Materials, Energy and Life: The State of the Art of High Magnetic Field Research

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Date/Time:Monday, 14 Oct 2013 from 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:Physics 0003
Phone:515-294-5441
Channel:Colloquium
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Greg Boebinger (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory)

The MagLab exists to provide its international user community with unique magnets and expertise spanning condensed matter physics, materials research, chemistry, biochemistry and biology. We generate magnetic fields exceeding two million times the Earth's magnetic field. This talk seeks to answer the question, "Why would anyone want to do such a thing?" Well... a magnetic field is one of the few thermodynamic variables that can be applied in situ, rapidly, reversibly and with infinite tunability. It probes energy scales, length scales, phase coherence and commensurabilities of both charge and spin degrees of freedom. In addition, a magnetic field is a vector quantity, which only adds to the fun.

Illustrative examples from the portfolio of user research will include:
- materials: tweaking macroscopic quantum phenomena in a high-temperature superconductor and a magnetic Bose-Einstein condensate;
- energy: analyzing nature's most complex fluid, petroleum, using ion cyclotron resonance; and
- life: using quantum dots and sodium to revolutionize magnetic resonance imaging.

Jokes will very likely be told.


Gregory Boebinger is the Director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and Professor of Physics at the Florida State University. He obtained his Bachelor Degrees in Physics, Electrical Engineering and Philosophy in 1981 from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Physics in 1986 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a year in Paris at the Ecole Normale Superieure as NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, he joined the staff at the Bell Laboratories where he established a unique pulsed magnetic field facility capable to generate magnetic fields up to 60 teslas, more than one-million times the Earth's magnetic field. For this research he was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1996. In 1998 Dr. Boebinger become head of the pulsed magnet laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the three campuses of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab). In 2004 he moved to Florida State University to become director of the MagLab, with responsibility for all three campuses: the headquarters at Florida State, the pulsed magnetic lab at Los Alamos and the ultra-low temperature and magnetic resonance imaging laboratories at the University of Florida. His work continues to focus on high-temperature superconductivity.