Winter 2009 Newsletter


In this Issue

A Message from the Chair

New materials and novel devices are the basis for much (if not all) of the interesting work done in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics and is the main justification for the construction of large machines such as synchrotrons and neutron sources. Much new physics arose by the discovery of new phenomena in materials including superconductivity, magnetism, ferroelectricity, multiferroic, nanoscience, etc. Thus Materials Physics continuously has brought excitement and new ideas to Physics.

In spite of this, the importance of Materials Physics needs further articulating for our colleagues in the field and for the public in general. The Materials Physics Division has started some activities in this direction with the expectation that these will continue in the future.

Extension to the Physics Community. A special symposium connecting Materials Physics to other areas of science and the arts has become a tradition at the March meeting. This year there will be two symposia dedicated to this subject:

Session Q3: Physics and Culture-Sponsored by DMP
11:15 AM–2:15 PM, Wednesday, March 18, 2009, Convention Center Room - 301/302

Session W5: Physics Meets Art-Sponsored by the FPS
11:15 AM–1:39 PM, Thursday, March 19, 2009, Convention Center Room - 401/402

Extension to the General Public This has not been pursued by DMP and probably some activities in geared towards this would be helpful to the field. The public has little idea of what we do and what is the importance of our type of physics. The APS has started some activities in this direction through the Committee on Informing the Public. This committee is trying to compile a list of outreach activities on a single web page. Please send to Rebecca Thompson-Flagg of the APS,, any ongoing outreach activities you are involved in. Include the name of the activity, the web address if any, the name of the individual in charge, and a brief description of the activity. They are interested in any programs that are designed to bring the excitement and importance of physics to an audience beyond the physics community.

Student Travel Awards. Young students are the basis for the vital future of the field. We have been very lucky to receive funds to start a new student travel award. See below.

Looking forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh,

Ivan K. Schuller, Chair
Division of Materials Physics

Call for DMP Focus Session Topics for 2010 APS March Meeting

The excitement of our field is manifest from the large number of Focus Topics in areas of active research. Each March Meeting new topics are added and mature topics are discontinued. Even as we prepare for the 2009 APS March Meeting, we are seeking suggestions for new Focus Session Topics for the 2010 APS March Meeting. Your contribution is essential for this process. We welcome your proposal for new Focus Topics in new, vibrant areas of research in the field. A Focus Topic generally consists of a series of sessions, each of which is typically seeded with one invited talk, the remainder of the session being composed of contributed presentations. Suggestions received before the 2009 March Meeting would receive the most consideration. Your suggestions should provide the following information:

Title of the Focus Topic

The nominator’s name, affiliation, phone number and e-mail address

Suggested possible session organizers

A one paragraph description of the scope of the session.

Please send a copy to Robert Nemanich (, the DMP organizer of Focus Topics.

New members of the Executive Committee

The following members were elected to serve in the DMP Executive Committee

Vice-Chair: Peter Schiffer
Councilor: Ted Einstein
Member-at-Large: David Sellmyer
Member-at-Large: Nicola Spaldin

We congratulate the new members of the Executive Committee and look forward to their leadership.

March Meeting: Location

The 2009 March Meeting of the APS will take place, March 16-20, 2009 in Pittsburgh, PA. The headquarters hotel is the Westin Convention Center Hotel, which is connected to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center by a skywalk.

Scientific sessions for the March Meeting will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. All non-technical APS-sponsored and satellite meetings will take place at the Westin. Bussing will be provided to the convention center from all hotels not within walking distance.

March Meeting: DMP Sponsored Meetings

The Division of Materials Physics will sponsor the following meetings during the 2009 March meeting in Pittsburgh. This is your opportunity to interact with the Executive Committee and to become informed of the activities of the Division.

Westin Convention Center Hotel, 1000 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222, United States, Phone (412) 281-3700, Fax (412) 227-4500 or at the Convention Center.


