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Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: Zhi-Xun Shen - In Search for the Next Magic Stone

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Materials demarcate periods of human civilization. The current period can be argued as defined by silicon, the magic stone that transformed the way we live. From the vantage point of the McCullough building on campus, I will discuss how the simplest implementation of the quantum theory of solid contributed to the rise of silicon, integrated circuit, Silicon Valley and the information age. I will then discuss the challenges and opportunities in materials where silicon class theory fails. The focus will be on modern spectroscopy tools in aiding the development of quantum many-body theory, by testing ideas, discovering surprises and benchmarking theories, aiming at new classes of quantum matter, in search for the next magic stone.


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