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Interactions: Jeanne Colbois

Interactions: Jeanne Colbois

Jeanne is a first year PhD student in the chair of condensed matter theory lead by Professor Frédéric Mila at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland. The general aim of the group is to explore new phases of matter induced by strong correlations in electronic systems, which is done by investigating analytically and numerically the role of frustration or competing interactions in lattice models of low-dimensional quantum magnetism. She is the recipient of one of the poster prizes sponsored by Nature Reviews Physics at the Machine Learning for Quantum Many-body Physics workshop that happen last June in Dresden.  Read more

Interactions: Max McGinley

Interactions: Max McGinley

Max is a first year PhD student at Cambridge University. He works in the Theory of Condensed Matter group, supervised by Professor Nigel Cooper, and studies the theory behind certain interesting phases of matter which are known as ‘topological’. Max was awarded a poster prize sponsored by Nature Reviews Physics at the at Quantum Dynamics of Disordered Interacting Systems conference in Trieste last June.  Read more

Interactions: Amanda Lewis

Interactions: Amanda Lewis

Mandy is a graduate student at the University of Ottawa working in the SUNLAB, a group focused on high-performance photovoltaic devices, photovoltaic systems, and electrical utility grid-edge applications. She recently won a poster prize sponsored by Nature Reviews Physics at Photonics North.  Read more

Interactions: Conversation with Serhii Plokhy

Interactions: Conversation with Serhii Plokhy

Serhii Plokhy is professor of history at Harvard University and author of the book ‘Chenorbyl – The history of a nuclear catastrophe’, released last week. In his book, he tells the complete history of the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl, from the Soviet excitement about nuclear energy, to the details of the explosion of unit 4, the clean-up, the devastating effects for the people living in Pribyat and the political consequences, culminating in Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika and ultimately, the end of the Soviet Union. In Serhii Plokhy’s book, the reader gets to know the personalities involved in the Chernobyl disaster – the director of the nuclear power plant and his family, the operators, the firemen known as liquidators, the doctors in the hospitals trying to handle a disease that they were not trained to treat and the Russian and Ukrainian politicians, who tried their best to hide what had happened. Serhii Plokhy’s book is as compelling as a novel and describes this tragedy not only from a scientific, but also from a political and personal perspective, which makes it a strong testimony to the good and bad of science, and to what can happen if political and scientific responsibility is not taken seriously.  Read more

Interactions: John Dudley on the International Day of Light

Interactions: John Dudley on the International Day of Light

Last year, UNESCO proclaimed the International Day of Light – or IDL for short – as an annual celebration of the role of light and light-based technologies in society. The first ever IDL is happening soon, on 16th May, and on your wavelength will join in the celebration with a series of light-related blog posts spread across the whole month of May.  Read more

Interactions: Conversation with Jenny Hogan

Interactions: Conversation with Jenny Hogan

Jenny Hogan, Associate Director for outreach and media relations at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore, answer some question about the Quantum Shorts contest, in which short stories that draw from the ideas or themes of quantum physics are presented.  Read more

Interactions: Conversation with Adam Becker

Interactions: Conversation with Adam Becker

Quantum mechanics is a standard part of every undergraduate physics degree, but often it’s presented as “Here’s a mathematical formalism that works, end of story.” What is Real? by Adam Becker, released last week, tackles the history of how physicists have thought about the interpretation of quantum mechanics, starting with the Copenhagen interpretation but continuing through various dissenting views, such as Bohm’s pilot wave theory and Everett’s many worlds interpretation. His focus is as much on the politics and personalities that have shaped how we think about the field as it is on science and philosophy, which makes for an enlightening and entertaining read — I got through much of the book on a snowy Saturday at home, having difficulty putting it down.  Read more

Interactions: Conversation with Philip Ball

Interactions: Conversation with Philip Ball

Philip Ball talks about his latest book “Beyond Weird” — an exploration of the meanings of quantum theory and a tale of a continued effort to make sense of it. Call it counter-intuitive, challenging or puzzling — just don’t call it weird.  Read more

Interactions: Tatiana Webb

Tatiana receives the prize from Robert Birgeneau

Tatiana is a 4th year graduate student at Harvard University working in Jenny Hoffman’s lab, where she uses scanning tunneling microscopy to image the electronic structure of high-temperature superconductors with atomic resolution. She was recently awarded the Martin and Beate Block Winter Award, which is given to a promising young physicist at each winter conference organized by the Aspen center for physics.  Read more