Research Areas

The Department of Physics carries out research in diverse and emerging areas of physics. The research areas can be broadly divided into Experimental Condensed Matter, Theoretical Condensed & Soft Matter and Cosmology & High Energy Physics.

Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

The main research areas in which our experimental condensed matter group is working are as follows:

Strongly Correlated Electron Materials

Research is being carried out to study the properties of materials exhibiting superconductivity, magnetism and other unconventional properties. Emphasis is on topological insulators and superconductors which have generated considerable scientific interest in recent years because of their various interesting properties. Three major avenues of research towards this direction are single crystal growth using floating zone, Czochralski, Bridgman, flux and vapor transport methods, measurements of magnetic, muon spectroscopy and neutron scattering (ISIS facility at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory U.K., III Grenoble France and PSI Switzerland) and thermodynamic and transport properties. Please visit Dr. Ravi Prakash Singh’s homepage for more details.

Electron Spectroscopy

The group is working on the study of electronic structure of condensed matter systems having novel properties such as metal insulator transitions, high-temperature superconductivity, unusual magnetism, non-Fermi liquid behaviour, charge and spin density wave state, etc. using high energy and angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy. The photoemission experiments using fixed photon energy are performed with various lab-based x-ray and UV sources, and experiments involving variable photon energies are performed at synchrotron sources such as Elettra, Italy; UVSOR, Japan; AL Sand SRC, USA, etc. In addition to the experimental details, the band structure calculations and model calculations are also performed to get deeper insight and understanding of various ground state properties and solid-state phenomena. Please visit Dr. Ravi Shankar Singh’s homepage for more details.

Terahertz Spectroscopy

We use Terahertz (THz) technology to understand the ultrafast processes and low-energy dynamics in various materials. The integration of THz-spectroscopic and -imaging techniques with the materials of contemporary technological interests such as multiferroics, ferroelectrics and manganites presents opportunities to explore a new range of physical phenomena and appropriate industrial applications. THz-emission via ultrafast, femtosecond-laser-pulse modulated photocurrent density, static and dynamic electric-fields and spin moments can directly probe the ultrafast functionality of the material specific parameters. Using time-resolved THz emission and THz imaging, the ultrafast dynamics of photoexcited carriers, polarization and spin moments can be precisely determined. These studies facilitate understanding of the nondestructive control and the response time of electrical/magnetic memory to the femtosecond laser stimulus. All such features are crucial to design futuristic ultrafast optical and hybrid optoelectric and optomagnetic data storage devices. Please visit Dr. Dhanvir Singh Rana’s homepage for more details.

Raman Spectroscopy

The group is interested in investigating some of the many-body effects in complex materials which include complex metal oxides and novel 2D materials. The group’s primary focus is to study phonons and their interactions with various other quasiparticles such as, electrons, magnons, orbitons, etc. and try to unravel their role in the novel properties of the complex materials. The group investigates such interactions using Raman spectroscopy in-situ/ex-situ with electron transport and magnetic measurements. Presently, the group is equipped with a micro-Raman spectrometer with a cryo-magnet which is capable of varying sample temperature from 5 to 300 K in combination with a magnetic field of up to 9 T. In addition, a liquid nitrogen-based cryostat is also available to explore these interactions at higher temperatures up to about 870 K. Please visit Dr. Surajit Saha’s homepage for more details.

Vibrational Spectroscopy

We aim to understand the structure and dynamics of molecules as well as structural uniqueness of molecular entities in complex biological systems like bacteria, cells and tissues using vibrational spectroscopic techniques – Raman and Infra-red. In other words, we explore science from a ‘world' where ‘everything’ is vibrating. We are a part of the department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (IPC) and Instrumentation and Applied Physics (IAP) at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. Please visit Dr. Siva Umapathy’s homepage and Wikipedia page for more details.

Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Nonlinear Optics

The group works in the frontier areas of technological interest, namely, development and applications of optical spectroscopy and imaging techniques to explore non-linear properties and ultrafast photo-control of electronic processes in functional materials. In this area we are employing cutting-edge terahertz technology, nonlinear and time-resolved spectroscopy techniques, etc. These techniques are rapidly evolving and have proven applications and efficacy. Besides the technological aspect, we are also investigating experimentally the physics behind the ultrafast nonlinear optical effects on both the microscopic and macroscopic levels and in the process learning how to control, tailor and enhance them. Please visit Dr. K. V. Adarsh’s homepage for more details.

Femtosecond VUV Molecular Science

We generate ultrashort laser pulses (< 25 fs) in the VUV and XUV spectral domain (below 200nm) and probe electronic and nuclear motion in molecules in real time using electron-ion coincidence imaging. The combination of VUV light and electron-ion imaging will facilitate the probing of the molecular states with complete kinematic information in the molecular frame of reference and provide insights on multi-electronic systems, correlation effects, nuclear coupling, dynamical symmetries, molecular chirality, etc. Please visit Dr. Bhargava Ram Niraghatam’s homepage for more details.

Ultrafast Coherent Spectroscopy

The group is being established to study coherent nonlinear interactions in semiconductor nanostructures. Optical two-dimensional coherent spectroscopy is a powerful tool to study many-body interactions between electronic excitations in semiconductor nanostructures such as quantum dots, monolayer transition metal dichalcogenide, etc. The ultimate aim is to leverage a fundamental understanding of these interactions to design protocols to actively control them for applications in quantum information science. Please visit Dr. Rohan Singh’s homepage for more details.

Spin Microscopy

We develop nitrogen-vacancy (NV) spin-based diamond magnetometers capable of measuring minute magnetic fields with high sensitivity and spatial resolution. Our aim is to utilize diamond spins as scanning probes to spatially map tiny magnetic fields on the nanoscale. This would allow us to obtain a greater understanding of the magnetic phenomena which are otherwise not discerned by global magnetization measurements due to spatial averaging. Our long-term goals include setting up a cryogenic quantum magnetometer which would open the door for studying a variety of magnetic phenomena in condensed matter nanosystems, together with the possibility of making quantitative measurements. Some of the studies we imagine applying our magnetometer sensitivity and spatial resolution include probing magnetic phase transition in ferritin bioproteins, imaging edge magnetism in graphene, stray-field imaging of vortices in high-temperature superconductors and understanding emergent nanoscale magnetism in oxide heterostructures. Please visit Dr. Phani Kumar Peddibhotla’s homepage for more details.

Condensed Matter and Soft Matter Theory:

Auditya Sharma’s Group

Our group is interested in a range of topics from fundamental questions in Statistical Mechanics such as the manner in which systems attain equilibrium within the framework of the `Eigenstate Thermalization hypothesis', to interacting disordered systems that exhibit a novel kind of localization called `Many-body localization' to mature topics like random matrix theory and classical spin glasses. In recent times, a central theme has been entanglement, and we have been interested in investigating the role of quantum correlations, in connection to a number of established condensed matter phenomena.  We employ a combination of analytical and numerical techniques in our studies. Please visit our group webpage for more details.

Suhas Gangadharaiah’s Group

Our group is interested in many aspects of the quantum theory of condensed matter systems with a particular focus on low dimensional systems. Our group is involved in the study of the physics of silicene, carbon-based systems, nanowires, spin-chains, Luttinger liquids and topological insulators. We mainly use analytical approaches, in particular, relying on quantum field theoretical techniques to analyze a problem. Please visit our group webpage for more details.

Theory of Materials Properties

Using theoretical techniques and numerical simulations primarily based on density functional theory and Monte Carlo simulations, we study electronic structure, magnetism, and optical properties of nanomaterials and heterojunctions. We are also interested in the role of spin-orbit interaction at surfaces and interfaces with restricted symmetry. Please visit Dr. Nirmal Ganguli’s homepage for more details.

