George Siopsis, professor of physics.
Holography may be best known for the role it plays in security: credit cards, currency, passports and ID cards all have taken advantage of this science, which records and displays three-dimensional images. Physics Professor George Siopsis and his colleagues, however, are looking at holography to illuminate the properties of superconductors and other materials whose appeal lies in their electronic structure—collectively known as condensed matter systems. Electrons in such samples typically appear in a predictable, well-understood pattern. But when the temperature decreases to a certain, or critical, point, this pattern is interrupted by a periodic modulation, called a charge density wave, and this is where Siopsis and his collaborators have focused their attention. In the paper, “Holographic Charge Density Waves,” which appears in the August 11 issue of Physics Letters B, they explain that density waves are important because they tend to either compete or coexist with superconductivity: the phenomenon where electric current moves with no resistance. Superconductivity is of interest to science and industry because if it can be replicated at high temperatures, it could dramatically increase the efficiency of any system dependent on electricity. Through careful calculation, Siopsis and his colleagues from National Technical University of Athens in Greece have proposed the idea of a holographic charge density wave. By applying the principles of holography, which allows researchers to look at a two-dimensional superconductor and see a three-dimensional image, they hope to provide a new perspective on the properties of condensed matter systems.
Siopsis earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematical physics at Sussex University in England and holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the California Institute of Technology. He joined the UTK Physics Department in 1991. His research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Visit the “Holographic Charge Density Waves” website.
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