Professor Partha Ghose, Senior Scientist, Platinum Jubilee Fellow (National Academy of Sciences, India), visited the University of Hyderabad (UoH) and delivered a lecture titled, “Can Emotions be described mathematically and measured?”, at the Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences.


Dr. Ghose’s lecture was delivered in two parts. Part I, which was delivered on 2nd September, dealt with the physics and mathematical background necessary to understand Part II. This included introduction to vectors, matrices, Hilbert spaces, electromagnetic theory and polarization of light. In Part II, which was delivered on 3rd September, a new mathematical theory of emotions based on Hilbert spaces was presented. The Poincaré sphere, which is generally used in optics for visualizing different types of polarized light, was employed to represent different types of emotions such as happiness, surprise and anxiety. The mathematical structure of the theory predicts interference effects and contextuality, reminiscent of quantum phenomena. Preliminary experimental results validating the predictions for emotions evoked by music were also shown. Further testing of the theory is currently undergoing at Sir C. V. Raman Centre for Physics and Music in Jadavpur University.

Prof. Ghose has worked at the S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata (1989-1999); British Council, Kolkata (1975-89) and Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan (1968-75).

A student of Professor Satyendra Nath Bose, FRS and the Nobel Laureate Professor Abdus Salam, Dr. Ghose has many publications in international journals and is internationally acclaimed for his contributions to quantum mechanics. He is a regular referee to Physics Letters A (Europe’s leading physics journal) and the Foundations of Physics and the author of highly acclaimed books such as “Testing Quantum Mechanics on New Ground” published by Cambridge University Press, UK, in 1999 and “Riddles in Your Tea Cup” published by the Institute of Physics, UK which has been translated into a number of Indian languages, Italian, Japanese and Turkish. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of several prizes and honours including Indira Gandhi Prize for the Popularization of Science.