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2024 Chhabra-Landau Lecture featuring Nobel laureate Michael Kosterlitz

studio headshot of man
room 202 of the Physics Building

The University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of physics and astronomy welcomes 2016 Nobel laureate J. Michael Kosterlitz to the campus to deliver the 2024 Chhabra-Landau Lecture March 14 at 3:55 p.m. in room 202 of the Physics Building. The lecture is free and the public is invited to attend.

Kosterlitz, the Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for work on condensed matter Physics with the citation, "For theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” In 2017, he became a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. 

He currently conducts research in condensed matter theory, one- and two- dimensional physics; in phase transitions: random systems, electron localization, and spin glasses; and in critical dynamics: melting and freezing. His UGA lecture, "Wavelength Selection by Additive Stochastic Noise in a Driven Out of Equilibrium System," takes focus from his present interest is in the evolution of driven out-of- equilibrium systems.

"It is a tremendous honor for us to host Mike Kosterlitz, a modest individual whose innovative research wrought a conceptual revolution in modern statistical physics," said David Landau, Regents’ Professor of Physics and Director of the UGA Center for Simulational Physics. "Kosterlitz’s theoretical work revealed, in an elegant manner, how ‘topological excitations’ explained a class of physical phenomena which had simply not been previously understood."

The Chhabra-Landau Lecture Series is annual event endowed by Dr. Ashvin B. Chhabra (MS Physics, UGA 1984; PhD Applied Physics, Yale 1989) in honor of his thesis advisor, Professor Landau, and acknowledges the hospitality and friendship the faculty and students of UGA accorded Dr. Chhabra when he first came to Athens from overseas as a graduate student.

Chhabra is President of Euclidean Capital, which is responsible for the management of investments for James H. Simons & Marilyn Simons and their associated foundations. Dedicated to advancing research in basic science and mathematics, the Simons Foundation is currently one of America’s largest private funders of these areas.

In addition to his M.S. in Physics from UGA, where he performed very high-quality Monte Carlo simulations of models of kinetic gelation, Chhabra holds a Ph.D. in applied physics from Yale University in the field of non-linear dynamics.

The lecture series also celebrates the role Professor Landau played in founding the Center for Simulational Physics at UGA, and building a diverse and welcoming community of students at the Center. The Series focuses on the deep connection between physics and computer science, particularly the use of computing or information theoretic ideas, as fundamental tools for physicists to develop novel insights about our world. 


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