Two LSU physics doctoral students drown in Baton Rouge swimming pool

Two Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, physics doctoral students died over the weekend by accidental drowning in a local swimming pool, reports southern Louisiana newspaper The Advocate and other news sources. The students, 28-year-old Ishita Maity and 25-year-old Anton Joe, were found at the bottom of a pool at an apartment complex Sunday at about 1 a.m. The pool was closed and the gate was locked. “At this time,” says police spokesman Don Coppola Jr., in the article, “there are no obvious signs of foul play.”

According to a statement posted on Facebook by LSU’s physics and astronomy department, Anton was a third-year graduate student working on theoretical gravity with Parampreet Singh, and Maity was studying theoretical astrophysics with Juhan Frank. Maity was an author of the article, “Black hole spin dependence of general relativistic multi-transonic accretion close to the horizon,” which was published online last December in the journal New Astronomy and in print in the journal’s May issue. Elsevier says it’s the journal’s fourth most downloaded article over the last 90 days. Also in December, Joe’s latest article, “Kantowski-Sachs spacetime in loop quantum cosmology: bounds on expansion and shear scalars and the viability of quantization prescriptions”—written with Singh—appeared in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

Alison Dreyfus, a classmate, “described Maity as sharp and reserved and Joe as stunningly intelligent,” The Advocate reports. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the unfortunate and tragic accident involving Anton and Ishita,” says Michael Cherry, chair of the LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, in the LSU statement.

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