Max A. Metlitski

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2020 New Horizons in Physics Prize

For incisive contributions to the understanding of topological states of matter and the relationships between them.


It is a great honor to share this prize with Xie Chen, Lukasz Fidkowski and Michael Levin – friends, colleagues and collaborators. I would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to all my collaborators and mentors over the years, who continue to inspire me by the combination of their brilliance and humbleness. In particular, I would like to thank my MSc advisor Eric Zhitnitsky for introducing me to the beauty of all things quantum, and my PhD advisor Subir Sachdev for the amazing support, encouragement and freedom to explore during my years at Harvard. To Matthew Fisher I am grateful for his warm and kind mentorship during my postdoctoral years, for getting me interested in the field of topological phases, which is being recognized by this prize, and for teaching me that the most important physics discussions occur over lunch. I thank Ashvin Vishwanath for many fun joint projects, in particular the one that started, of all places, on the beach in Puerto Rico. I am indebted to my senior academic sibling and now next-door office neighbor Senthil Todadri for all the physics discussions and advice on navigating an academic career. Above all, I am grateful to my parents, Sasha and Luba, for their incredible love and support.

Max A. Metlitski