Sriram Ramaswamy is a theoretician with broad interests in nonequilibrium, soft-matter and biological physics. His research helped found the field of Active Matter, which studies the collective behavior of objects, such as motile organisms, that convert local energy input into autonomous motion.
He is widely known for formulating the hydrodynamic equations governing the alignment, flow, mechanics and statistical properties of suspensions of self-propelled creatures, on scales from a cell to the ocean. Key predictions -- that macroscopically aligned flocks of swimming bacteria are impossible, and that the addition of swimmers to a fluid can make the viscosity arbitrarily small -- have been confirmed in recent experiments. His insight into nonliving imitations of self-propulsion has led to design principles for chemotactic colloids, the first experiments observing giant number fluctuations in flocks, and the creation of flocks with a tiny minority of motile constituents.
From 2012 to 2016 Sriram directed the TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences in Hyderabad. Among the awards he has received for his research are the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (2000) and the Infosys Prize (2011).
, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science Former Director, TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Interest and expertise
Astronomy and physics
Mathematical and theoretical physics, Statistical
Nonequilibrium, soft-matter and biological physics; the physics of active matter