DCMP/DMP/DCOMP/DCP New Fellows and Awards Reception
Westin Hotel - Allegheny II-III
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Session M43
DMP Business Meeting
Westin Hotel - Fayette
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The American Physical Society-Division of Materials Physics Iris Ovshinsky Student Travel Awards

The Iris Ovshinsky Student Travel Awards was set up to assist in the career of young researchers. The Awards are named after Iris Ovshinsky who had a very strong interest and commitment to scientific education. It was endowed in perpetuity by the Ovshinsky family, their colleagues at Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) companies and all their numerous friends from many social, intellectual and business relationships.

There will be ten $500 awards each year for students to participate in APS meetings which are sponsored by the Division of Materials Physics. The recipients will be chosen from suggestions from the physics community in general. Preference will be given to invited speakers at these meetings. The selection committee will consist of the following officers of the Division of Materials Physics: Treasurer, Vice Chair and Past Chair.

Nominations must be made 2 months before the meeting for which the Travel Award is requested and should include:

  • 1 page vita, including publication list
  • Abstract to be presented at the meeting.

The Awards will be presented at the March meeting during the New Fellows and Awards Reception, usually Tuesday 5:30-7:00 p.m.

We are extremely grateful to the Ovshinsky family for this award. Special thanks go to Prof. Brian Schwartz who has made this award possible and for all his efforts on behalf of Materials Physics over the years.

The winners of the 2009 Iris Ovshinsky Student Travel Awards for Materials Physics are:

  1. S. Byrnes, UC Berkeley, “Understanding and Controlling Photovoltaic Effects in Complex Oxide Thin Films”
  2. Daniel Ward, Rice U., “Single molecule surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy in nanogap structures”
  3. Sarah Thomas, Alabama U., “EPR Study of SiC Defects Related to N2 and O2 Annealing.”
  4. Mohamed Majdoub, U. Houston, “Flexoelectricity in nanostructures and ramifications for the dead-layer effect in nanocapacitors and ‘giant’ piezoelectricity”
  5. Jaekwang Lee, The University of Texas, “Electrically controlled magnetization in tricolor superlattices”
  6. Mona Zebarjadi, UC Santa Cruz, “Nanostructured materials design for thermoelectric applications”
  7. Rolando Valdes Aguilar, University of Maryland, “Origin of electromagnons in multiferroic manganites”
  8. Young Jai Choi, Rutgers U., “Ferroelectric magnets: a Conical Spiral and an Ising Chain”
  9. Hugh Churchill, Harvard U., “Relaxation and dephasing in a two-electron 13C nanotube double quantum dot”
  10. Jack Deslippe, UC Berkeley, “Nonlinear Optical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes from First Principles”

March Meeting: DMP Sponsored Symposia & Special Events

Session D3: Pake, McGroddy, and Industrial Application of Physics Prizes, Adler Award
Monday March 16, 2009, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Convention Center Room - 301/302
Chair: Mark Lee, Sandia National Laboratories

  • D3.00001: George E. Pake Prize: Kosterlitz-Thouless Transitions, Weak Localization, Aharonov-Bohm Oscillations, Heavy Fermions, Flux Lattice Melting, Casimir Forces and other Pleasures from a Career in Low Temperature Physics: David Bishop
  • D3.00002: Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics: The Inverse Scattering Problem and the role of measurements in its solution: Philip Wyatt
  • D3.00003: James C. McGroddy Prize: Metallic Glasses: William Johnson
  • D3.00004: James C. McGroddy Prize: Development and Applications of Bulk Metallic Glasses: Akihisa Inoue
  • D3.00005: David Adler Lectureship: n-point Correlation Functions in Heterogeneous Materials: Salvatore Torquato

Special Evening Symposium - Session G1: Energy and the Environment
Monday, March 16, 2009, 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Convention Center, Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom A

  • The Flow of Energy Through the Climate System and Changes with Global Warming: Kevin E. Trenberth

APS Prizes & Awards Ceremonial Session

Monday, March 16, 2009, 5:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Convention Center - Room 301/302

  • Prizes and awards will be bestowed on several individuals for outstanding contributions to physics. Please plan on attending the Awards Program and join us in honoring these individuals. The names of the awards and awardees will be included in the printed program distributed at the meeting.
  • The Welcome Reception will begin immediately following the Awards Program.

