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IUPUI professor named one of eight national scholars in theoretical physics

INDIANAPOLIS — An associate professor of physics in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has been named a Scholar with the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, the country’s top collaborative research facility dedicated to discovering knowledge at the leading edge of science.

Yogesh Joglekar joins seven other scientists honored each year from universities recognized by KITP as having growing research interests and impact, especially at the undergraduate level.

“Being a Scholar will give me the chance to interact and collaborate with groups of theorists and experimentalists working at the highest levels of research in the field,” Joglekar said. “This will have a significant impact on the type of research we are able to do at IUPUI, and it really serves as a mark of how strong our department has become.”

Andy Gavrin, chair of the Department of Physics, added: “This honor is a clear recognition of Yogesh’s contributions and his future promise. It gives him a unique opportunity to work with some of the other leaders in his specialty.”

KITP, on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara, hosts collaborations, seminars and presentations each year in four broad categories: astrophysics, biophysics, physics of matter and string theory (discovering the building blocks of matter).

Founded in 1979, KITP boasts a history of national influence. Three of the past six directors of the institute have won Nobel prizes in physics, and several Nobel laureates have served on its advisory board. More than 1,000 scientists conduct on-site collaborations each year along with five permanent members and more than a dozen post-doctoral fellows, as well as graduate fellows and Scholars.

Joglekar first was invited in 2009 to participate in KITP activities as a result of his work advancing the understanding of graphene, a one-atom-thick film of carbon with enough strength and conductivity to revolutionize physics research and technology. Two years later, the National Science Foundation recognized his work and honored him with its CAREER Award grant, the most prestigious award given to faculty members early in their career who exemplify the role of teaching scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

Now as a KITP Scholar, he will have access to the institute’s collaborative opportunities and support for up to six weeks across the three years he will serve as a Scholar. The on-site expertise will be vital as he expands his research into new and emerging areas, he said.

His most recent focus is on memristive systems (those involving materials whose resistance is determined by the history of voltage applied to them) and PT-symmetric systems (optical fibers with loss and amplification).

“Theoretical physics research often is considered inaccessible to young students, and programs find it difficult to sustain due to funding considerations. Only a handful of institutions in the world have the infrastructure necessary to carry out experimental research in these areas,” Joglekar said, referring to his current research focus.

“KITP can offer both theoretical and experimental expertise that can greatly advance this type of research and serve a critical role for smaller institutions such as IUPUI,” he added.

Joglekar, who joined the physics department in 2005, regularly mentors and collaborates with students at all levels, including local high school students, on the value of physics research and its applications to everyday life. He has published peer-reviewed research articles with many of these past collaborators.

He remains committed to discovering ways to expose his research students to emerging theories like those championed at KITP, he said.

About the School of Science

The School of Science at IUPUI is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The school is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana’s effort to expand and diversify its economy.