Staff Scientists

Matthias Gohlke

During my PhD in the group of Roderich Moessner at MPI for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden/Germany I studied lattice systems with competing interactions. In particular, I learned to apply tensor network techniques to two-dimensional spin systems like Kitaev's Honeycomb model. More generally, my research interests include novel phases of matter exhibiting fractionalization, topological states, anyons, emergent gauge fields, etc.., but also computational techniques like tensor networks. I'm looking forward to spend my free time on exploring Okinawa and Japan.

Tokuro Shimokawa

After I got my PhD at the University of Hyogo, I worked as a postdoc at the Kobe (2012-2013) and Osaka (2013-2017) Universities, Japan. I've been interested in the novel magnetic states observed in frustrated spin systems, especially now, I'm studying on spin liquid and multiple-q states by means of some numerical techniques. I'm really happy to be able to study physics with many wonderful, respectable researchers. In my spare time, not only physics, I will enjoy playing tennis, diving and drinking with my friends, coworkers and family in this beautiful island.


Postdoctoral Scholars

Pranay Patil

I have spent most of my PhD and Postdoc years simulating models relevant for quantum magnetism which are too complex to solve analytically. My tool of choice is Monte Carlo simulation, as it is designed to be unbiased, and also teaches one important aspects of the physics of the problem at hand along the way. I have also used exact diagonalization methods for a few problems and hope to enhance my numerical skills by understanding and implementing tensor network methods, which have recently been used to push the boundary of our understanding. Recently, I have become interested in the dynamics of quantum systems, as there are fascinating connections to statistical physics which I would like to explore. Outside the office, I hope to be able to spend some time in the clear waters and dense forests of Okinawa.

Geet Rakala

During the course of my PhD with Prof. Kedar Damle at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, I studied 2-dimensional lattice models of frustrated magnets using Monte-Carlo techniques. I recently got interested in water and at OIST, I am looking at deploying the numerical skills that I developed during my PhD to study the hydrogen bond network of water.  Apart from work, I have a strong interest in mastering various Unix tools like bash and vim. On the physical side of things, I like to keep it light by playing amateur table tennis once a month on average. In Okinawa, I hope to explore the culture and cuisine of this stunning island and learn a little Japanese while I am at it.

Ayushi Singhaina

I obtained my PhD from IISER Mohali, India, where I attempted to understand the experimental observations of low dimensional magnets using cluster mean field theory. During my postdoc at IFW Dresden, Germany I worked on disorder effects in the ground state of Kitaev Heisenberg model and single ion anisotropy implications for S=1 Kitaev models. I am interested in Frustrated magnetism and learning about it using numerical techniques like exact diagonalization and tensor network algorithms. Now, my academic journey has brought me to Okinawa, I am looking forward to enjoying the lovely weather in this beautiful landscape and experience the ocean.

Jonas Sonnenschein

Coming form the buzzing town of Berlin (Germany) I am really excited to explore nature at its best on the beautiful island of Okinawa. As part of my human nature I love eating savory food. Since the delight of a delicious meal becomes even greater after a long walk I enjoy hiking. Besides that, I have been training martial arts. In fact, I like every kind of physical activity to counter balance my static daily routine as a theoretical physicist. Research-wise, I achieved my PhD. in the group of Johannes Reuther (FU Berlin) where I studied and classified quantum spin liquids using a parton formulation and projective symmetry groups. At the moment, my main interests are analytical approaches to condensed matter systems and, in particular, frustrated magnetism.

PhD Students

Jiahui Bao

I got my Master's degree at Sun Yat-sen University in China, where I worked on several projects of theoretical physics including gravitational waves and holography. Currently I am attracted by ideas like fracton, quantum spin liquid in condensed matter theory, so I am glad to join TQM unit as a rotation student. Apart from physics, I also enjoy rock music, video games and searching for delicious food in this island.

Leilee Chojnacki

I obtained my Master’s degree through the PSI programme at Perimeter Institute where I was exposed to a fascinating array of topics in Theoretical Physics, and I became primarily interested in condensed matter physics and quantum information. Afterwards, I came to study at OIST as a PhD student where I continue to be fascinated by unusual states of matter and how exotic phenomena can arise from the collective behaviour of many parts following simpler laws. Beyond physics, I love outdoor adventures on land and at sea, training martial arts and sharing what I know, especially outdoors. 

Soshi Mizutani

After finishing my MS thesis on cuprate superconductors in the supervision of Catherine Kallin at McMaster/KITP, I came back to Japan, after 5 years in freezing cold North America, to start my PhD program here on this beautiful tropical island. I am interested in physics of strongly correlated systems in general. In my spare time, I participate in various OIST sports clubs including soccer, basketball, badminton etc to let my steam off, and I also enjoy playing piano and sanshin to unwind.

Snigdh Sabharwal

I hail from Delhi, India where I started my venture into Physics. Thereafter, I got quite interested in understanding the Quantum world and went on to wrap my head around this area in my master's at Leiden University. I am still trying to do so!  Another portion of my masters (which I later continued as a research assistant) was related to connections between topologically non-trivial solutions of electromagnetism, and general relativity. A better pitch would be that there exist knotted electromagnetic fields as solutions of Maxwell's equations and there are knots of spacetime (yes!), and the fun part is that they are related. At present, I am attracted by notions of geometry and topology within condensed matter physics and information theory. Now I am working in my third rotation to learn more about quantum spin liquids and quantum information geometry. Occasionally, I dabble with music production and going for long walks. 


Ananya Samanta

I received my master's degree in Physics from IISER Bhopal, India. Afterwards, I got a chance to do PhD in TQM unit at OIST. My primary interest lies on Quantum Mechanics, Condensed Matter Physics, Statistical Physics and Numerical Methods. To be specific, I am excited about understanding how frustration can give rise to novel and rich phenomena like spin liquids. So, it is a great opportunity to be a part of TQM unit and being able to learn physics of unconventional matters in "Frustrated Magnetism". Apart from pursuing physics, I love sports, dancing, cooking and spending time with family and close ones.

Research Unit Administrator

Shino Takagi

My responsibilities include offering administrative assistance to facilitate the progress of research within the group. Since becoming part of OIST, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with outstanding individuals from around the world. Outside of work, I enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures, which often inspires my work and broadens my perspectives.