This week the SPICE Workshop on Magnetic Adatoms as Building Blocks for Quantum Magnetism took place. Scientific Organizers Cristian Batista, Joaquín Fernández-Rossier and Sander Otte and SPICE co-organizer Jairo Sinova brought together the communities of quantum magnetism and surface nanomagnetism, two areas that have shared little common activity so far. However, recent developments promise new potential synergies. Innovations in scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) now permit probing and fabricating spin chains and many other artificial spin systems, providing a new ground to explore quantum magnetism phenomena. This week, at Schloß Waldthausen, the participants from the quantum magnetism community learned about the exciting new possibilities to explore quantum magnetism in nano engineered spin chains. The surface magnetism community got insight into the fascinating physical concepts that are being explored in quantum magnetism. Together they exchanged ideas and shared their scientific perspectives to advance this research front. The program lasted 4 days and included three types of talks:
1. School-like invited lectures, 50+10 minute discussion, tutorial style covering well established results, trying to reach the non-experts.
2. Workshop-like 25+5m invited talks, presenting results that are potentially appealing for the two communities.
3. Contributed talks (15+5m) with recent developments in these rapidly evolving fields.
There was a total of 7 tutorials, distributed over the program and followed by focused shorter talks. In addition, poster sessions were an important part of the program.
Since August 3rd, the SPICE Workshop for young research leaders from various fields within condensed matter physics has been taking place. Last Sunday, the elite of the next generation from diverse Institutes around the globe met in Kloster Johannesburg for a new kind of workshop. It is the first international and interdisciplinary conference exclusively highlighting young research leaders and their research. The workshop format includes detailed introductory talks followed by more technical presentations as well as group interaction. As it was particularly important to the organisers to provide enough time for the participants to fruitfully interact, the second week of the meeting is completely dedicated to studying and learning from each other in groups. This format combined with the unique venue of Kloster Johannisburg provides an ideal platform for young researchers to share their knowledge and ideas across disciplines, start new and increasing collaborations, and define the questions and topics of tomorrow. The participants are researchers, who are still at early stages of their careers but already have highly regarded research profiles.
The main theme of this first workshop is to explore frontiers with strongly correlated and topological mesoscopic systems. The specific topics include:
nonlinear, helical, spiral Luttinger liquids and quantum Hall edge states;
From June 29 to July 2, the second official SPICE Workshop took place in Schloß Waldthausen. An international group of 51 participants from different disciplines came together in the scenic castle to share their expertise on a new class of materials known as bad metals and its behavior in Mott Systems. This fundamental emergent physics topic is now being applied in the design and fabrication of new devices such as resistance-switching devices, novel power transistors, as well as “synaptic” devices that mimic the function of the neuron, to name just a few of the possibilities. Yet, The so-called “Bad-metal” behavior phenomenon is often viewed as one of the key unresolved signatures of strong correlation physics. Thirty-two invited speakers from different European countries, Japan, the USA, China, India and Brasil contributed their perspectives on the fundamental issues associated with the new type of phase transition observed in Bad Metals, and its many consequences for material science and technology. Furthermore, 19 poster presentations and four tutorials were given.
From May 22 to 26, the SPICE Workshop on Computational Quantum Magnetism took place. The who is who of researchers in the field met in the scenic setting of Schloß Waldthausen which lies in Lennebergwald, a natural reserve in immediate vicinity to Mainz. 64 participants from 42 affiliations in 19 countries came together to spent five days working on the most advanced computational techniques to study complex magnetic materials to examine the latest developments and challenges. The intensive program covering a wide range of aspects connected to Computational Quantum Magnetism incorporated various scientific talks and tutorials, as well as a poster session with numerous contributions from the students.
Yesterday, Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch, the president of Johannes Gutenberg-Universität and Prof. Dr. Jairo Sinova, director of SPICE, inaugurated the Spin Phenomena Interdisciplinary Center at the festive opening ceremony in the tradition-steeped hall of Atrium Maximum. After more than a year of getting settled and building up the Center, Sinova and his team now officially start tackling their mission. In his speech, Sinova defined that mission as the advancement of spin related materials science by globally connecting nature, cultures and people. The ambitious goal that Sinova has set for the next five years is to reduce the time span between scientific discoveries that require multiple disciplines. SPICE has set out to accomplish this by initiating and promoting the systematical interdisciplinary integration of complementary fields.
Sinova particularly stressed his appreciation for the support this project receives from JGU, Rheinland-Pflanz and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. These ideal conditions, he said, enabled him to pursue this goal and to make a contribution to establishing Mainz as a magnet for international top scientists and as a globally renowned center of materials science. In his welcome speech, President Krausch pointed out the outstanding job the Ministry has done facilitating Sinova's transfer from Texas A&M to JGU and wished SPICE a good start and success for the realisation of its vision.
It was an honour for Prof. Dr. Sinova and Prof. Dr. Krausch to welcome Dr. Hesse, the general secretary of the Humboldt Foundation and State Secretary Deufel from the Ministry of Science, Education and Culture of Rheinland-Pfalz. Both gave speeches expressing their esteem for Humboldt Professor Sinova and for JGU as a location of scientific excellence and wished the SPICE team all the best on their mission. Last but not least, Prof. Dr. Neubert, director of the MITP and coordinator of the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence announced plans for a synergetic collaboration between the MITP and SPICE. He pointed out the parallels between Sinova and himself. He too is a member of the Humboldt family, he too spent most of his career in the US and he shares the enthusiasm for teamwork and networking, Sinova appealed to when he said:
"It is together that we can globally connect nature, cultures, and people. It is together that we can make Mainz and Germany a magnet for the top dynamic scientists in the world. It is together that we can move minds and cross boundaries."
Today the SPICE organizational team and Matthias Neubert, Director of the Mainz Institute for Theoretical Physics, Heidi Stein, Head of Administration and Tobias Hurth, MITP Scientific Coordinator, met to discuss possibilities of intensifying the collaboration between the two research Centers and exploring potential synergies. All this while taking a nine course culinary tour through Sinova's home country, Spain. Besides research and teaching, making work a fun and entertaining experience is one of Sinova's great passions.
We are very happy to have Professors Ora Entin-Wohlman and Amnon Aharony from Tel Aviv University/Ben Gurion University as our guests. Prof. Entin-Wohlman gave a talk on “Thermoelecticity in nano-junctions” and Prof. Aharony shared his knowledge about "how to write and read quantum information on mobile qubits."
We had the pleasure to welcome Thierry Valet on February 11 and 12. If it was that he was not completely unaware of German Carnival traditions, we do not know. In any case, he was lucky not to wear a tie when he took off for a meeting with Jairo Sinova and Matthias Kläui. Mr Valet is known for the Valet-Fert Theory and Model on giant magnetoresistance in CPP geometry and the application of his research in spin engineering.