U.S. Air Force Research Program Supports Early Career Physicist Romain Vasseur

Romain Vasseur
Romain Vasseur

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research announced this month that it will award approximately $16.1 million in grants to 36 scientists and engineers from 27 research institutions and businesses, including Romain Vasseur, physics. The awardees submitted winning research proposals through the agency’s Young Investigator Research Program (YIP).

Vasseur is a condensed matter theorist working on strongly correlated quantum systems. He says of the recognition, “I am thrilled and honored to be awarded this AFOSR YIP grant. The field of non-equilibrium many-body quantum physics remains largely uncharted territory, and I’m looking forward to using this award to explore emergent phenomena in non-equilibrium systems.”

He further explains, “One of the pillars of modern physics is the concept of emergence: at large scales, simplicity can emerge from complex physical systems, in a universal way that is largely independent of microscopic details. This is well established for equilibrium systems – that are characterized by familiar properties like temperature. My proposal aims to uncover new emergent phenomena in quantum systems with many particles, driven far from thermal equilibrium.

The YIP recognizes early career researcher who “show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research of military interest” and is intended to support “creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.” Recipients receive a three-year grant totaling $450,000.

Vasseur came to campus in 2017 after working as a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Condensed Matter Theory Center at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. at Institute Physical Théorique, Saclay, France, and the Laboratoire de Physique Théorique Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris.