Mayer award by the American Physical Society and was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 1988. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has authored over eighty scientific publications. Professor Dolan is also the principal investigator on a Department of Energy grant, which funds the string theory program at Chapel Hill.
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