DCMP/DMP/DCOMP/DCP New Fellows and Awards Reception
Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Westin Hotel - Allegheny II-III

Session M43: DMP Business Meeting
Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Westin Hotel - Fayette
Chair: Ivan Schuller, Univ. California, San Diego

Session Q3: Physics and Culture
Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 11:15 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.
David L. Lawrence Convention Center Room - 301/302
Chair: Charles Falco, University of Arizona

  • Q3.00001: Computerized Comparison and Analysis of Vincent van Gogh's Painting Brushstrokes: James Z. Wang
  • Q3.00002: Prime-Time Science: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship?: Jennifer Ouellette
  • Q3.00003: Hollywood Science: Good for Hollywood, Bad for Science?: Sidney Perkowitz
  • Q3.00004: The Physics of the Blues: J. Murray Gibson
  • Q3.00005: Joys and Pain in Making a Science Movie: Ivan Schuller

 Special Session T45: Funding Opportunities at National Science Foundation
Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 5:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Convention Center Room 316

  • T45: Funding Opportunities at National Science Foundation: Zakya H. Kafafi

Special Session T46: Funding Opportunities at Department of Energy
Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 6:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
Convention Center Room - 315

  • T46: Funding opportunities at DOE will be presented, followed by a question and answer period: Harriet Kung

Session W5: Physics Meets Art
Thursday, March 19, 2009, 11:15 a.m. – 1:39 p.m.
Convention Center Room - 401/402
Chair: Philip Taylor, Case Western Reserve University

  • W5.00001: Quasicrystals in Medieval Islamic Architecture: Peter Lu
  • W5.00002: The Story of the Water Cube: Denis Weaire
  • W5.00003: The Drip Paintings of Jackson Pollock: Are They Really fractal? Katherine Jones-Smith
  • W5.00004: Learning from Monet: A Fundamentally New Approach to Image Analysis: Charles M. Falco

March Meeting: Tutorials

Pre-registration only – NO ON SITE REGISTRATION

Sunday, March 15, 2009
David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Tutorial Program Chair: Mark Johnson, NRL, Washington, DC

Morning Tutorials
Convention Center
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Tutorial #1
Room 308 - Bose-Einstein Condensation and Degenerate Fermi Gases
Tutorial #2
Room 315/316 - Graphene
Tutorial #3
Room 305 - Plasmonics
Tutorial #4
Room 309 - Terahertz Spectroscopy and Its Applications

Afternoon Tutorials
Convention Center
1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tutorial #5
Room 301/302 - Spintronics: Physics and Device Applications
Tutorial #6
Room 315/316 - Emergent Phenomena in Complex Oxides
Tutorial #7
Room 305 - Nanomagnetism
Tutorial #8
Room 303/304 - Advances in Josephson Qubits

March Meeting: Tutorial for Authors and Referees

Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Convention Center - Room 408

Editors from Physical Review Letters and Physical Review will provide information and tips for our less experienced referees and authors. This session is aimed at anyone looking to submit to or review for any of the APS journals, as well as anyone who would like to learn more about the authoring and refereeing processes.
Topics for discussion will include:

  • Advice on how to write good manuscripts
  • Similarities and differences in writing referee reports for PRL and PR
  • Ways in which authors, referees, and editors can work together productively

Following a short presentation from the editors, there will be a moderated discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Physics Q & A will immediately follow this tutorial.

Award and Prize Winners

David Adler Lectureship Award

Salvatore Torquato, Princeton University
Citation: For his highly original and deep studies of n-point correlation functions in heterogeneous materials and his outstanding communication of these results through publication and public presentation.

James C. McGoddy Prize for New Materials

Akihisa Inoue, Institute for Materials Research
Citation: For the development of slow cooling methods for the fabrication of bulk metallic glasses with remarkable mechanical properties and the characterization and application of these materials.
William L. Johnson, Caltech
Citation: For the development of slow cooling methods for the fabrication of bulk metallic glasses with remarkable mechanical properties and the characterization and application of these materials.

Fellows nominated by DMP:

Long-Qing Chen, Pennsylvania State University
Citation: For pioneering contributions to the field of computational materials physics in developing models for mesoscale microstructure evolution during solid-state phase transformations.

