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Introducing Prof Soumya Bera

We are delighted to welcome Professor Soumya Bera to the IIT Bombay family. He joined the Department of Physics last year.

He was awarded a PhD in 2011 by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany and followed it up with two post- docs. He pursued his his 1st post doc between 2011-2014  at Institute Neel, Grenoble, France followed by another one between 2014 - 2016  at  Max-Planck Institute for the physics of complex systems, Dresden, Germany.

His research interest is majorly in the field of computational condensed matter theory and he works on problems in the realm of many-body localization, disorder driven quantum phase transition, multifractality,non-equilibrium phase transition,graphene and quantum open systems.

Speaking on his area of specialization and the recent developments in it that according to him will have a future impact on the society.He says that Many-body localization (MBL) is a relative new phenomenon in condensed

matter theory. Usual quantum phase transition deals with phenomenon of ground state, which corresponds to zero temperature physics. However,the MBL is an atypical phase transition in a sense that it shows up in an excited states of a generic Hamiltonian. The basic idea of any non-integrable system is that these systems are thermal. However, MBL is one such scenario, where even though the systems are interacting and non-integrable in conventional sense but still does not thermalize. This implies that the states of these systems do not have decoherence effect due to interaction. This is exciting because now one can use these systems to transfer information without losing them due to decoherence. It further implies that this is one avenue which can be used for future computer computing applications.

On being asked about his future plans at IITB and the outcomes he aims to achieve he says, that his  future plans at IITB is to develop novel numerical technique to tackle interacting problems (model based) to understand  the interplay of thermalization and intrinsic topology.According to him one fundamental question that is still open and he would like to pursue in that direction is what happens to topological materials in the presence of strong electron electron interaction. It is a hard problem as it can not be solved using standard perturbative techniques but with sufficient numerical resources and techniques one could aim to answer these questions in a systematic manner.

When we asked him about his plans on engaging students inside as well as outside the classroom he said that to him engagement of students in class and outside class rooms are of prime importance. He further told us that he with some of his colleague in physics department have already started weekly journal clubs. The idea of this weekly meeting with the students is to learn together new topics and explore further. He thinks that if they can pursue this regularly, and engage students in learning new developments of physics it will eventually be beneficial.

Speaking on his interests he admits his love for music and that too any kind of music, trekking and  coffee.