Sohrab Ismail-Beigi (Associate Professor of Applied Physics & Physics)

Important things first: Modern is better than Sally’s (apologies to Jack Harris).

With that out of the way, I’m a condensed matter theorist who uses high performance parallel computing to attack problems in materials physics. This ranges from the basic science problem of understanding why a material has the properties it has (conducting or insulating, malleable or brittle, transparent or fluorescent or not, etc.) to the more applied question of how to engineer a new material to have particular desired properties. A good deal of my research work focuses on nanostructures where novel physics and chemistry can emerge. My research group’s web page is at

I love cooking. Recently, I’ve gotten interested in making deserts — a black hole in my repertoire. Since cooking is an experimental science, I decided it was prudent to start at level zero: I am trying to perfect blueberry and banana-walnut muffins (my toddler daughter helps with the mixing and my wife is the food critic). Results have been encouraging, but more experiments are needed…

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