The 2020 ICTP Prize is awarded to Dibyendu Roy, Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India; and to Mehdi Kargarian, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.
Dibyendu Roy’s contributions in the field of non-equilibrium properties of mesoscopic systems have 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.
Topological phases and strongly correlated electrons are at the core of Mehdi Kargarian’s research. He 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 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.