Kim Wins Tomassoni-Chisesi Prize

August 28, 2018
Photo of Prof. Philip Kim

Congratulations to Prof. Philip Kim for winning the 2018 Caterina Tomassoni and Felice Pietro Chisesi Prize "for his pioneering experiments on quantum transport in carbon nanotubes and graphene which opened new perspectives in the study of physical properties of materials at the nanoscale."

The Prize is awarded every one or two years "for outstanding achievements in physics" by the Sapienza University of Rome.


Striking Isotope Effect on the Metallization Phase Lines of Liquid Hydrogen and Deuterium

August 24, 2018

A cutaway view of the structure of the planet Jupiter. Descending into the planet one transitions from gaseous hydrogen to liquid atomic hydrogen to metallic hydrogen, at high pressures and temperatures. Metallic hydrogen gives rise to the magnetic field. Jupiter may have a solid dense core. [Image credit: University of Rochester / Rodi Keisidis, Laboratory for Laser Energetics.]


Reprogrammable Braille

July 25, 2018

Dimples are formed on an inverted plastic fruit bowl by poking the dimple location with a simple stylus, in much the same way that the pages of a traditional Braille book are printed. [Credit: L. Mahadevan/Harvard SEAS*]

When "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was translated into Braille, it spanned 1,000 pages over 14 volumes of thick Braille paper. Tolstoy’s War and Peace weighs in at 21 volumes. But what if there was a way to store whole books in just a few pages of Braille?


Magnetostatic Twists in Room-Temperature Skyrmions

July 23, 2018

Fig. 2: Reconstruction of the magnetic stray field components.*

Magnetic skyrmions are two-dimensional non-collinear spin textures characterized by an integer topological number. Room-temperature skyrmions were recently found in magnetic multilayer stacks, where their stability was largely attributed to the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction. The strength of this interaction and its role in stabilizing the skyrmions is not yet well understood, and imaging of the full spin structure is needed to address this question.


Heat Transport Studies Provide Evidence for a New Phase of Matter

July 11, 2018

Figure 1*: A recent thermal transport study of gallium arsenide quantum wells measured a fractional thermal Hall conductivity, which is consistent with the emergence of a non-Abelian phase called the PH-Pfaffian. Two new theoretical works have shown that this phase could arise from hybridization among two other phases, the Pfaffian and anti-Pfaffian, arranged in a quilt-like pattern. Between patches of the two phases are edge states that carry heat but not electric charge. [Credit: APS/Carin Cain]


The Physics of Better Batteries

June 23, 2018
image of lithium batteries

Harvard University researchers are using physics to solve one of the biggest challenges in designing light-weight, long-lasting batteries: how to squeeze more energy into less space. Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Department of Physics have developed a tunable, electrochemical system that can store large amounts of energy in the space between atomically thin sheets of layered two-dimensional materials, like graphene. [...]