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Cooper Pairing in Non-Fermi Liquids

March 6, 2015
Figure 1

Figure 1: Top: conventional phase diagram of a quantum critical point (QCP) associated with an order parameter ϕ, with a superconducting dome (SC) partially overlapping the quantum critical region of the "bare" QCP of a metal. Bottom: the phase diagram obtained in this paper, with the SC dome fully overlapping the incipient regime of incoherent fermionic quasiparticles, while the quantum critical ϕ fluctuations survive into higher temperatures in the normal state. [©2015 American Physical Society]

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Solid Friction between Soft Filaments

March 3, 2015
Figure 2

Figure 2: 1D–Frenkel–Kontorova model accounts for the essential features of interfilament sliding friction. [From A. Ward, et al., "Solid friction between soft filaments," Nature Materials (2015). Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Materials ©2015.]

Any macroscopic deformation of a filamentous bundle is necessarily accompanied by local sliding and/or stretching of the constituent filaments. Yet the nature of the sliding friction between two aligned filaments interacting through multiple contacts remains largely unexplored.

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Ni Named 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics

March 2, 2015
Prof. K. K. Ni

Professor Kang-Kuen Ni has been named one of the 2015 Sloan Research Fellows by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.  They are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

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Trends in Condensed Matter Physics

February 20, 2015
Figure 3

Figure 3: While superconductivity shows nearly steady decline, other topics such as materials show steady growth in popularity.

Grad student Michael Shulman and postdoc Marc Warner survey the state of condensed matter physics for the past nine years in a recent arXiv article. They find that the field appears to be moving increasingly away from "traditional" subjects such as superconductivity, toward those bordering with material science and engineering. (See Michael Shulman, Marc Warner, "Of Matters Condensed," arXiv:1502.03103.)

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Undesired Usage and the Robust Self-Assembly of Heterogeneous Structures

February 19, 2015
Figure 8

Figure 8: Non-stoichiometric concentrations can suppress undesired aggregation in irreversible colloidal assembly. From A. Murugan, J. Zou & M.P. Brenner, "Undesired usage and the robust self-assembly of heterogeneous structures," Nature Communications 6:6203 | doi:10.1038/ncomms7203. Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd:Nature Communications ©2015.

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Demler Named 'Distinguished Scholar' at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics

February 17, 2015

Prof. I. Cirac (right) hands the Certificate to Prof. Demler (Photo: MPQ)

Prof. Eugene Demler has been honoured as a 'Distinguished Scholar' by the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics. This program has been launched by MPQ two years ago "in order to offer outstanding scientists from other research institutes worldwide new cooperation possibilities[...]

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