EducationPrinceton University (2001) AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship for Natural Sciences, US & Canada
Ashvin vishwanath topological phases in correlated solids
Ashvin Vishwanath is a Professor at the Physics Department of Harvard University. He was formerly a professor at University of California, Berkeley holding a Guggenheim Fellowship in Materials science.
Vishwanath holds an undergraduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, completed in 1996. His doctoral work was done at Princeton University under the supervision of Duncan Haldane. He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2001 for a thesis on "Vortices, Quasiparticles and Unconventional Superconductivity". Between 2001-2004 he was a Pappalardo fellow at MIT where his collaborators included Todadri Senthil and Subir Sachdev.
Vishwanath is a founder of the field of deconfined quantum phase transitions. In a series of papers, Vishwanath and collaborators studied a quantum magnet model of spin-1/2 particles populating a two-dimensional square lattice. They showed that the system exhibits a "Landau forbidden" quantum phase transition between a Neel antiferromagnet and a valence bond solid. Further, they suggested that deconfined criticality such they found is a generic possibility for quantum phase transitions. Vishwanath's work was the inspiration for a major research effort in this area which (as of 2015) is ongoing.
Vishwanath also has invented the concept of a Weyl metal. This is the idea that topologically protected surface modes might exist in systems that are gapless in the bulk, contrary to the usual intuition about topological insulator materials. There is a major experimental and theoretical research effort aimed at realising and understanding such systems