Quasi-Symmetry reveals new topology

Symmetry is a key concept in our understanding of the physical world around us. They way self-similar components are arranged following the guidelines of symmetry dictates their joint behavior. It is no accident that the human body evolved in a mirror-symmetric shape, as beautifully captured by Da Vinci’s work. Similarly, in material science, certain symmetries dictate the functionality of a material on the quantum level. A recent focus point in the field is to understand how certain symmetries work together to give fundamentally new responses in so-called topological materials. These materials display distinct surface and bulk properties, making them promising candidates for future application in quantum electronics.
Ever since the discovery of the quantum Hall effect (Nobel Prize 1985), symmetry has been the guiding principle in the search for topological materials. Now an international team of researchers from Germany, Switzerland, and the USA has introduced an alternative guiding principle, ‘quasi-symmetry’, which leads to the discovery of a new type of topological material with great potential for applications in spintronics and quantum technologies. This work has been published in Nature Physics. more

Supercomputer Ada accelerates computational research

A new supercomputer capable of handling highly data-intensive calculations for the MPSD and the MPI for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPIPKS) has gone online. Computations which would previously have taken two to three weeks can now be carried out within a single day. more

Jérôme Faist comes to the MPSD with Humboldt Research Award

Jérôme Faist, Professor at the Institute for Quantum Electronics at ETH Zürich, has been awarded a Humboldt Prize to pursue his work at the MPSD in Hamburg. His research centers on the fluctuating fields found in a vacuum and how these could be controlled.  more

ERC Consolidator Grant for Ajit Srivastava

Condensed matter physicist Ajit Srivastava, an Associate Professor at Emory University in the United States, has been awarded a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant to carry out research at the MPSD for the next five years. more

A remote control for functional materials

Researchers in Hamburg have discovered that the ferroelectric polarization of lithium niobate (LiNbO3) changes in areas well away from the direct ‘hit’ of a laser pulse, with the polarization reversal occurring throughout the entire crystal. The team’s study of this hitherto unknown phenomenon - called nonlocal nonlinear phononics - has been published in Nature Physics. more

Easier interface for simulation tools

The use of simulation tools can be complicated and time-intensive. Now a research team from the MPSD and Imperial College London (UK) has developed a workflow that allows researchers to spend far less time on the syntax and data formats of the simulation package and to work with the data immediately. more

ERC Starting Grant for José J. Baldoví

Dr. José J. Baldoví, a former member of the MPSD's Theory Department and now a distinguished researcher from the Gen-T Excellence Program of the Generalitat Valenciana in the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMol) of the University of València, has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant. more

Hope Bretscher is awarded a Humboldt Fellowship

Hope Bretscher from the Ultrafast Transport in Quantum Materials Group based at the MPSD has been selected for a postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She currently investigates graphene heterostructures using on-chip THz spectroscopy. more

Humboldt Fellowship for I-Te Lu

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has awarded a Research Fellowship to I-Te Lu, who will study light-matter interaction using Quantum Electrodynamics Density Functional Theory (QEDFT) in Angel Rubio’s group at the MPSD. more

Mildred Dresselhaus Prize for Shan and Narang

Jie Shan, Professor of Applied and Engineering Physics and Physics at Cornell University (USA), and Prineha Narang, Assistant Professor of Computational Materials Science at Harvard University (USA) and currently on a research stay at the MPSD, will be awarded the Mildred Dresselhaus Prize 2021. more

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