Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
Everything around us — everything each of us has ever experienced and virtually everything underpinning our technological society and economy — is governed by quantum mechanics. Yet this most fundamental physical theory of nature often feels like a set of somewhat eerie and counterintuitive ideas of no direct relevance to our lives. Why is this? One reason is that we cannot perceive the strangeness (and astonishing beauty) of the quantum mechanical phenomena all around us by using our own senses.
Dr. Davis will describe the recent development of techniques that allow the imaging of electronic quantum phenomena directly at the atomic scale. As examples, he will visually explore the previously unseen and very beautiful forms of quantum matter making up electronic liquid crystals [1,2] and high-temperature superconductors [3,4] and find that they are closely relayed. The implications for fundamental physics research, and also for advanced materials and new technologies, arising from development and application of these quantum matter visualization techniques will be discussed.
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