Past Event

My Quest to Understand Novel Superconductors

January 23, 2018
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Columbia Global Centers l Paris, 4 rue de Chevreuse, 75006

Since September of 2017, I have been in Paris as a Visiting Professor at Ecole Polytechnique supported by the Alliance faculty exchange program between Columbia and EP.   I organized a graduate level lecture course “Frontiers of Condensed Matter Physics” (FCMP) by inviting leading physicists from France, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Canada and the US to Paris. Alternating lecture locations between the Paris Center and Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, we invited two lecturers to present FCMP lectures every Friday afternoon, and simultaneously broadcasted via internet to classrooms of Columbia University in New York, Rutgers University in New Jersey, Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and Max Planck Institute in Hamburg and Dresden.  In the first half of this talk, I will introduce these FCMP activities, which featured three leading scientists, including the French Nobel Laureate Albert Fert.  We are planning to have an FCMP Workshop in Rome-Frascati in June 2018 and invite many of the lecturers and enrolled graduate students from over the world.

In the later half of this presentation, I will talk about my own research activities using positive muon beam available at modern high intensity accelerator facilities in Vancouver, Canada and Villigen, Switzerland to study novel and unconventional superconductors.  Since the discovery of high-temperature superconductors in 1986, which led to Nobel Prizes to George Bednorz and Alex Mueller in 1987, more than 6000 physicists and materials scientists have been working for more than 30 years to understand the mechanism for high transition temperatures.  Yet, there has been no consensus among scientific community in this quest.  I will describe my own approach and contributions, in particular the work known as “Uemura plot” which suggests that the new superconductors are fundamentally different from simple-metal superconductors explained by the Bardeen Cooper Schrieffer (BCS) theory to which the 1972 Nobel Physics Prize was awarded.