Wai-Yim Ching, University of Missouri
Citation: For his contributions to the theory and methods of electronic structure and spectroscopic properties of materials, especially in complex ceramic crystals and their microstructures including grain boundaries, interfaces and defects.

Stephen Forrest, University of Michigan
Citation: For contributions to the fundamental understanding of the thin film growth, and physics of excitons in organic materials, leading to the demonstration of high efficiency organic light emitting devices, organic photovoltaics and organic lasers.

Chong Long Fu, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Citation: For outstanding contributions to the fundamental understanding of the electronic, magnetic, and structural properties of metallic and intermetallic systems based on accurate first-principles calculations and to the development of novel high temperature intermetallics and nanocluster strengthened alloys for structural applications.

Robert Hwang, Sandia National Laboratory
Citation: For his pioneering experiments on metal-on-metal epitaxy leading to fundamental advances in understanding the structure of thin metal films, and for his exceptional service in the advocacy of nanoscience in the United States.

Qi Li, Pennsylvania State University
Citation: For her seminal contributions to the development and understanding of high Tc superconducting superlattices, novel magnetoresistance in strained ferromagnetic oxides, and superconductivity in magnesium diboride thin films.

Seth R. Marder, Georgia Institute of Technology
Citation: For seminal contributions to the understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and nonlinear optical properties of organic materials.

Dan A. Neumann, NIST
Citation: For seminal studies of the structure and dynamics of new carbon-based materials and critical leadership serving the U.S. neutron scattering community.

Tae Won Noh, Seoul National University
Citation: For his contributions to the understanding of oxide ferroelectric thin films and optical properties of oxides with strong electron correlations.

Amanda Petford-Long, Argonne National Laboratory
Citation: For incisive electron microscopy and atom probe microscopy studies of structure-property relationships in thin films and nanostructures, with emphasis on magnetic nanostructures with applications in information storage technology.

Simon R. Phillpot, University of Florida
Citation: For sustained contributions to developing microscopic mechanistic understanding of interfacial phenomena in materials using atomic-level simulations methods, in particular thermal transport behavior.

Apparao M. Rao, Clemson University
Citation: For developing methods of synthesizing carbon nanotubes with controlled morphologies, and for elucidating the properties of carbon nanotubes and photopolymerized C60 through Raman spectroscopy.

Lars Samuelson, Lund University
Citation: For his fundamental and wide ranging contributions to low-dimensional epitaxial semiconductor nanostructures and in particular semiconductor nanowires. His work has led to a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms governing nanowire growth and to the realization of radically new nanostructures with broad device applications.

DMP Executive Committee

The Executive Committee Officers for the 2009-2010 year, who begin their terms immediately following the March meeting in Pittsburgh, are:

Chair: R. Ramesh (03/09 – 02/10)
University of California, Berkeley

Chair-Elect: Robert Nemanich (03/09 – 02/10)
Arizona State University

*Vice Chair: Peter Schiffer (03/09 – 02/10)
Penn State University

Past Chair: Ivan K. Schuller (03/09 – 02/10)
University of California, San Diego

Secretary/Treasurer: Chris Palmstrøm (03/08-02/11)
University of California, Santa Barbara

Councillor: Theodore L Einstein (01/09 - 12/12)
University of Maryland-College Park


Julie Borchers (03/08 - 02/11)
Natl. Inst. of Stds. & Tech.-NIST

Daniel Stephen Dessau (03/08 - 02/11)
University of Colorado – Boulder

Laura H Greene (03/07-02/10)
University of Illinois

Franz J Himpsel (03/07-02/10)
University of Wisconsin

* David J. Sellmyer (03/09 – 02/12)
University of Nebraska

*Nicola Spaldin (03/09 – 02/12)
Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

*Newly elected

About 16% of DMP members voted in the recent election.

DMP thanks Jeff Lynn, who will be stepping down as Past Chair after 4 years of service and Frances Ross and John Tranquada, who leave positions as Members-at-Large. Their terms will end at the close of the March Meeting in Pittsburgh.