Sunday, March 21, 2010
March Meeting wrap-up
The March Meeting is over, and overall it was good, as usual, and far too large, as usual. Clearly the favorite topics this year were topological insulators, graphene, and iron pnictide superconductors. On Thursday I did see a very good invited session on scanned probe microscopy, including examinations of vortices in the iron pnictides (among other things) and careful measurements of spin excitations at the atomic scale (that last being a substitute talk by Prof. Hla of Ohio University). I had good discussions with colleagues from other places, got some good ideas for different experimental techniques, and looked at all the gadgets being hawked by vendors. Clearly the era of the cryogen-free dilution refrigerator is upon us, if you can actually get any 3He, have a spare couple of hundred thousand dollars, and can support a 6-10 kW compressor. I was disappointed by turnout at an invited session that I'd helped organize (more in a separate post), but it was up against a session with talks by three Nobel laureates. On the return flight, I had a fun time talking with the neighboring passenger, the drummer for Ra Ra Riot, on his way to a gig in Austin. Good to be home, though.
Posted by Douglas Natelson at 2:13 PM