Ab Initio Theory

Our research group, in the Department of Chemistry at IISER Bhopal, focuses on problems in material science from the perspective of computational theory. Using atomistic simulations as tools we study the variety of physical and chemical phenomena occurring in materials with an aim to understand their origin and their characteristics. Topics featuring in our research include renewable materials for energy storage and conversion, chemical and physical phenomena at the nanoscale, electronic and structural phase transitions , surface and interface electronic structure, and excited state dynamics in semiconductors and photochemical systems. Please visit Dr. Vardharajan Srinivasa’s homepage for more details.

Quantum Dynamics of Complex Systems

We work on quantum dynamics, particularly of ultra-cold atoms, Bose-Einstein condensates, highly excited Rydberg atoms and quantum opto-mechanical systems. Our primary focus is to propose interesting quantum simulation platforms that connect to seemingly different disciplines, such as photosynthetic light harvesting, quantum chemistry or general relativity. By exploring common themes between these subjects, we transfer knowledge between disciplines, and may enable cold atom experimental tests, of otherwise inaccessible physical scenarios, e.g. involving black holes or quantum transport. Please visit Dr. Sebastian Wüster’s group for more details.

Snigdha Thakur’s Group

Our research interest lies in the soft and biological material that are driven out of equilibrium either by interactivity or by external field. Such active material exhibit very interesting emergent behavior. We employ theoretical and computational tools to investigate the rich dynamics exhibited by such systems. Please visit our group webpage for more details.

Sunil Pratap Singh’s Group

Soft condensed matter systems exhibit incredibly complex dynamical and rheological behavior. These systems respond to external perturbations in an intriguing way and exhibit numerous features that are nonintuitive and distinct from those at equilibrium. More specifically, we focus on computer simulation modeling of polymeric, active filaments, and colloidal suspension in bulk and confinement. Our goal is to understand the relationship between mesoscale structure and bulk properties. Furthermore, our research interest also involves multi-scale modeling of coarse-grained algorithms which bridges atomistic and mesoscopic length-and time scales. Please visit our group webpage for more details.

Cosmology and High Energy Physics

String Theory and Quantum Gravity

  • Research is aimed both at clarification of the microscopic origin of black hole entropy and interplay of mathematics and black hole physics. On the other hand, we study applications of black hole physics to study the characteristics of boundary plasma (QCD, Superfluids etc:) in the context of the AdS/CFT conjecture. We are also interested in studying properties of non-relativistic fluids, using higher dimensional black hole solutions via holography.  Another area of our research interests is understanding the importance of symmetry to the dynamics of a theory. In particular, we study the implications of asymptotic symmetries of spacetimes to Quantum Field Theories on asymptotically flat and Anti de-Sitter spaces. Please visit Dr. Nabamita Bannerjee’s homepage for more details.

  • We are interested in theoretical aspects of black holes, supersymmetric quantum field theories and matrix models, the AdS/CFT correspondence, theoretical hydrodynamics and fluid-gravity correspondence. Please visit Dr. Suvankar Dutta’s homepage for more details.

Particle and Cosmoparticle Physics

The main interest of our group lies in understanding the fundamental components of nature and the fundamental forces acting on them. The current Standard Model of Particle Physics provides a good understanding of these but still leaves many questions unanswered. Chief among them are the questions regarding neutrino and dark matter physics. They are widely expected to be the gateway to the hitherto unknown new physics beyond the Standard Model. Our group works on various theoretical as well as phenomenological aspects of the  new physics beyond Standard Model. Please visit Dr. Rahul Srivastava’s homepage for more details.

Mathematical and Theoretical Physics Group

Our research interests in recent years have revolved around (a) Geometric phases (b) Spin and orbital angular momentum of light in classical and quantum optics (c) Quantum measurements and tomography (d) Stochastic thermodynamics and quantum heat engines. Please visit the group webpage for more details.