Fractional quantum Hall states are topological quantum fluids observed in two-dimensional electron gases (2DEG) in strong magnetic fields. University of Illinois Physics researchers Gil Young Cho, Yizhi You, and Eduardo Fradkinhave shown that these electron gases can also harbor a quantum phase transition to an electronic nematic state inside the topological state.
Although molecules make up everything around us, most people encounter these groups of atoms held together by chemical bonds in the pages of a textbook. They read text and see a drawing of chemical symbols or colorful circles—a one-dimensional view of the microscopic structures. Other representations have drawbacks as well: three-dimensional models are made of materials that can’t replicate the rapid and continuous molecular movement. Molecules are wiggling and jiggling in a never-ending dance, but you can’t see it, not even with the most powerful microscope.
The Optical Society (OSA) and the IEEE Photonics Society announced that Paul Daniel Dapkus, W. M. Keck Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Southern California, is the recipient of the 2015 John Tyndall Award, one of the most prestigious recognitions in the field of optics. Dapkus was selected for his “pioneering and sustained contributions to the development of metal organic chemical vapor deposition and high performance quantum well semiconductor lasers,” according to the organizations.
Dapkus received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He is currently a faculty member of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at USC. He also is the director of a DoE Energy Frontier Research Center.
Assistant Professor Shinsei Ryu has been awarded a prestigious New Horizons in Physics Prize by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation for his pioneering work in theoretical condensed matter physics. The prize recognizes his fundamental work on the holographic derivation of the entanglement entropy in quantum critical systems and conformal field theories using AdS/CFT correspondence.
The citation reads, "For fundamental ideas about entropy in quantum field theory and quantum gravity."
University of Illinois Swanlund Professor of Physics and Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics Laura Greene has been appointed to serve as vice chair of the C10 Commision of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). The C10 Commission is tasked with promoting the exchange of information and views among members of the international condensed matter physics community and with promoting collaborations between condensed matter physicists and scientists in complementary fields. The commission actively supports international conferences, generates written materials promoting the field, and awards scientific prizes that recognize excellence in the field.
Physics Illinois alumnus Matthew Fisher, a professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded the 2015 Oliver E. Buckley Prize for discovery and pioneering investigations of the superconductor-insulator transition, a paradigm for quantum phase transitions.
Associate Professor Nadya Mason has been appointed a John Bardeen Faculty Scholar in Physics, an appointment that will continue indefinitely.
Mason is an extensively published experimental condensed matter physicist whose meticulous work and deep-sighted approach have shed light on some of the toughest questions relating to strongly correlated electron systems at the nanoscale.
Professor Peter Abbamonte is one of nineteen outstanding scientists nationwide to be designated a Moore Experimental Investigator in Quantum Materials. Recipients of this five-year grant are selected based on the potential for their research to transform our understanding of quantum materials, making it possible to ask new fundamental questions about the organization and behavior of complex quantum matter.
Abbamonte will use the funds to support an ambitious ongoing project that will address one of the biggest outstanding problems in the field of quantum materials: high-resolution observation of charged boson particles that can emerge from the collective interaction of electrons and ions in these materials when they are cooled to low temperatures.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that Physics Illinois alumnus Dr. Stephen Volz, a top official at NASA and an award-winning aerospace engineer, has been tapped to lead NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS). Volz replaces Mary E. Kicza, who retired earlier this year as the NESDIS assistant administrator. He will assume this new role on November 2.
As assistant administrator, Volz will shepherd NOAA’s programs to build and launch the next generation of environmental satellites: the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series (GOES-R), and other missions, including the Deep Space Climate Observatory, known as DSCOVR. He’ll also manage NOAA’s current spacecraft fleet and NESDIS’ vast climate, oceanographic and geophysical data operations. Data from these NESDIS assets are used throughout NOAA, across the federal family and around the world for operational weather forecasts and climate impact assessments.
This Thursday, two distinguished Physics Illinois alumni—Dr. M. George Craford (MS 1963, PhD 1967) and Dr. Lewis S. “Lonnie” Edelheit (BS Engineering Physics 1964, MS 1966, PhD 1969)—will be inducted into the 2014 Engineering at Illinois Hall of Fame. They are among six total Engineering alumni to be selected for this distinction this year for their significant achievements in leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation of great impact to society.
The induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 16, 2014, at 4 p.m. in the Grainger Auditorium at the newly opened Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (306 Wright Street, Urbana. The induction ceremony is open to friends, family, and supporters, and Physics students and faculty are encouraged to attend.