January 11, 2010

Noted condensed matter physicist to give public lecture

A public lecture by noted condensed matter physicist and renowned speaker Philip Phillips of the University of Illinois will be the centerpiece of a three-day workshop to be hosted this week at Homewood by Johns Hopkins’ Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Titled “From the Vulcanization of Rubber to Quarks and High-Temperature Superconductivity: Physics at Strong Coupling,” Phillips’ lecture is set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14, in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy’s Schafler Auditorium.

Phillips will discuss how systems as disparate as rubber and superconductors show similarities in their behavior as a result of the correlated motion of their constituents. The lecture will be at a general level, and no familiarity with the underlying concepts will be assumed.

Aimed at highlighting current progress and fundamental open questions on a variety of exotic insulating states of matter, the workshop, to be held from Jan. 14 to 16, will bring together physicists from all over the country, with speakers coming from Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Osaka University, University of Maryland, Katholieke Universiteit of Belgium and University of Geneva, Switzerland, among others.

“We are extremely excited about this workshop, which addresses the underlying quantum mechanical basis for exotic insulating states and their relationship to other states of matter like superconductors,” said N. Peter Armitage, one of the workshop’s organizers. “Leaders in this field from all over the world are coming to JHU. It is going to be a tremendously interesting three days.”