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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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Brad Ramshaw Receives a Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship

Assistant professors Jeremy Baskin, Song Lin and Brad Ramshaw have been named recipients of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellowships, which support early-career faculty members’ original research and broad-based education related to science, technology and economic performance.

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Cohen and McEuen's Wirelessly Powered NanoBots

"When I was a kid, I remember looking in a microscope, and seeing all this crazy stuff going on. Now we're building stuff that's active at that size. We don't just have to watch this world. You can actually play in it," said Marc Miskin, who developed the nanofabrication techniques with his colleagues professors Itai Cohen and Paul McEuen and researcher Alejandro Cortese at Cornell University while Miskin was a postdoc in the laboratory for atomic and solid state physics there. In January, he became an assistant professor of electrical and systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Miskin will present his microscopic robot research on this week at the American Physical Society March Meeting in Boston. He will also participate in a press conference describing the work. Information for logging on to watch and ask questions remotely is included at the end of this news release.

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Paul McEuen Plays Cornell Alma Mater on Nano-Sized Guitar

“We were the first to make a vibrating one-atom-thick graphene sheet that was, in essence, a drum,” McEuen says. “We also made the world’s first nanotube guitar. We used a nanotube as a guitar string and plucked it to make it vibrate.” Since the nanotube guitar string vibrates at megahertz frequencies—much higher than the human ear can hear—the researchers had to figure out how to measure it. They reported their results in a paper forthcoming in the journal Nature. “We not only heard it,” McEuen says with satisfaction, “but we played the Cornell alma mater on it.”

For McEuen, playing a tune on a guitar string the width of a strand of DNA is par for the course. He made his reputation manipulating graphene sheets, carbon nanotubes, and other materials, creating some of the smallest electronic or mechanical systems ever invented.

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Eun-Ah Kim's Machine Learning and Understanding Quantum Emergence in Nature

Eun-Ah Kim's research using machine learning to find meaningful patterns in quantum matter experimental data was recognized in Nature's News.

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“Some of those images were taken on materials that have been deemed important and mysterious for two decades,” said Eun-Ah Kim, professor of physics. “You wonder what kinds of secrets are buried in those images. We would like to unlock those secrets.”

Kim is senior author of “Machine Learning in Electronic Quantum Matter Imaging Experiments,” which published in Nature June 19. First authors are Yi Zhang, formerly a postdoctoral researcher in Kim’s lab and now at Peking University in China, and Andrej Mesaros, a former postdoctoral researcher in Kim’s lab now at the Université Paris-Sud in France.

Co-authors include J.C. Séamus Davis, Cornell’s James Gilbert White Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences, an innovator in STM-driven studies.

Cornell Chronicle