I am a theoretical physicist in the Department of Theoretical Physics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. My main research interest involves quantum field theory at high temperature and density. This means that my work occurs at the intersection of quantum field theory, super-computing, condensed matter physics and particle colliders.
Research: A series of experiments starting in 1988 and planned to stretch beyond 2020 have looked for the phases of microscopic matter by smashing together sub-atomic particles. Just as water can go from a seemingly featureless liquid to ice with its crystalline symmetries, sub-nuclear matter can go to highly symmetric phases from others where the symmetries are not manifest. Such transitions take place in the collider, inside neutron stars and in the early universe. My work involves studying such transitions. For more on this, see the web pages of the Indian Lattice Gauge Theory Initiative and my own research pages
© Sourendu Gupta
Teaching: Apart from my research work, I'm strongly interested in the teaching of physics at the undergraduate or beginning graduate level, and the role that computers can play in this. I'm especially interested in how computer algebra systems and object oriented programming can transform the instruction of subjects (such as classical and quantum mechanics, or even numerical analysis) which have been frozen for almost half a century. For more see my pages on teaching, especially the section for teachers.
I am currently very excited about a new course: the idea being to involve a class in rapid analysis of completely new and developing fields using a graded set of analysis tools. The skill-set which I am trying to identify is the common tool-kit of almost all working scientists. One sees this at work in seminars and discussions, but not very often in a class. If this can be formalized into an effective course, it can be passed on to bachelor's level courses.
Computer applications: I've had a role in designing the web services of TIFR. You could look at a video of the audience fidgeting through a talk that I gave on this (caution: very long). I'm interested in electronic collaboration tools: I have a deep suspicion that there is life beyond email, skype and web pages.
In the belief that security can be non-intrusive I initiated, and was closely associated with, the design of the software used by TIFR's security services. I was similarly involved with the service request system for TIFR's computer center, and with the performance evaluation system developed in-house.
About myself: I did my undergraduate courses in physics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and my doctoral work in TIFR. This was followed by post-doctoral research in IMSc Chennai, the University of Bielefeld, CERN Geneva and KFA Juelich. I'm a member of the Subject Board for Physics of St. Xavier's College Mumbai, and a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy and of the Indian Academy of Sciences. Apart from the sciences, I'm interested in mathematical puzzles, photography and wildlife. This last interest is entirely due to my wife, Radiya Pacha Gupta.