Physics @ Berkeley
Events in Physics
Title: Physical Principles For Complex Condensed Phases From Ab Initio Quantum Mechanics    (Colloquia)
Start Date: 02/04/2013
Time: 4:15 pm
Location: 1 LeConte Hall
Speaker: Jeff Neaton
Affiliation: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Contact Person: Sarah Wittmer   (510) 642-3034

The ability to predict and control new phenomena and phases of matter can lead to new emerging physics and functionalities, as well as breakthroughs in energy and information technologies. Such abilities hinge on a basic understanding of the physical principles connecting materials properties to chemical composition and atomic structure, dimensionality, and environment. In recent years, ab initio approaches have demonstrated ability to predict measurable properties of complex materials with good accuracy and chemical specificity without adjustable empirical parameters, i.e., through approximate solutions of the many-particle quantum mechanics of a system of interacting electrons in a field of nuclei. In this talk, I will discuss predictive theoretical studies of the phase behavior, electronic properties and transport phenomena of a selected array of complex systems elemental solids, molecular-scale junctions, multiferroic oxides, and organic assemblies where the control of pressure and strain, nanostructuring, and chemical substitution have lead to new understanding of charge and energy flow in these materials of fundamental and technological interest.