Category Archives: Quantum physics

A crystal lattice is formed by a repeated arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules. Due to the enormous amount of atoms involved it is extremely unlikely that all these will be arranged in perfect order. Some atoms will not be […]

Originally developed in the context of condensed-matter physics and based on renormalization group ideas, tensor networks have been revived thanks to quantum information theory and the progress in understanding the role of entanglement in quantum many-body systems. Ikerbasque Research Professor […]

The so-called van der Waals materials consist of two-dimensional layers bound by weak van der Waals forces. After the isolation of graphene, the field of two-dimensional van der Waals materials has experienced an explosive growth and new families of […]

For centuries, metals were employed in optical applications only as mirrors and gratings. New vistas opened up in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the discovery of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and the use of surface plasmon (collective electronic […]

We all know what an insulator is, don’t we? An insulator is any substance that is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. Both properties ussually occur as a consequence of a lack of mobile electrons.If we want to dive […]

For a successful application in spintronics of any material, a key problem is to get a reliable control of the electronic spin within it. An ideal candidate for this purpose would be any material which is non-magnetic in the bulk […]

The scattering of conduction electrons in metals owing to impurities with magnetic moments is known as the Kondo effect, after Jun Kondo, who analysed the phenomenon in 1964. This scattering increases the electrical resistance and has the consequence that, in […]

Back in 1929, theoretical physicist Hermann Weyl predicted the existence of a new elementary particle with intriguing properties. Specifically, it would be massless (like a photon), have half-integer spin (like an electron) and exist in two mirror-image versions (like left- […]

With the possible exception of Avogadro’s number, which was in reality defined and made popular by Stanislao Cannizzaro, many things in the sciences are usually named after the person who makes them popular. The Seebeck effect is an example. Originally […]

On 8 October 2013, following the discovery at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider of a new particle that appeared to be the long-sought Higgs boson predicted by the theory, it was announced that Peter Higgs and François Englert had been awarded […]