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The equation in the picture describes the attraction of two neutral atoms when they are very far apart. The force between them arises from quantum mechanical or thermal fluctuations and is not due to gravity or static charges or currents. Usually, this class of forces is named after some of the physicists who discovered it, van der Waals, London, or Casimir-Polder, who derived the above formula in the 1950's. Since that time, technology has progressed and what seemed only of academic interest is now relevant for nanomachines. My research involves finding a theoretical description for this force between general neutral objects -going beyond atoms- and calculating it for various geometries of objects and materials. Before joining this research area I worked on biophysical topics, in particular, solvation energies, protein surface maps, DNA melting, and protein-DNA binding.

In June 2010, I graduated with a PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; my adviser was Prof. Mehran Kardar and my co-adviser Prof. Robert Jaffe. Before going to MIT I had the opportunity to study with other physicists as well. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania I worked with Prof. Kim Sharp. During my college years I spent a few summers in Germany, where I conducted research with Dr. Volkhard Helms at the Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik and took classes at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität.

Before leaving for college I completed my schooling in Germany and lived in Paris, France as a child. I was born in Tehran, Iran, where my parents come from.

I enjoy sports, music, and art apart from physics and mathematics. Here is a picture of mine, taken in November 2009 at MIT: