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  7:30 pm, Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Fairmont Social Lounge, St. John's College

Quantum Materials

George Sawatzky

University of Brish Columbia

Without quantum mechanics we would not have the transistor, light emitting diodes, information storage, fluorescent tracers, MRI’s, etc., just to mention a few everyday devices. All these applications use the properties of electrons at room temperature. So what is new in the world of quantum materials? Much of the modern excitement in quantum materials research has to do with the peculiar behaviour caused by interactions between the huge numbers of electrons in solids, often in small nanostructures. In this ‘many-body’ world science fiction becomes reality: electrons can effectively split up with spin and charge living separate lives or even fractional electric charge. These effects lead to the possibility of materials and devices with spectacular new properties- we hardly know where this will lead us, but it is certainly fascinating and challenging. This will all be explained in terms of simple pictures and “gedanken” experiments, with little use of equations.

Find out more by visiting his website.

Additional resources for this talk: video.