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Stanford physicist Vedika Khemani awarded Packard Fellowship

The fellowship will support Khemani’s investigations of new non-equilibrium phenomena that occur in quantum systems made of many particles.

Vedika Khemani, assistant professor of physics in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, has been awarded a 2021 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.

Vedika Khemani (Image credit: Rod Searcey)

The five-year, $875,000 fellowship provides flexible funding to early-career scientists and engineers to encourage curiosity-driven research.

Khemani studies quantum systems with many particles, which can produce emergent phenomena – properties or behaviors that can only be understood as the product of a collective system. The Packard Foundation published the following summary of Khemani’s work:

A confluence of advances, particularly in building programmable quantum devices, is opening up the study of quantum matter in novel unexplored regimes, including far from thermal equilibrium. Khemani’s research aims to advance the theory of many-body quantum systems to study new phenomena in far-from-equilibrium regimes using analytic, numerical and information-theoretic approaches.

The fellowships arose out of Stanford alumnus David Packard’s commitment to strengthening university-based science and engineering programs in recognition that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he co-founded, derived in large part from the research and development in university laboratories. Each year, the foundation invites the presidents of 50 universities to nominate early-career professors from each of their institutions.

Recently, Khemani has also been honored with the Breakthrough New Horizons in Physics Prize (2022), the George E. Valley Jr. Prize from the American Physical Society (2021), the William L. McMillan Award from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2020), an Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (2020) and a Sloan Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2020).

Read more on the Packard Foundation website.

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