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image caption: From the left, first column: (upper figure) Cut plane view of electron bonding charge densities of an iron-phosphorus compound obtained from ab initio calculations, and (lower figure) scanning electron micrograph of fracture surface of ductile amorphous steel showing network of plastic deformation zones. Second column: Pole figures of a (002) MnAl thin film deposited on a MgO substrate. Third column: (upper) The magnetic strip domain structure of MnAl thin film revealed by Magnetic Force Microscopy image. (Lower) The detailed magnetic parallel strip domains showing the width is ~10 nm. Fourth column: Color contour map of the strongly anisotropic spin resonance neutron scattering intensity in the momentum space obtained from superconducting FeTe0.5Se0.5 whose crystal structure is shown in the inset.

Condensed matter physics seeks to understand the striking new physical properties that may emerge when very large numbers of atoms or molecules organize into solids or liquids. Research in this area has led to fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of metals, semiconductors and superconductors, as well as to the inventions of the transistor, diode laser, and integrated circuit. Condensed matter physics thus comprises the technological underpinning for the entire modern computer and communications industry. For these reasons, worldwide, this branch of physics commands the largest number of researchers, who work in academic institutions, major industrial and government laboratories, and small entrepreneurial enterprises. The problems addressed by condensed matter physicists are often interdiscplinary in nature, affecting a number of other scientific fields including chemistry, biology, electrical engineering, and materials science. The University of Virginia maintains a diverse and vigorous research program in both experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics.

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Theoretical condensed matter physicists at UVa try to arrive at a quantitative description of many unusual properties observed in novel materials and fluids. Such research includes an investigation into what makes the new generation of high-temperature superconductors work as they do, solving model problems like quantum spin chains which are believed to contain the features of newly synthesized low-dimensional metals and magnets. Studies of the structure of magnetic vortices in superconductors and the interactions that bind atoms and molecules to solid surfaces are also underway. For example, the point-contact tunneling amplitude for the fractional quantum Hall effect was recently exactly computed.

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Selected Publications in Condensed Matter Physics Theory at UVa > < Hide Publication List
  1. "Universal magnetic structure of the half-magnetization phase in Cr- based spinels", M. Matsuda, K. Ohoyama, S. Yoshii, H. Nojiri, P. Frings, F. Duc, B. Vignolle, G. L. J. A. Rikken, L. P. Regnault, S.-H. Lee, H. Ueda, Y. Ueda, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 047201 (2010).
  2. "Superconductivity in transition metal doped MoB4", J. W. Simonson, D. Wu, S. J. Poon, and S. A. Wolf, J. Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism 23, 1557 (2010).
  3. "Compressive plasticity and toughness of a Ti-based bulk metallic glass", X. J. Gu, S. J. Poon, G. J. Shiflet, and J. J. Lewandowski, Acta Materialia 58, 1708 (2010).
  4. "Relaxation dynamics of the metal-semiconductor transition in VO2 thin films", J. H. Claassen, J. W. Lu, K. G. West, S. A. Wolf, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 132102 (2010).
  5. "Transport phase diagram for superconducting thin films of tantalum with homogeneous disorder", Y. Z. Li, C. L. Vicente, J. Yoon, Phys. Rev. B 81, 020505 (2010).
  6. "Study of SF6 adsorption on graphite using infrared spectroscopy", P. Thomas, Y. Xia, D. A. Boyd, T. A. Hopkins, G. B. Hess, J. Chem. Phys. 131 (12), 124709 (2009).
  7. "Spin-lattice order in frustrated ZnCr2O4", S. Ji, S.-H. Lee, C. Broholm, T. Y. Koo, W. Ratcliff, S-W. Cheong, P. Zschack, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 037201 (2009).
  8. "Magnetic field-induced phase transitions in a weakly coupled s = 1/2 quantum spin dimer system Ba3Cr2O8", M. Kofu, H. Ueda, H. Nojiri, Y. Oshima, T. Zenmoto, K. C. Rule, S. Gerischer, B. Lake, C. D. Bastista, Y. Ueda, S.-H. Lee, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 177204 (2009).
  9. "Hidden quantum gap state in the static stripe phase of La2-xSrxCuO4", M. Kofu, S.-H. Lee, M. Fujita, H.-J. Kang, H. Eisaki, K. Yamada, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 047001 (2009).
  10. "Weakly coupled s = 1/2 quantum spin singlets in Ba3Cr2O8", M. Kofu, J.-H. Kim, S. Ji, S.-H. Lee, H. Ueda, Y. Qiu, H. J. Kang, M. Green, Y. Ueda, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 037206 (2009).
  11. "Formation of local electric dipoles with no unique polar axis in Tb3Fe5O12", Despina Louca, K. Kamazawa, T. Proffen, Phys. Rev. B 80, 214406 (2009).
  12. "High Capacity Hydrogen Absorption in Transition Metal Ethylene Complexes: consequences of nanoclustering", A. B. Phillips and B. S.Shivaram, Nanotechnology 20, 204020 (2009).
  13. "Colloquium: Electron-lattice interaction and its impact on high Tc superconductivity, V. Z. Kresin and S. A. Wolf, Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 481 (2009).
  14. "Properties of vanadium and tantalum granular oxide-metal tunnel junction fabricated by electrochemical anodization", W. Fan, D. Kirkwood, J. Lu, S. A. Wolf, Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 232110 (2009).
  15. "Multiple-Trap Correlations in the Room-Temperature Random Telegraph Signal of a Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistor". Tsz Wah (Jack) Chan , Brian Burke , Kenneth Evans , Keith Williams, Smitha Vasudevan, Mingguo Liu , Joe Campbell , Avik Ghosh, Phys. Rev. B 80, 033402 (2009).
  16. "Infrared spectroscopic study of C2F6 monolayers and bilayers on graphite", T. A. Hopkins, D.A. Boyd, Y. Xia, G. M. Shifflett, F. M. Hess, and G. B. Hess, J. Chem. Phys. 128 (15), 154714 (2008).
  17. "External magnetic field effects on a distorted kagome antiferromagnet", J.-H. Kim, S. Ji, S.-H. Lee, B. Lake, T. Yildirim, H. Nojiri, K. Habicht, Y. Qiu, K. Kiefer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 107201 (2008).
  18. "Field-induced antiferromagnetism and competition in the metamagnetic state of terbium gallium garnet", K. Kamazawa, Despina Louca, R. Morinaga, T. J. Sato, Q. Huang, J. R. D. Copley, Y. Qiu, Phys. Rev. B 78, 064412 (2008).
  19. "(Zr,Hf)Co(Sb,Sn) half-Heusler phases as high-temperature (>700 oC) p-type thermoelectric materials", S. R. Culp, S, J, Poon, V. Ponnambalam, J. Edwards, and T. M. Tritt, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 022105 (2008).
  20. "Poisson's ratio and intrinsic plasticity in metallic glasses", S. J. Poon, A. W. Zhu, and G. J. Shiflet, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 261902 (2008).
  21. "High Capacity Hydrogen Absorption in Transition Metal Ethylene Complexes Observed via Nanogravimetry", A. B. Phillips and B. S.Shivaram, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 105505 (2008).
  22. "Very large anisotropy in the dc conductivity of epitaxial VO2 thin films grown on (011) rutile TiO2", J. W. Lu, K. G. West, S. A. Wolf, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 262107 (2008).
  23. "Deep-UV Pattern generation in PMMA", Brian G Burke, Timothy J Herlihy Jr, Andrew B Spisak and Keith A Williams, Nanotechnology 19, 215301 (2008).
  24. "Quantum spin liquid states in the two dimensional kagome antiferromagnets, ZnxCu4-x(OD)6Cl2", S.-H. Lee, H. Kikuchi, Y. Qiu, B. Lake, Q. Huang, K. Habicht, K. Kiefer, Nature Materials 6, 853 (2007).
  25. "Spin-lattice instability to a fractional magnetization state in the spinel HgCr2O4", M. Matsuda, H. Ueda, A. Kikkawa, Y. Tanaka, K. Katsumata, Y. Narumi, T. Inami, Y. Ueda, S.-H. Lee, Nature Physics 3, 397 (2007).
  26. "Characterization of Nanostructures During Growth Using a Quartz Monitor", A.B. Phillips and B.S. Shivaram, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 153109 (2007).
  27. "Spin Incommensurability and Two Phase Competition in Cobaltites", D. Phelan, Despina Louca et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 235501 (2006).
  28. "Nano-magnetic droplets and implications to orbital ordering in La1-xSrxCoO3", D. Phelan, Despina Louca et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 027201 (2006).
  29. "Origin of nonlinear transport across the magnetically induced superconductor-metal-insulator transition in two dimensions", Y. Seo, Y. Qin, C. L. Vicente, K. S. Choi, J. Yoon, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 057005 (2006).
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Condensed Matter Physics Talks:

