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Humboldt Awardees Explore Superconductivity at SLAC and Abroad
Public Lecture Tonight: Deep Secrets of the Neutrino—Physics Underground

SLAC Today

Tuesday - March 23, 2010

Humboldt Awardees Explore Superconductivity at SLAC and Abroad

Postdoc Patrick Kirchmann recently won the Feodor Lynen award from the Humboldt Foundation. He is shown here in a SIMES lab. (Photo by Julie Karceski.)

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has recognized two more members of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science with research awards, in addition to the recent fellowship award to Anders Nilsson. The foundation's prestigious awards offer researchers with notable achievements opportunities to do potentially groundbreaking research in German universities and abroad. For SIMES researchers Tom Devereaux and Patrick Kirchmann, that involves exploring the mechanism of superconductivity in a recently-discovered class of superconductors, iron pnictides.

Devereaux, a former Humboldt Fellow, received a Humboldt Foundation Prize, given to alumni fellows to support a long-term research project. Devereaux shares the prize with long-time collaborator Rudi Hackl from the Walther-Meissner-Institut in Germany. The prize provides support for research projects of the recipient's choosing. Devereaux will work on developing theories of an X-ray based materials research method called advanced light scattering spectroscopy and its applications for the study of superconductivity. Along with Hackl, he will spend part of his fellowship at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich, Germany.

Newly arrived SIMES post doctoral researcher Patrick Kirchmann received the Humboldt Foundation's Feodor Lynen Fellowship. The Lynen award provides German postdocs with up to two years of support for research work abroad, under the guidance of a previous Humboldt fellow. The prize has allowed Kirchmann to travel here from the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin to work at SIMES. 

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(Poster by SLAC InfoMedia Solutions.)

Public Lecture Tonight: Deep Secrets of the Neutrino—Physics Underground

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, SLAC researcher Peter Rowson will discuss his work with the Enriched Xenon Observatory here at SLAC and deep in a New Mexico salt mine, with a SLAC public lecture, "Deep Secrets of the Neutrino: Physics Underground."

Among the many beautiful, unexpected and sometimes revolutionary discoveries to emerge from subatomic physics, probably none is more bizarre than an elementary particle known as the "neutrino." More than a trillion of these microscopic phantoms pass unnoticed through our bodies every second, and indeed, through the entire Earth, but their properties remain poorly understood. In recent years, exquisitely sensitive experiments, often conducted deep below ground, have brought neutrino physics to the forefront. In this talk, Rowson will explore the neutrino—what we know, what we want to know, and how one experiment in a New Mexico mine is trying to get there.

Overflow space will be available in Kavli Auditorium. The event is free and open to all!


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