Ghulam Murtaza (physicist)

Ghulam Murtaza (born 3 January 1939), SI, FPAS, is a Pakistani theoretical physicist with a specialization in the physics of ionized plasmas, and is an Emeritus Professor of physics at the Government College University in Lahore. Murtaza's work is recognizable in plasma physics and controlled nuclear fusion processes to provide a better understanding of energy propagated by the main-sequence star, the Sun.: 1–2 [1]

Ghulam Murtaza
Ghulam Murtaza (physicist) (cropped).jpg
Murtaza in 2017
Born (1939-01-03) 3 January 1939 (age 83)
Amritsar, Punjab, British India
(present day, Amritsar, Punjab, India)
Alma materGovernment College University
London University
Imperial College London
Known forControlled theromonuclear fusion, plasma stability
confinement fusion, Black hole thermodynamics
AwardsNishan-e-Imtiaz(Civilian) 1957-86 Pakistan.svg Sitara-e-Imtiaz (1996)
Scientific career
FieldsPlasma physics
InstitutionsPakistan Atomic Energy Commission
University of Punjab
Quaid-i-Azam University
Government College University
International Center for Theoretical Physics
ThesisSome Topics in Elementary Particle Physics (1966)
Doctoral advisorsAbdus Salam
P. T. Matthews

From 2000 till 2020, Murtaza served on the science faculty of the Government College University where he directed the Abdus Salam Chair in Physics.[2][3]


Ghulam Murtaza was born in Amritsar, Punjab in the British Indian Empire on 3 January 1939, and was educated in Lahore.[4] Murtaza attended the Government College University in Lahore where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in physics in 1958– his graduation was noted when he was awarded the Roll of Honour during the ceremony.[4] He then entered the Punjab University in Lahore and graduated with a Master of Arts (MA) in mathematics, and left for the United Kingdom in 1960.[4] He attended the London University in England, and graduated with Master of Science (MSc) in physics within a year before moving to attend the Imperial College London on financial funding sponsored by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).: ii [5]

Murtaza joined Dr. Abdus Salam's doctoral group with Dr. P. T. Matthews where he engaged in research on elementary particles.: 157 [6] In 1966, Murtaza defended his thesis on elementary particles, written under the joint supervision of Abdus Salam and P. T. Matthews, and was conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in theoretical physics, and a Diploma of Imperial College (DIC) from Imperial College in London.[5] His thesis, "Some Topics in Elementary Particle Physics, focused towards discussing topics in decaying state in excited elementary particles and Lagrangian mechanics introduced in the concepts of symmetry in quantum mechanics.: 104–137 [5]

Academia and professorshipEdit

In 1960, Murtaza instructed courses in mathematics as a lecturer at the Punjab University till 1962 when he found employment with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as a scientific officer.[4] Upon return to Pakistan in 1966, Murtaza joined the natural science faculty at the Quaid-i-Azam University where he taught physics till 1999. During this time, Murtaza served as Chairman of the Institute of Theoretical Physics twice, and later Dean of the Natural Science Faculty from 1996 to 1999.[4]

In 2000, Murtaza left Quaid-i-Azam University to join the Government College University in Lahore and established the Abdus Salam Chair in Physics.[7] In 2004, Murtaza became the director of the National Center for Mathematics at the Government College University, Lahore until 2006.[4] In 2007, Murtaza later took over the Salam Chair in Physics which he continued to led till 2020, and is now Emeritus Professor of physics at the Government College University.[2][8]

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and researchEdit

In 1962, Murtaza joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as a scientific officer, and was a senior scientific officer when he left his research position at the PAEC in 1969 to join academia.[4] At PAEC, he collaborated with the Laser Physics Group under Dr. Shaukat Hameed Khan, a laser physicist.[9] His research was originally focused towards understanding elementary particles but became interested in controlled thermonuclear fusion at the Quaid-i-Azam University, and was a participant in early efforts in the mathematical calculations regarding nuclear fission energy during Pakistan's atomic bomb program started in 1972.: 17 [9]

However, his interest in understanding nuclear fission led him to conduct research in controlled thermonuclear fusion, and he was a founding director of the Fusion Laboratory at the Quaid-i-Azam University.: 587 [10] His further research in plasma physics was conducted at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in 1990s, which he remained associated with in successive years.[11]

In his country, Murtaza conducted pioneering research in topics in plasma physics, and published papers in that field in respected international journals.: 41 [12] In 2007–08, Murtaza joined PAEC as the director of the National Tokamak fusion Program, and oversaw the commissioning of the GLAss Spherical Tokamak (GLAST) at the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH).[13]


