Asoke Nath Mitra, got his early education in Mathematics from Ramjas College, Delhi University. He obtained his PhD (1953) in Physics from Delhi University under the guidance of RC Majumdar. Subsequently he went to Cornell University, USA and worked under Freeman Dyson and Hans Bethe to obtain a second doctorate (1955). His areas of specialization are Theoretical Physics, Quantum Field Theory, Hadron and Quark Dynamics. On returning to India, he joined Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) as a Reader (1955). He was Visiting Professor of Physics, Indiana University (1962-63); Professor of Physics (1963-69), Senior Professor of Physics (1969-89), University of Delhi; Associate, Senior Associate and Honorary Associate of International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (1967-83); Visiting Professor of Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago (1986-87); and INSA-Albert Einstein Research Professor (1989-94) at University of Delhi.
Academic and Research Achievements: Mitra has made original contributions, in a sustained fashion. His principal contributions are: (i) exact solution of the nuclear 3-body problem with separable potentials which offered a new insight into the structure of the 3-body wave function, leading to 'few-nucleon studies' as a new branch of physics; (ii) a node in the proton e.m. form factor unless fermion quarks have an extra d.o.f. a forerunner for the discovery of 'color'; and (iii) the 'quark-recoil effect' (in association with Marc Ross), for the understanding of enhanced heavy meson modes of decay. He has developed a comprehensive dynamical framework leading to an integrated view of the dynamics of 2- and 3- body systems at successively deeper levels of compositeness, from nuclear to sub-hadronic with a formulational style designed to bridge the traditional gap between theoretical sophistication and empirical fits to data. He has published about 220 research papers including reviews.
Other Contributions: Mitra has been taking increasing interest in the structure of scientific ideas through articles of a general nature in Pramana, Current Science etc., as well as through invited talks. He was a Member, Board of Editors of Few-body System. He edited several books such as Few-Body Dynamics (North Holland 1976); Niels Bohr A Profile (INSA, 1985); Quantum Field Theory; India in the World of Physics: Then and Now (Pearson Education, New Delhi, 2008); and a monograph Basic Building Blocks (INSA, 1984).
Awards and Honours: Mitra is a recipient of the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1969), UGC National Lecturer (1973), UGC National Fellow (1975-78), Meghnad Saha Award (1975), SN Bose Medal of INSA (1986), SK Mitra Medal of ISCA. He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; American Physical Society; and Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Trieste; Member of New York Academy of Sciences. Mitra was secretary (1975-78) and Editor of INSA Publications (1983-86).