Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Seminar at JNU

Today I am giving a seminar in the School of Physical Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
"Spin frustration in organic Mott insulators: from quantum spin liquids to superconductors." Slides are here.

The talk material is covered in great detail in a review article, written with Ben Powell.
My host is Brijesh Kumar.

Aside: JNU is the best university for the humanities in India. It is a hot-bed of student and faculty political activism. Yesterday there was a strike. One of the student demands was that Ph.D scholarships be extended from 5 to 7 years! 
Being on campus reminded me a bit of an Australian campus when I was an undergraduate.
One of my Indian friends told me many faculty [and consequently students] believe that science and rationality are imperialistic Western social constructs, just like their counterparts in the West!
I think the West is guilty of many imperialistic atrocities; but science and rationality are not among them.


  1. Usually I´ll hear these kinds of statements from people from humanities or social sciences who wouldn´t be able to quote the second law even if it was written in Hamlet's opening.

    The sharpest and most consistent critic with science and reason I ever heard comes from a friend with a Physics degree.

  2. Hi, everybody. I am Somenath Jalal, a PhD student of Physics in School of Physical Sciences, JNU. I was present in yesterday's talk. And it was a beautiful presentation. Prof. RHM told how to do theoretical modeling of certain kind of organic molecules (organic salts, yes, they are insulators naturally !), which shows superconductivity at low temperature when applied pressure. The Hubbard model (on an anisotropic triangular lattice, so took full U, t and t' terms) is suitable for studying these salts theoretically. The model itself has rich physics in its Phase Diagram. RHM has studied the model using P W Anderson's celebrated Resonating Valence Bond theory.

    Thank you Prof. Ross for visiting out department.

    1. Hi Somenath,
      Thank you for your kind words. I really enjoyed my visit to your department. I learnt some interesting physics. The seminar audience was one of the more lively and appreciative ones I have had and so I valued that.