I am a theoretical physicist, and my work focuses on quantum mechanical systems of many particles that are strongly interacting, far from equilibrium, or both

Systems of interacting particles can display a variety of emergent cooperative phenomena that cannot be understood from their microscopic details. Usually, the study of this type of "condensed matter" builds on two key principles, namely (i) that most situations can be understood by approximately treating the constituents (such as electrons, atoms, or molecules) as weakly interacting; and (ii) that the assumption of thermal equilibrium provides a powerful way to capture the properties of complex systems using simple statistical tools.

I'm interested in what happens when quantum systems are so strongly interacting, or so dramatically disturbed from equilibrium, that these guiding principles break down. A new set of analytical and computational ideas is therefore required to fully understand the behavior of such systems, and to explore their properties. Besides their great fundamental interest, many of the new phenomena displayed in these extreme regimes could have many important applications. Insights into weakly-correlated, equilibrium systems fueled the technological revolution of the second half of the twentieth century; what new and unexpected benefits might we accrue from understanding their more complex cousins?

Some recent and ongoing research topics include:

  • Frustrated magnets and spin liquids, with a focus on symmetry and fractionalization
  • Random systems far from equilibrium
  • Many-body localization
  • Topological semimetals
  • Quantum Hall systems
  • Heavy-fermion physics

For more details, see my research page, or read some of my publicationsFor information on working with me, see here.

I am an Associate Professor of Quantum Condensed Matter Theory in the Rudolf Peierls Center for Theoretical Physics, within the Department of Physics at Oxford University. I am also a Tutorial Fellow in Physics at Hertford College

From July 2014-July 2017 I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of California, IrvineI was also a founding co-PI of the California Institute for Quantum Emulation (CAIQuE). I continue to supervise students from UC Irvine in the 2017-18 academic year.

Previously, I was a Simons Postdoctoral Fellow in the Condensed Matter Theory Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Before beginning my stint at Berkeley, I worked with Shivaji Sondhi at Princeton University, where I received my PhD in 2011, primarily on the physics of the quantum Hall effect and topological phases of matter, with an occasional foray into problems in frustrated magnetism.  I graduated in 2006 with degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of Rochester in upstate New York, where I was supported by a Renaissance Scholarship.  I was raised and educated through high school in Chennai, India.

Photo Credit: John Cairns

Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics
 1 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3NP (Rm 4.5)
United Kingdom
 +44 (0)1865 (2) 73974

  • I have recently received an ERC Starting Grant, and expect to hire several postdocs and students to start in Fall 2019.