Physics Colloquium: High Temperature Superconductivity: Taming Serendipity

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Laura H. Greene Department of Physics and Materials Research Laboratory Center for Emergent Superconductivity University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

Colloquium: Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 4:10 p.m. Physics 0003

Abstract: As we pass the centenary of the discovery of superconductivity, the design of new and more useful superconductors remains as enigmatic as ever. As high-density current carriers with little or no power loss, high-temperature superconductors offer unique solutions to fundamental grid challenges of the 21st century and hold great promise in addressing our global energy challenge in energy production, storage, and distribution. Traditionally guided by serendipity, researchers in the field have grown into an enthusiastic global network to predictively design new superconductors. Greene will share our general guidelines and strive to convey the renewed passion we share in this international pursuit. She will also show how our point contact spectroscopy measurements aid in identifying promising candidates.

Bio: Laura H. Greene is a Swanlund Endowed Chair and a Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research is in experimental condensed matter physics, investigating strongly correlated electron systems and focusing primarily on revealing the mechanisms of unconventional superconductivity by planar-tunneling and point-contact electron spectroscopies. Her research also involves developing methods for predictive design of new families of superconductors. She is recognized for her work on superconductor/semiconductor proximity effects, elucidating the physical properties of the pure and doped high-temperature superconductors, the discovery of broken time-reversal symmetry in high-temperature superconductors, and spectroscopic studies of the electronic structure in heavy- fermion metals.

Her service to science includes presently being Vice President Elect of the American Physical Society (APS), Chair of the Division of Materials Physics (DMP) of the APS, is on the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and is Chair of the Board of Governors the for International Institute for Complex and Adaptive Matter (I2CAM). She is serving her second six-year term on the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). In the APS, she has served on Council, Executive Board, Committee on Committees, was a founding member of the Committee on Informing the Public, co-founder the new Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public (FOEP), nominating, fellowship, and multiple prize committees. She has completed two terms on the NAS Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA), and served for 13 years on the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) for the DoE. Greene has been a visiting scientist in Orsay, UCI, and Cambridge-UK, has co-chaired and advised numerous international conferences, and works with COACh- International to increase the number and career success of women and all young scientists in developing nations. Her various editorial positions include Reports on the Progress in Physics (editor-in-chief), Philosophical Transactions A, and Current Opinions in Solid State & Materials Science (COSSMS).

Greene is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Institute of Physics (U.K.), Phi Kappa Phi honor society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow, received the E.O. Lawrence Award for Materials Research from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award from APS; and the Award of Excellence from Bellcore.