Ashvin Vishwanath is a Theoretical Physicist specializing in the study of Condensed Matter. His research is focused on understanding how collective properties of matter such as superconductivity and magnetism arise from fundamental physical laws like quantum mechanics. Historically, this has led to a deeper understanding of interacting quantum systems of many particles as well as applications like the transistor, magnetic memories and magnetic resonance imaging
Ashvin’s current research includes the study of topological aspects of quantum matter, such as skyrmion crystals in metallic magnets, Weyl semimetals and strongly interacting topological phases. A recurring theme in his research has been duality, in which new perspectives are obtained by reformulating a physical problem in terms of topological defects. For example, one of his earlier contributions helped identify the key role played by "hedgehog" defects at certain phase transitions, and a more recent work proposed a dual formulation for Dirac fermions in two spatial dimensions. Of late, his work has increasingly utilized ideas from information theory and quantum entanglement to study and classify novel phases of matter.
Ashvin earned his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1996 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2001. Following a Pappalardo Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT, he joined the physics faculty at U.C. Berkeley in 2004, before moving to the Harvard Physics department in Fall 2016.
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