Murtaza is an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow which he was elected to in 1983, a Fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, elected in 1991, and a recipient of the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1996, and the Khwarizmi International Award in 1997.[4]

Scientific papers and publicationsEdit

  • Radiative Collapse in an impurity-seeded spinning gas-puff staged pinch, Plasma Physics, (Arshad M. Mirza, Zahoor Ahmad, N.A.D Khattak, G Murtaza)
  • Study of Plasma Parameters in a Spinning Thick-Gas-Puff Staged Pinch, Plasma Physics, Arshad M. Mirza, Zahoor Ahmad, N.A.D Khattak, G. Murtaza.
  • Impulsion Dynamics of a Dense q-Pinch Plasma Driven by Multicascade Linear System, Laser and Particle Beams, G. Murtaza, Zahoor Ahmad.
  • Magenetohydrodynamic (MHD) Model for the Staged Pinch Plasma to Study Fusion Parameters and Comparison with Snow Plow Model, Physics of Plasma, Ghulam Murtaza.
  • Thermonuclear Fusion with Multicascade Linear Staged Pinch Plasma and Mechanics, Ghulam Murtaza.
  • Study of Fusion Parameters in Multicascade Linear System, Dr. Zahoor Ahmad, G. Murtaza, N.A.D Khattak.
  • Light cone algebra in various (1974), Fortschritte der Physik, Volume 22, Ghulam Murtaza
  • Three-dimensional solitons, Physical Review, (1979) by M.Z.Iqbal and A.H. Nayyar, G. Murtaza
  • Nonlinear destabilisation, Fluid Physics (1985) Volume 28, P.K.Shukla and M.Y. Yu, G. Murtaza
  • New electron temperature-graduate, Fluid Physics (1989), P.K. Shukla and G. Murtaza
  • Electron Thermal Conduction for nuclear radiation, Volume 33 (1991), Arshad M. Mirza, C. L. Cook, G. Murtaza and M.S.Qaisar.
  • Duality of a young diagram in Linear Geometry (1973), Mathematical. Physics Journal, M.A. Rashid and G. Murtaza
  • Electromagnetic instability in Plasmas, Physics of Plasmas (1996), Arshad M. Mirza, G. Murtaza and P.K. Shukl.
  • Longitudinal oscillations and simple gravity pendulum, Physical Review (2003), N. A. D. Khattak, G. Murtaza and H. A. Shah
  • Some electrostatic modes based on Plasmas and radiations, Physics of Plasmas (2004), S. Zaheer, G. Murtaza and H. A. Shah
  • Adiabatic model for dust atoms and molecules by Ghulam Murtaza, Z. Ehsan, N. L. Tsintsadze, Abdus Salam National Center for Mathematics and Salam Chair in Physics, GCU Lahore, Pakistan

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rawat, Rajdeep Singh (2017). Plasma Science and Technology for Emerging Economies: An AAAPT Experience. Springer. ISBN 978-981-10-4217-1. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b "A farewell ceremony for Ghulam Murtaza". GCU Press. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  3. ^ ICTP, ICTP (1 April 2000). "ICTP - Salam Chair". Trieste, Italy: ICTP Press. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Pakistan Academy of Science | Fellow Profile". Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Murtaza, Ghulam (1966). "Some Topics in Elementary Particle Physics" (PDF). London, UK: Imperial College London. p. 149. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ International Physics & Astronomy Directory. W. A. Benjamin. 1969. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  7. ^ "ICTP - Salam Chair". Trieste, Italy: ICTP Salam Chair. 1 April 2000. Retrieved 9 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ COMSTECH. "Dr. Ghulam Murtaza" (PDF). Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b Rehman, Shahid-Ur (1999). Long road to Chagai. Lahore, Punj, Pakistan: Printwise Publications. p. 157. ISBN 9789698500009. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  10. ^ Panarella, E. (2012). Current Trends in International Fusion Research. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-1-4615-5867-5. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Physics in Pakistan". 1 May 1994. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  12. ^ Murtaza, Ghluam (1970). Effective Lagrangian in pion-production process. US: Oak Ridge Directed Operations, Technical Information Division.
  13. ^ "33 International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics and Contemporary Needs, 23 June - 5 July, 2008, Nathiagali, Pakistan" (PDF). NTI. Retrieved 9 May 2020.

External linksEdit