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LASSP -  Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics

Cornell Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics

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Paul McEuen & Chris Xu contribute expertise to national BRAIN Initiative

Paul McEuen, Director of LASSP and Cornell’s Kavli Institute, along with Kavli member Prof Chris Xu have contributed expertise to a national initiative aimed to study the brain. The BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative was launched on April 2 by President Obama with $100 million in federal funds.

“We helped to identify emergent optical and electronic techniques useful for brain imaging,” said McEuen, who attended Obama’s April 2 briefing on BRAIN. These advances in brain imaging can lead to new understandings of brain disorders and their prevention.

Read more in the Chronicle.

Brain scan image

Physicists crack science of ice formation

Matthew Warkentin, Robert Thorne and James Sethna have published the first molecular-level understanding of exactly how solutes slow down ice formation with implications in fields ranging from climate physics to cryopreservation and artificial insemination.
Read more in the Chronicle.

ice crystals

Cornell Remembers Robert Richardson

Professor of physics Robert Richardson passed away in Ithaca on February 19. The University’s first Vice Provost for Research, Richardson was exceptionally distinguished serving as director of the Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics, the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science and most notably as the recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics with Prof. David Lee and Prof. Douglas Osheroff (Ph.D. ’73 now a Stanford emeritus).

Richardson’s obituary in the Cornell Chronicle can be found here.

Séamus Davis images Nematic Transport in Underdoped HTc Superconductors

Scientists studying high-temperature superconductivity know that the introduction of dopant atoms leads to the development of superconductive behavior. However there is a lack of experimental work showing what these dopants do to the atomic-scale electronic structure of superconductive materials. Professor of physics J.C. Séamus Davis has now imaged the effects of these impurity atoms. His work is published in the February 17 edition of Nature Physics.

Davis’ results show regular pattern of anisotropic scattering of quasiparticles in the substrate that is proportional to the dopant density.

To read the full article in Nature Physics, click here.

Collective Motion in Mosh Pits

Itai Cohen along with PhD students Jesse Silverberg and Matt Bierbaum are researching emergent phenomena in human behavior. Their recent article, which has drawn quite a lot of attention, looks at the collective motion that occurs inside a mosh pit during heavy metal concerts. The authors have developed a model of the behavior dubbed Mobile Active Simulated Humanoids, or MASHers. Check out the Cohen group website for updates on the story and interactive simulations of the MASHers in action.

View story in the press:

NBC, National Geographic, Popular Science, New Scientist, The Atlantic, The Chicago Reader, The Huffington Post (written by co-author J.L.S.)

Photo credit: Ulrike Biets

Kyle Shen Studies Electronic Structure of Ferromagnetic Strontium Ruthenates

Professor of physics Kyle Shen, working with other researchers has performed the first first high-resolution Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) measurements of strontium ruthenate. ARPES is a direct experimental technique to observe the distribution of the electrons in the reciprocal space of solids. Shen et. al. studied SrRuO3 which is currently utilized as a conductive electrode for ferroelectrics, Schottky diodes, magnetocalorics, and magnetoelectrics. The paper was published in Physical Review Letters on February 22.

Their work showed that strong electron-boson interactions have an important role in the large mass renormalization in SrRuO3. Local magnetic moments in this ruthenate also play an important role in its properties. Contributing to the results were physics PhD candidate Daniel Shai, John Harter, Eric Monkman and Bulat Burganov.

To read the full article in Physical Review Letters, click here.

Ferromagnetic Strontium Ruthenates