  Gia-Wei Chern   Chern: My primary research interests are in theoretical condensed matter physics with a special focus on strongly correlated electron systems. A central theme of my research is concerned with the following two questions: (i) What kind of emergent phases and collective behaviors are possible in a many-body system ? and (ii) What are their experimental manifestations ? Our approach to strongly correlated systems is based on a combination of model building, analytical calculation, and numerical simulations. Find out more about my research. More>
  Israel Klich   Klich: My main field of interest is condensed matter physics with strong overlaps with mathematical physics and field theory. My research interests include entanglement in many-body systems, the Casimir effect, topological order and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. More>
  Eugene Kolomeisky   Kolomeisky: My current research effort consists of trying to understand static and dynamic properties of low-dimensional nonuniform quantum Bose gases. The experimental observation of Bose-Einstein condensation (1995) in trapped alkali vapors has ushered in a new era of superlow-temperature physics bridging the disciplines of atomic and condensed matter physics. Today, experimentalists can produce and manipulate condensates of different sizes and various geometries, and practical applications of this new state of matter are just on the horizon. Some of these applications (ultrasensitive ... More>
  Dmytro Pesin   Pesin: A condensed matter theorist whose research focuses on quantum many-particle systems, Dmytro Pesin studies the effects of particle correlations and disorder physics in topological systems, providing guidance for material research by considering realistic aspects of topological phases. In particular, Prof. Pesin studies the effects of band ... More>
  Chi Yan Jeffrey Teo   Teo: A central theme of condensed matter physics is the study of systems with emergent collective degrees of freedom that can behave very differently from the microscopic individual constituents from which they arise. Quantum mechanics provides a further topological twist to the conventional theory. Due to strong correlation effects, the quantum ground state of a condensed matter system can be spatially entangled to an extent where its emergent quasiparticles behave so exotically that they are impossible to be realized by conventional ... More>
  Marija Vucelja   Vucelja: Marija Vucelja is a statistical physicist interested in biophysics, soft condensed matter and computational physics. She studied mixing and clustering of particles in flows; problems that are relevant for understanding the formation of rain droplets and planetesimals, clumping of pollutants on water surfaces and have many industrial applications. She derived the compressibility of surface flows and described the aggregation-disorder transition of particles in flows. Using “chaotic mixing,” she substantially accelerated specific Monte Carlo algorithms (the main numerical tools ... More>