Alex Atanasov

Hertz Fellow: Alex Atanasov
School

Harvard University

Area of Study

Physics

Fellowship Years

2019 - present

A PhD student in theoretical physics at Harvard University, Alex is fascinated by phenomena existing at vastly different scales while also adhering to common scientific principles. For example, the branches of certain plants exhibit the same splitting angles as river networks. Atanasov studies the interrelationship of these fractal-like patterns and the underlying physical property that characterizes them. He is especially interested in how this property affects strongly interacting systems, such as when an ordinary metal becomes a superconductor. He studies these systems using techniques and concepts from quantum field theory, the framework for understanding the interactions of fundamental particles. His undergraduate research at Yale used these techniques to obtain sharp bounds on a novel topological phase transition.

Alex has worked as a software engineering intern at Google, as a neuroscience researcher at Yale, and as a visiting researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale with a BS in Physics and an MS in Mathematics. A native of Sofia, Bulgaria, Alex migrated to the United States with his mother at age 2, where he was raised in the Washington, D.C. area.

Alex also is a classical guitarist with a passion for Bach.