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Book on Quantum Phase Transitions

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Subir Sachdev
Professor of Physics
Harvard University
Harvard University

Brief Curriculum Vitae

Office Address
Department of Physics
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 495 - 3923
Fax: (617) 496-2545
Email : lastname@g.harvard.edu
Web : http://sachdev.physics.harvard.edu
Citizen of USA; Overseas Citizen of India

Video interview at ICTP, Trieste, Italy.
A profile and an interview in the Harvard Gazette.


  • Professor of Physics at Harvard University, starting July 1, 2005.
  • James Clerk Maxwell Chair in Theoretical Physics (Visiting) at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, starting Feb 1, 2014.
  • Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Yale University, July 1, 1995 to June 30, 2005.
  • Associate Professor (tenured) of Physics and Applied Physics at Yale University, July 1, 1992 to June 30, 1995.
  • Associate Professor (term) of Physics and Applied Physics at Yale University, July 1, 1989 to June 30, 1992.
  • Assistant Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Yale University, July 1, 1987 to June 30, 1989.
  • Postdoctoral Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ from September 1, 1985 to August 31, 1987.

Education and Degrees


  • Dirac Medal (picture) for the Advancement of Theoretical Physics, the Australian Institute of Physics, the University of New South Wales, and the Royal Society of New South Wales, 2015.
    Citation: The Dirac Medal was awarded to Professor Sachdev in recognition of his many seminal contributions to the theory of strongly interacting condensed matter systems: quantum phase transitions, including the idea of critical deconfinement and the breakdown of the conventional symmetry based Landau-Ginsburg-Wilson paradigm; the prediction of exotic 'spin-liquid' and fractionalized states; and applications to the theory of high-temperature superconductivity in the cuprate materials.
  • Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 2014
    Citation: Sachdev has made seminal advances in the theory of condensed matter systems near a quantum phase transition, which have elucidated the rich variety of static and dynamic behavior in such systems, both at finite temperatures and at T=0. His book, Quantum Phase Transitions, is the basic text of the field.
  • Salam Distinguished Lectures 2014, The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy.
  • Lorentz Chair, Instituut-Lorentz, 2012
  • Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 2009-2014.
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, 2003.
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2001
    Citation: For his contributions to the theory of quantum phase transitions and its application to correlated electron materials.
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, February 1989.
  • Presidential Young Investigator, National Science Foundation, July 1988 - July 1993.
  • LeRoy Apker Award, given by the American Physical Society for ‘outstanding achievement in physics by an undergraduate’, January 1983.

Significant Research Accomplishments

  • Gauge theories of quantum phase transitions in antiferromagnets. Described the role of emergent gauge fields and Berry phases in symmetry breaking, and the resulting appearance of deconfined quantum criticality. (papers 23, 29, 31, 32, 45, 47, 108, 126, 130, 278)
  • First established the existence and stability of a quantum spin liquid with time-reversal symmetry and anyon excitations: now called the Z2 spin liquid. Theory of confinement transitions out of the Z2 spin liquid; for cases with broken global symmetries in the confining phase, these were the first examples of phase transitions beyond the Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson paradigm. (papers 33, 34, 36, 39, 47, 91, 108, 203, 215, and notes)
  • Introduced the study of quantum criticality as the origin of anomalous dynamic properties of correlated electron compounds. Numerous contributions to quantum field theories of quantum criticality in insulators, superconductors, and metals. (papers 40, 45, 55, 68, 95, 172, 180, 202, 205)
  • Theory of non-zero temperature dynamics and transport in one-dimensional quantum systems with an energy gap. (papers 72, 73, 80, 140, 253)
  • Theory of quantum impurities in strongly interacting bulk critical states. (papers 90, 92, 99, 100, 119, 151, 155, 159, 162, 166, 183, 185, 235, 265)
  • Predicted density wave order and quantum criticality in tilted lattices of ultracold atoms. (papers 111, 125, 211, 225)
  • Proposed a new metallic state, the fractionalized Fermi liquid (FL*): this has electron-like quasiparticles around a Fermi surface, enclosing a volume distinct from the Luttinger value, co-existing with topological order. (papers 49, 115, 121, 154, 160, 201, 224, 270, 275)
  • Theory of transport in quantum matter without quasiparticle excitations, with realizations in conformal field theories. (papers 77, 78, 157, 233, 250, 269)
  • Theory of transport in 'strange' metals without quasiparticle excitations. Introduced holographic gravitational theories as descriptions of strange metals, along with results from hydrodynamics and new field-theoretic approaches. (papers 41, 161, 207, 221, 254, 255, 268, 277, 281, 284)
  • Proposed and described strange metal behavior in graphene. (papers 171, 174, 178, 288, 289)
  • Theory of symmetry-breaking and quantum criticality in the high temperature superconductors. (papers 34, 40, 45, 87, 94, 103, 109, 177, 202, 205, 239, 251, 261, 264, 270, 274, 279, 285, 286)


Named and plenary lectures

Ph.D. Students and Postdocs