Theoretical Physics Via Perseverance, Inspiration, Mentoring and Luck

Release Date: 
Aug 9 2012
Yogesh Joglekar with undergraduate Bill KarrYogesh Joglekar with former undergraduate student Bill Karr. Karr is now a math graduate student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

This ScienceLives article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Yogesh Joglekar, assistant professor of physics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, works on graphene and optical waveguides with balanced loss and gain, two of the hottest fields in theoretical physics. In addition, he mentors a growing number of high school and undergraduate students who are carrying out original research that is published in top-tier physics journals. A National Science Foundation CAREER grant supports his graphene research and mentoring.

What inspired you to choose this field of study?

When I joined the physics department in the School of Science at IUPUI in 2005, graphene had just been discovered, and I couldn’t wait to start theoretical research on it. It is fascinating that such a day-to-day material — pencil lead — serves as a prototype for testing exotic quantum field theory predictions and will also lead to new device applications within the next decade.  It’s very exciting to be working in a field that has recently been recognized with a Nobel Prize.

Read the complete Q & A on the LiveScience website.