Structure and Topology of Band Structures in the 1651 Magnetic Space Groups

August 27, 2018

Magnetic reSM. Credit: Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat8685.*

Most of the time, cooking is a matter of following a recipe—combine specific amounts of specific ingredients in the right way and the predictable outcome is that you'll wind up with a tasty meal.

Unfortunately, those same rules don't apply in physics. Despite a deep understanding of the properties of individual atoms — the "ingredients" that make up a crystal — scientists found that, when they are combined they often display new, unanticipated properties, making efforts to design new materials with specific properties little more than guesswork.

To make that process more predictable, Harvard Graduate Student Hoi Chun (Adrian) Po, Professor of Physics Ashvin Vishwanath, and Tokyo University Professor Haruki Watanabe teamed up to produce a system to represent band structures — energy bands, similar to electron orbital, that run through solids — to quickly understand the properties of a given material. The study is described in a recently-published paper in "Science Advances"...

Read "Breaking down band structures—system could help researchers design new materials with specific properties" on phys.org, August 22, 2018. https://phys.org/news/2018-08-band-structuressystem-materials-specific-properties.html#jCp.

*Also read the research paper: Haruki Watanabe, Hoi Chun Po, and Ashvin Vishwanath, "Structure and topology of band structures in the 1651 magnetic space groups," Science Advances 4 (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat8685.