The Max Planck Society, Germany have awarded a grant to set up a new Max Planck Partner Group in to study the physics of strongly correlated condensed matter systems at the ICTS-TIFR with Dr Subhro Bhattacharjee as the head. Professor Roderich Moessner, Director, Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPI-PKS), Dresden, will be the German host of the partner group from the MPI side.

Max-Planck Partner Groups allow Indian scientists of proven scientific excellence who are former guest researchers of Max Planck Institutes to continue close research cooperation with the Max Planck Institutes. The work of each of the Partner Groups is supported for three years with possibility of extension for another two years.

The research focus of the partner group will be on the physics of topological and quantum entangled phases of correlated condensed matter. Particularly, the aim will be to investigate two parallel, but interrelated, themes — (1) role of spin-orbit coupling and electronic interactions in 4d and 5d transition metals and 4f rare earth materials in relation to their unconventional magnetic properties and possible experimentally measurable signatures thereof, and (2) interplay of symmetries and quantum entanglement in characterising condensed matter phases beyond conventional paradigm of spontaneous symmetry breaking.

This is the third Max Planck Partner group awarded to ICTS faculty. The existing two Max Planck Partner Groups at ICTS focus on Astrophysical Relativity and Physical Biology. In addition, Dr. Shashi Thutupalli, joint faculty member between ICTS and NCBS also has been awarded a Max Planck Partner Group this year. “ It is probably very rare to have four of these highly selective research awards in a single institute, certainly for one of our size, and reflects the high quality of the research done at ICTS,” said Professor Rajesh Gopakumar, director of ICTS.