Elijah Lew-Smith

2024 Hertz Fellow

Elijah Lew-Smith is a theoretical physicist with broad intellectual interests focused around effective field theory (EFT).

EFT is the study of systems with many interacting degrees of freedom, and it reveals how to extract the relevant, long-distance behavior from complicated microscopic rules. He will graduate from Brown University with a bachelor’s in physics.

In 2023, he received a national award to work with Professor Andrew Lucas at the University of Colorado Boulder on applying EFT systematically to non-equilibrium and active systems such as fluctuating hydrodynamics or flocking birds. Previously, he studied symmetric-tensor gauge theories as effective descriptions of states of matter with exotic symmetry structures with Professor Andrey Gromov. He is currently writing a senior thesis advised by Professor Antal Jevicki aimed at understanding non-analyticity and UV/IR mixing in Fermi liquids.

He received a scholarship from the U.S. State Department to live for a year in Dakar, Senegal, and later studied at ’École polytechnique in Paris, France. He is passionate about opening pathways to science and is involved in various mentoring, outreach and teaching initiatives. Outside of physics, he enjoys snowboarding, meditation and spending time in the cabin he built in the woods. He was born and raised in Hardwick, Vermont.

Graduate Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Undergraduate Studies

Brown University

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