Suchitra Sebastian

2022 Polymaths Award Winner

Dr. Suchitra Sebastian is currently a Professor in Physics and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Her research seeks to discover unconventional quantum phases of matter in complex materials. To this end, Dr. Sebastian’s group’s experiments involve tuning the co-operative behavior of electrons within these materials by subjecting them to extreme conditions including low temperature, high applied pressure, and intense magnetic field. Under these conditions, interactions between a trillion trillion electrons, as many as the stars in the observable universe, create surprising and unpredictable collective quantum phases akin to new materials ‘universes’. Emergent quantum phenomena studied by Dr. Sebastian’s research group include high-temperature superconductivity and a new unconventional insulating state of matter they recently discovered. In addition to her leadership in research, Dr. Sebastian is founding director of the Cavendish Arts Science programme, and co-founder of Bread Theatre and Film Company, Cambridge. Visit Dr. Sebastian’s Research Group website for more information on their work.

Planned Polymaths Work: Dr. Sebastian plans to integrate robotics with intelligent scanning of quantum phase space in novel materials to experimentally access previously unexplored regions, and thus find exotic forms of quantum matter.