I have heard it stated by renowned scientists, for example Stephen Hawking, that the macroscopic world is completely deterministic from a theoretical if not practical perspective, while the quantum realm is probabilistic. My question concerns the interaction of atomic radiation with the macroscopic world. The emission of a particle from a particular nucleus at a particular time is, as I understand it, purely probabilistic. If that particle hits a DNA molecule and causes a mutation resulting in cancer how can that cancer be said to be theoretically deterministic?
Professor Bezryadin received his Ph.D. in physics (summa cum laude) from Joseph Fourier University (Grenoble, France) in 1995. His thesis research was on superconducting networks in the group of Dr. Bernard Pannetier at CRTBT. Professor Bezryadin received his bachelor's and master's degrees in physics and applied mathematics from the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology in 1990. Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Physics at Illinois, Professor Bezryadin held postdoctoral research appointments at the Delft University of Technology and DIMES in The Netherlands and at Harvard University (1997-2000).
Professor Bezryadin is a remarkable experimentalist who explores physics at the nanoscale. He is developing innovative nanofabrication techniques to enable novel investigations of the properties of superconducting systems with dimensions approaching 5 nm—a virtually unexplored size scale at which macroscopic quantum effects have a strong impact on superconducting devices. He has fabricated some of the world's tiniest nanowires, loops, and SQUIDs by using carbon nanotubes as substrates for deposited metallic films. New approaches utilizing DNA templates (instead of carbon nanotubes) and a focused electron beam "sculpting" technique are being currently refined in his group.
Professor Bezryadin is currently working on experiments in three critical and related areas of the physics of low-dimensional nanoscale systems: (i) Quantum superconductor-insulator transitions in one-dimensional superconductors; (ii) Electronic properties of DNA molecules; and (iii) Aharonov-Bohm effects in carbon nanotubes. In each case, he has pioneered novel experimental approaches to probe the behavior of the ultrasmall structures. Experiments at the nanoscale can provide new insights into fundamental properties of mesoscopic quantum systems and could be used in the development of highly integrated quantum computers.
Scanning electron microscope micrograph of a 7-nm-thick MoGe nanowireResearch focus: Macroscopic quantum phenomena in low-dimensional superconductors at ultralow temperatures. The SEM micrograph to the left shows a suspended MoGe nanowire (gray). This nanowire is produced by depositing an amorphous MoGe alloy over the surface of a carbon nanotube suspended over a trench (black) in the substrate. The width of the resulting wire is about 7 nm; thus it is probably the thinnest superconductor ever measured. The goal of the project is to understand the nature of the superconductor-insulator transition found in such samples. One of the current theories suggests that the insulating state is caused by macroscopic quantum fluctuations between the normal and superconducting states. Professor Bezryadin's group is one of the leading groups studying one-dimensional superconductivity.
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