Ali Yazdani named University Professor

Written by
by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty
Feb. 2, 2024

Ali Yazdani, a leading researcher in condensed matter physics working at the forefront of quantum science, has been named University Professor, Princeton’s highest honor for faculty.

Yazdani, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Physics, has been widely honored as a trailblazer in high-resolution quantum microscopy and spectroscopy and in applying these tools to make new discoveries about fundamental properties of quantum states of matter. His appointment is effective Jan. 29.

“Ali Yazdani is a preeminent scholar globally recognized for his research on how high-resolution scanning microscopy techniques enable detection and a deeper understanding of phenomenal quantum states of matter,” said Dean of the Faculty Gene A. Jarrett. “An award-winning member of national academies and learned societies, he also has been a remarkable academic leader at Princeton, namely as director of the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and, more recently, as co-director of the Princeton Quantum Initiative. We appreciate his professional accomplishments as a researcher and teacher, and as a crucial citizen of the University.” 

“I am very much humbled to be on the list of the current and previous faculty members holding this honor,” Yazdani said. “At Princeton, we have a truly extraordinary group of students, postdocs and faculty, making it an exceptionally exciting place for condensed matter physics and quantum science. I feel very privileged to be part of Princeton’s quantum science and engineering community and very excited about its future.”

A member of Princeton’s faculty since 2005, Yazdani was named the Class of 1909 Professor of Physics in 2015 and director of Princeton Center for Complex Materials, an NSF-funded center for material research in science and engineering. He was appointed co-director of the Princeton Quantum Initiative in 2023.

For his research accomplishments, Yazdani has been recognized with several awards and honors including the Humboldt Research Award and the 2023 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize from the American Physical Society. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, American Association for Advancement of Science, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Yazdani also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Yazdani graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with a degree in physics and from Stanford University in 1995 with a Ph.D. in applied physics. After working as a postdoctoral scientist at IBM, he started his own independent research group at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign before joining Princeton University’s physics department. He has held visiting professorships at Stanford University and at Cambridge University (Trinity College) and has been a Loeb Lecturer at Harvard University.

Princeton currently has 25 professors in endowed University Professorships. University Professors are recognized for demonstrating scholarly preeminence in their professional accomplishments, as well as making exceptional contributions to the University’s research and teaching community.