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Awarding Physics Excellence

Recipients of 2020 ICTP Prize announced

ICTP Prize 2020 recipients Dibyendu Roy (left) and Mehdi Kargarian
ICTP Prize 2020 recipients Dibyendu Roy (left) and Mehdi Kargarian


ICTP has announced the awarding of its 2020 ICTP Prize to two physicists from the field of condensed matter physics.

Dibyendu Roy of the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India and Mehdi Kargarian of Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, share this year's prize for their groundbreaking work in non-equilibrium properties of mesoscopic systems and topological phases and strongly correlated electrons, respectively.

Dibyendu Roy's work has led to a deeper understanding of particle, heat and energy transport in open quantum systems. Of particular importance are his seminal works on topological superconductors as well as the interaction of light with matter, including strong photon-photon interactions in waveguide quantum electrodynamic systems. His theoretical predictions have since been verified in spin noise spectroscopy experiments.

Mehdi Kargarian has discovered two of the first examples of fractionalized topological phases where both electron-electron interactions and spin-orbit coupling are important. He also predicted new phases of matter which are known as “weak topological Mott insulator” and the “topological crystalline Mott insulator”. Within Iran, Mehdi has served as mentor to a new generation of scientist and provides a key bridge to global scientific developments in the theory of interacting topological phases of matter.

The ICTP Prize was created in 1982. It recognizes young scientists from developing countries who work and live in those countries and who have made outstanding and original contributions to physics. For further details, see the ICTP Prize webpage.

Each year, the ICTP Prize is given in honour of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field in which the prize is given. The 2020 ICTP Prize is dedicated to the memory of David J. Thouless, the main discoverer of topological phases of matter. His fundamental contributions, for which he was also awarded the 1990 Wolf Prize and the 2016 physics Nobel Prize, first explained the coexistence of fluctuations and rigidity in two dimensional systems, then posed the bases of our current understanding of the quantum Hall effect.