Our understanding of simple solids, is firmly grounded on the Fermi liquid concept and powerful computational techniques built around the density functional theory. These ideas form the basis of our "standard model" of solid state physics and have provided us with an accurate description of many materials of great technological significance.
27 October 2014
A major development in condensed matter physics over the past twenty years has been the study of collective electronic states that organise into symmetry-lowered configurations similar to those seen in liquid crystals. Empirically, these are often seen in the vicinity of unconventional superconductivity, further heightening interest in the topic.
29 September 2014
Superconductivity is a very rich and intriguing phenomenon, which continues to pose challenging questions in condensed matter physics. Although it is over 100 years old its range of applications is limited. The most well-known are the superconducting wires, which are used for powerful cooled magnets for science experiments and MRI.
Majorana fermions were predicted in 1937 by Ettore Majorana in Rome. These are particles with the mysterious property that they are equal to their antiparticles. This defining property immediately implies that these "Majoranas" have zero charge and zero energy.
The design, discovery, characterization and control of novel materials is perhaps the most important research area for humanity as it moves into the 21rst century. A myriad of societal problems concerning energy, clean water and air, and medicine all need to be solved by the discovery of new compounds with dramatically improved, or even new, properties.