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Auditya Sharma

Philosophy

I wish to describe an attitude towards theoretical physics research that I embrace. It is my earnest belief that the heart of theoretical physics research in the 21st century will be at the meeting point between analytical and numerical methods. While a stubbornly analytical approach (associated with the attitude enshrined in the famous statement: `one has to resort to the indignity of numerical simulations') must sooner or later hit a wall, extensive numerics without solid theoretical foundations has the effect of creating a pile of details sans understanding. And yet, when an insistence is made on the mutual agreement between these two (in principle,) independent approaches, a remarkably new ground emerges, one that is a truly modern approach to problem-solving (and problem-posing) in general. In the cultivation of this attitude lies the possibility of a grand unification: all of physics can be brought under one grand umbrella. In the cultivation of this attitude lies the method of tackling the bane of the modern scientific enterprise: compartmentalization.

Personally, I like problems that are clean and well-defined, with a good mix of analytical and numerical methods and physical intuition; my place lies somewhere in between the rigorous/abstract and the empirical/tanglible, perhaps closer to the former than the latter. I like the statistical. I like to be in a position where I can work out my own theory, and also be able to test it by an independent empirical method, like it became possible in this work. This piece of work is what I feel most proud about in my research experience so far; it evolved from precisely the attitude described above: the formulation of the theoretical problem itself, based on the decades of simulational experience of the senior author in the project, relies on this marriage between the analytical and simulational approach. It is truly amazing that a problem can be attacked from two completely independent directions, and a common point of agreement can be found amidst all the complexity. Such a meeting point is one of breathtaking beauty, and it is these vantage points that I crave for with my whole being. My motivation for doing physics is therefore really a poetic quest for the beauty of unity amidst complexity.