Nico Valdes Meller

2020 Hertz Fellow
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Nico Valdes Meller is motivated by what he sees as beautiful and surprising connections in science, like the fact that the physics of black holes can provide insights into the behavior of materials.

Aiming to work at the interface of theoretical physics and its applications by studying field theory, gravitation, and quantum information, Nico will pursue a PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after completing a one-year master’s program at Perimeter Scholars International.

A graduate of the University of Chile, Nico received a bachelor’s degree in physics, with full tuition funding from an Andrés Bello Scholarship. As an undergraduate, he conducted research at his home institution, as well as the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and Centro de Estudios Científicos in Valdivia. His work has involved the structure of entanglement in gauge theories, the behavior of particles around black holes, links between fluid dynamics and general relativity, quantum field theory, and aspects of coherence relevant for quantum information.

Nico believes it is crucial to apply the philosophy of statistical physics to current problems: what are the relevant parts of complicated systems, and how can we understand them? How can we separate the music from the noise?

Born in Santiago, Chile, Nico has also lived in New York and Maryland. In addition to research, he enjoys jogging, teaching, reading, and trying to imitate John Bonham on drums and Jimi Hendrix on guitar.

"I believe that technological advances are generally beneficial for humanity, as long as we know how to handle them responsibly. I hope that a more profound understanding of networks can help us be better prepared for the technological revolutions to come."
– Nicolas Valdes Meller

Graduate Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Undergraduate Studies

Universidad de Chile


2014-2015, Gold Medal and Best Theory Paper, Chilean National Physics Olympiad

Related News

May 20, 2020
The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation has announced the 2020 recipients of the Hertz Fellowship. This year’s fellowships will fund 16 researchers whose goals range from developing more effective drugs to advancing artificial intelligence to creating a carbon-neutral future.