Brown physics faculty member earns 2022 Sloan Fellowship

Andrey Gromov, an assistant professor of physics, has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Fellowship for his research into exotic quantum states of matter that could enable quantum computing technology.

A photo of Andrey GromovPROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Andrey Gromov, an assistant professor of physics at Brown University, is one of 118 researchers from across the United States and Canada to receive a 2022 research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The foundation announced on Tuesday, Feb. 15, the winners of the fellowships, which are awarded annually to early-career scientists and scholars identified as the next generation of scientific leaders.

Gromov studies materials and states of matter in which the interactions between constituent particles are very strong. Macroscopic properties of these materials are determined by the interactions between the particles, rather than by the nature of the particles themselves.

These highly correlated systems give rise to lots of interesting physics, including fractons — particle-like entities created by strongly interacting particles. Fractons are topologically protected, meaning once they form, they’re very difficult to destroy. They also move only in very specific ways, or are entirely immobile. Those properties make fractons interesting candidates for storing and manipulating quantum information. Gromov is working to develop new mathematical techniques for understanding fractons and the circumstances in which they arise. 

“Research in highly correlated materials has generated a lot of excitement over the past few years, both for our understanding of basic physics and for the possibility of new applications like quantum computing,” Gromov said. "I am grateful to the Alfred Sloan Foundation for supporting my research, and I'm looking forward to making new discoveries in this exciting field.’’ 

Gromov joined the Brown faculty in 2019 after a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California Berkeley and the Kadanoff postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago. He is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award, a top honor for early-career faculty. 

Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 70 faculty from Brown University have received the prestigious award.