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Cornell Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics

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Kyle Shen wins Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellows award

Cornell has recognized eight members of the faculty, including Kyle Shen, for excellence in teaching undergraduate students and contributions to undergraduate education at the university. The Weiss Awards were  announced Oct. 18 by President Martha E. Pollack in a report to the Cornell University Board of Trustees. The eight awardees were unanimously recommended by a selection committee composed of six faculty members and two students, who considered 37 distinguished nominees in all. Visit this link to view the full article.

Kyle Shen

Michelle Wang's Cell Paper Chosen for Featured Video Abstract

Michelle Wang's group published a paper uncovering the torsional dynamics during DNA replication, "Synergistic Coordination of Chromatin Torsional Mechanics and Topoisomerase Activity."

The editors of Cell chose the paper to feature a 4-minute abstract about the substance. Untangling DNA during Replication / Cell, October 17, 2019 (Vol. 179, Issue 3)

Kin Fai Mak, Jie Shan research team raise the temperature for exciton condensation

New Cornell-led research is pointing the way toward an elusive goal of physicists – high-temperature superfluidity – by exploring excitons in atomically thin semiconductors.

An exciton, which consists of a bound electron-hole pair, is a mobile bundle of energy that is able to exist in insulators and semiconductors. By using excitons with large binding energy, the researchers were able to increase the condensation temperature a hundredfold, from about 1 kelvin (-457.87 F) to about 100 kelvins (-279.67 F). Room temperature is around 295 kelvins.

While high-temperature superfluidity remains to be demonstrated, this robust Bose-Einstein condensate could result in brighter, more efficient lighting systems that outshine conventional LEDs. Read the full article here.

Eun-Ah Kim, Kilian Weinberger, and collaborators at Argonne National Labs receive DOE funding

Eun-Ah Kim (professor, Lab of Atomic and Solid State Physics & Department of Physics) and Kilian Weinberger (associate professor, Computer Science), along with lead PI Ray Osborn (senior physicist in the Materials Science division at Argonne National Laboratory), and collaborators Stephan Rosenkranz, Charlotte Haley, and Mihai Anitescu (all ANL), have been awarded funding from the Department of Energy to investigate quantum materials.

"This team’s research is focused on quantum materials in which the coupling of electron spins to their orbital momenta is particularly strong. Researchers have predicted that this spin-orbit coupling generates exotic forms of cooperative electron ordering not seen before. By combining synchrotron X-ray capabilities with new computational methods utilizing machine learning and advanced spectral analysis, this research will reveal the ​'hidden order' in quantum materials and thereby elucidate the underlying interactions that would allow them to be harnessed in future applications as diverse as quantum computing, smart sensors and actuators, and low-power electronics."

See the full press release from Argonne National Laboratory here: DOE announces funding for Argonne projects on better materials and chemistry through data science (9/6/2019)

Kin Fai Mak recognized with prestigious 2019 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Kin Fai Mak, associate professor of physics, was awarded through the U.S. Department of Defense, for his work exploring new physical phenomena in atomically thin materials. His Cornell group studies a range of materials – semiconductors, superconductors and magnets – that they stack to create electronics and opto-mechanical devices. To explore new phenomena, his lab has created new imaging techniques for the research. “Our ultimate goal is to push the limit on what can be seen and done in this two-dimensional world,” he said..

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Jeevak Parpia's Superfluid Polka Dots

Exotic behaviors emerge in atoms when cooled to near absolute zero, a temperature so cold that atoms cease their jittery movement. By bringing the isotope helium-3 to the brink of that threshold and confining it to a tiny space, Cornell researchers discovered that a surprising polka dot pattern spontaneously appeared in the superfluid.

“We found clear evidence of a pattern emerging, essentially out of the blue. Systems are not supposed to do that,” said Jeevak Parpia, M.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’79, professor of physics who specializes in low-temperature physics.

The work was described in the paper “Evidence for a Spatially Modulated Superfluid Phase of 3He Under Confinement,” published in February in Physical Review Letters. Parpia collaborated with researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, (led by physics professor John Saunders and researcher Lev Levitin) where the experiments were conducted using special confinement chambers constructed at Cornell.

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