Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Philip Kim visits Rice; I visit MSU.

Philip Kim visited Rice last week as one of our nanoscience-themed Chapman Lecturers, and it was great fun to talk science with him.  He gave two talks, the first a public lecture about graphene and the second a physics colloquium at a more technical level about how electrons in graphene act in many ways, like ultrarelativistic particles.  It was in this second talk that he gave the first truly clear explanation I've ever heard of the microscopic origin of the "pseudospin" description of carriers in graphene and what it means physically.  It got me thinking hard about the physics, that's for sure.

In the mean time, I spent yesterday visiting the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State.  They have a very good, enthusiastic condensed matter group there, with three hires in the last couple of years.  It was very educational for me, particularly learning about some of the experimental techniques that are being developed and used there.  Anyone who can measure resistances of 10-8 Ohms to parts in 105 gets respect!  Thanks to everyone who made the visit so nice.

3 comments:

Aaron said...

What did you think of the new physics building (I guess it is at least 5 years old now)?

Doug Natelson said...

Hey Aaron - Norman Birge sends his regards. It's a nice building, though it sounds like the science library on the first floor may be about to get displaced to make way for some kind of "center". The lab space seems well arranged.

sharat said...

sir, can u please some throw some light on how electrons behave in graphene.