Scientific Symposium: Convergence Research at High Magnetic Fields
January 10, 2020
Tallahassee, FL, USA
The scientific symposium entitled Convergence Research at High Magnetic Fields took place on January 10, 2020 in Tallahassee. Twelve prominent scientists gave high-level science talks, explicitly showing how research on, and utilizing, magnets remains exciting, ever growing, and ever broadening.
Nobel Laureate Bob Laughlin chose to focus on the impact the MagLab director, Greg Boebinger, has had on the entire field of quantum matter, while still driving fundamental research the fields of spin physics (e.g., NMR and other resonance techniques), the structure and dynamics of the macromolecular components of life, energy, and the environment. It was an exciting way to open the symposium educating the audience how diverse areas of research can be gained from each other; hence the convergence. Eric Isaacs from the Carnegie Institute focused on terrestrial and extraterrestrial magnetism; quite a different take from the usual MagLab work, and extremely intriguing. Many of the other talks were at the forefront of quantum materials, including topological matter, Majorana fermions, van der Waals ferromagnets, multiferroics, the search and possible identification of quantum spin liquids, and 2D materials – one talk was more exciting than the next. A particularly outstanding talk was that given by Myriam Sarachik, this year’s winner of the APS Medal of Exceptional Achievement: She focused on the process of identifying possible quantum critical points (QCPs) in 2D materials and showed how her careful measurements indicated that the metal-insulator transition was NOT a QCP!
The Fraunfelder rules were obeyed meticulously which was not difficult to do since there was a great deal of discussion during and after every talk – the entire day was extremely lively and inspiring.