Katayun Barmak, Philips Electronics Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and Materials Science and Engineering, was the program co-chair, together with Dr. Atsufumi Hirohata of the University of York, UK, of the 13th Joint Magnetism and Magnetic Materials and Intermag Conference. The Conference was held in San Diego, CA, January 11-15, 2016, and with over 1800 attendees from 50 countries and 1850 oral and poster presentations, it was one of the largest Joint Conferences in its history.
Physicists have long been fascinated by the behavior & properties of light. That drive to understand light & harness its frequencies led to inventions including X-ray & strobe technology & the laser, all of which have expanded the boundaries of science, medicine, industry, & defense. Researchers like Alexander Gaeta, David M. Rickey Professor of Applied Physics & of Materials Science, study nonlinear optics, or how light interacts with matter. By doing so, they uncover new ways to use light, from getting a closer look at ultrafast processes in physics, biology & chemistry, to enhancing communication & navigation, medical testing, & security.
In the realm of nanotechnology, theorists like Chris Marianetti, associate professor of materials science and applied physics and applied mathematics, are particularly important in helping understand how the subatomic world works in complex scenarios. To better understand and explain what happens on the nanoscale, theorists use quantum mechanics, the mathematical description of the motion and interaction of subatomic particles. The core equation in quantum mechanics is the Schrödinger equation.
Katayun Barmak is aiming to define structure-property relationships of metals in engineered high-tech systems like data storage, integrated circuits, and advanced permanent magnets. As an experimental materials scientist, Barmak spends the majority of her time in the lab, peering into electron microscopes to study the very minute, nanometric-scale structure of materials, with the hope of finding the link between their structure— for example, the three-dimensional arrangement of the nanocrystals—and their properties, whether it’s electrical conductivity or magnetic hardness.
With the right material, batteries might one day store enough solar energy to power cities, and unconventional drugs might quickly be absorbed in the body to fight cancer. Nanotechnology, the science of manipulating atoms and molecules to make materials with new and useful properties, has the potential to change how we get energy, treat disease and more. Prof. Simon Billinge is on a hunt for the next wonder material.