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The armillary sphere sculpture at Old Main on the University Park campus.

Jain selected as Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Physics

27 November 2023

Jainendra K. Jain, Evan Pugh University Professor and Erwin W. Mueller Professor of Physics, has been appointed as the Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Physics, one of the highest honors awarded to faculty members in the Penn State Eberly College of Science. He was appointed to the Chair by the Office of the President, based on the recommendations of colleagues and the Dean, in recognition of his national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching.

Jainendra Jain
Credit: Jennifer Dong, Penn State

“I am thrilled to know that Jainendra has been recognized as the Eberly Family Chair in Physics,” said Mauricio Terrones, the George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Department Head of Physics, Evan Pugh University Professor, and professor of chemistry and of materials science and engineering. “Jainendra’s work in theoretical physics is world-class. His prediction of the particles known as composite fermions made a major impact on the field and he continues to build on that foundation, explaining and predicting new physical phenomena. The Eberly Family Chair is the one of the most prestigious faculty recognitions in our college and Jainendra is a very deserving recipient.”

Jain specializes in theoretical condensed matter physics. His work includes theoretical approaches to understanding the unexpected emergent behaviors of strongly interacting quantum many body systems, especially in low dimensions. He is best known for predicting exotic particles known as composite fermions. He introduced and developed the composite fermion theory of the fractional quantum Hall effect and unified the fractional and the integral quantum Hall effects, two remarkable Nobel prize winning phenomena that occur when electrons in two-dimensions are subjected to a strong magnetic field.

Jain was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2021, became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012 and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008. He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1997, a fellow of John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1996 and a fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 1991. In 2010, he received the distinguished alumnus award of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He was a co-recipient of the 2002 Oliver E. Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society, which recognizes outstanding contributions in condensed matter physics. Jain has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers and a monograph, "Composite Fermions" (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and coedited "Fractional Quantum Hall Effects: New Developments (World Scientific, 2020) with B.I. Halperin.

Jain earned a bachelor's degree at Maharaja College in Jaipur, India, in 1979; a master's degree at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1981; and a doctoral degree at Stony Brook University in 1985. He did postdoctoral work at the University of Maryland and Yale University, and became assistant professor at Stony Brook University in 1989, was promoted to associate professor in 1993 and to professor in 1997. He joined Penn State in the fall of 1998 as Penn State's first Erwin W. Mueller Professor of Physics.