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The 370th forum: The Dark Energy of Quantum Materials

Date: 2019-09-16
Time: 10:00
Venue: M236
Speaker: Prof. Laura H. Greene

National MagLab and Florida State University


Laura H. Greene is the Chief Scientist at the National High Field Magnet Laboratory, and the Francis Eppes Professor of Physics at Florida State University. Her research is in experimental condensed matter physics investigating quantum materials, focuses on strongly correlated states utilizing planar tunneling and point contact electron spectroscopies of heavy fermions, topological materials, superconductors, and other quantum materials. She was the President-Elect of the American Physical Society (APS) where she has served as Chair of the Division of Materials Physics and co-founded their Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public. Other service includes the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Chair of the Board of Governors of the International Institute for Complex and Adaptive Matter, Chair-elect of both the C10 commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and their US Liaison Committee, has served on the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee for the Department of Energy, the Board on Physics and Astronomy for the National Academy of Sciences, the Board of Directors for Gordon Research Conferences, and the Sloan Fellowship Selection Committee. Greene has been a visiting scientist at CNRS in Orsay, University of California at Irvine, Trinity College at Cambridge. Her various editorial positions include Reports on the Progress in Physics (editor-in-chief), Philosophical Transactions A, and Current Opinions in Solid State & Materials Science (COSSMS). Greene is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Physics (U.K.), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow, received the E.O. Lawrence Award for Materials Research from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award from the APS, and the Bellcore Award of Excellence. She has co-authored over 200 publications and given over 600 invited talks.


The nearly 80-year-old correlated electron problems remain largely unsolved; with one stunning success being BCS electron-phonon mediated conventional superconductivity. There are dozens of families of superconductors that are unconventional, including the high-Tc cuprates, iron-based, and heavy fermion superconductors. Although these materials are disparate in many of their properties, some of their fundamental characteristics are strikingly similar, including their ubiquitous phase diagram, with intriguing correlated-electron (not-Fermi liquid) phases above the superconducting transition. These remain among the greatest unsolved problems in physics today; and I will present an analogy stressing.  I will also give a short overview of the US National MagLab and mention some of our own recent work on tunneling in heavy-fermions.