Rafael Fernandes

Rafael Fernandes

Rafael Fernandes

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy


John T. Tate Hall
Room 130-23
116 Church Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Center for Quantum Materials (CQM)
Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC)


Ph.D., University of Campinas (Brazil), 2008

M.Sc., University of Campinas (Brazil), 2005

B.S., University of Campinas (Brazil), 2003

Professional Background

Before joining the University of Minnesota, I was a postdoc in Ames Laboratory and a joint postdoc in Columbia University/Los Alamos National Lab. I did my Ph.D. at the State University of Campinas, in Brazil.

Scientific & Professional Societies

  • Fellow, American Physical Society
Research Interests

My main research activities are in theoretical condensed matter physics, particularly in strongly correlated electronic many-body systems. I am interested in clean and disordered systems in which the collective behavior of the electrons gives rise to ordered states that break different symmetries of the system, such as superconductivity, magnetism, nematic ordering, and orbital ordering. My aim is to understand not only the impact of these individual phases on the electronic structure and macroscopic properties of the system, but also how they interact with each other. To achieve this goal, I rely not only on the theoretical methods from quantum statistical mechanics and many-body theory, but also on the invaluable empirical information obtained from a variety of experimental techniques, such as x-ray diffraction, neutron scattering, optical spectroscopy, thermodynamic measurements, and angle-resolved photo-emission spectroscopy. Here are some of the topics I have been working on:

  • Unconventional superconductivity (iron pnictides, cuprates, heavy fermions)
  • Twisted bilayer graphene
  • Vestigial electronic order (nematics, smectics)
  • Quantum Monte Carlo simulations of correlated systems
  • Transport in strongly correlated systems
  • Quantum criticality in disordered systems
  • Finite temperature Mott transition

Honors and Awards

  • George Taylor Distinguished Research Award, 2021
  • Outstanding Referee, American Physical Society, 2020
  • Mercator Fellow, DFG Germany, 2020
  • McKnight Presidential Fellow, 2017 - 2020
  • George Taylor Career Development Award, 2017
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2017
  • Cottrell Scholar Award, 2016 - 2019
  • Research Corporation for Science Advancement, 2016 - 2019
  • McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 2015 - 2017
  • DOE Early Career, 2014 - 2019

Default Pronouns: He/Him/His

Advisees & Collaborators

Graduate Students

  • Anzumaan Chakraborty
  • Fei Chen
  • Ezra Day-Roberts
  • Virginia Gali
  • Joe Meese


  • Matthias Hecker
  • Zhentao Wang