14 August 2018

Subir Sachdev, the Herchel Smith Professor of Physics at the Harvard University and a member of the International Advisory Board of the ICTS-TIFR, has been awarded the 2018 Dirac Medal with physicists Dam Thanh Son of the University of Chicago and Xiao-Gang Wen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Dirac medal by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) is awarded annually to scientists who have made a significant contribution to theoretical physics.

This year’s recipients were honored for their “independent contributions toward understanding novel phases in strongly interacting many-body systems, introducing original cross-disciplinary techniques” the ICTP said. Quantum mechanical effects in a many-body system of strongly interacting particles can lead to the emergence of novel collective behavior leading to unconventional phases of matter beyond the familiar solid, liquid and gas. Understanding such condensed matter phases provides a clue to the fascinating world of various materials around us and can pave the way for future technological advancements.

Prof. Sachdev’s pioneering research has revealed the central role of quantum entanglement in many-body systems in realizing unconventional phases ranging from quantum paramagnets (quantum spin liquids) to correlated metals (non-fermi liquids). He has also worked extensively on the nature of quantum phase transitions in such systems and their properties at finite temperatures through the application of AdS/CFT correspondence to describe strongly interacting phases of matter.

"It is wonderful news that a brilliant physicist like Prof. Subir Sachdev has been honored with the prestigious Dirac Medal. His work is notable in that, apart from its significance in condensed matter physics, it has also spurred developments in other areas like in string theory and quantum field theory. It has been a privilege to have Subir's guidance at ICTS as a part of our international advisory board and have his presence on our campus for so many of our meetings and activities. I look forward to a long and fruitful association," said Rajesh Gopakumar, the Director of ICTS-TIFR.

Prof. Sachdev did his schooling from the St. Joseph’s Boys High School and the Kendriya Vidyalaya (ASC) in Bengaluru. He received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1985. Earlier this year Prof. Sachdev was also awarded the Lars Onsager Prize for his seminal contribution to theoretical statistical physics.