James Analytis

Office: 359 Birge
Main: (510) 643-2615
Quantum Materials Laboratory Analytis Group

Job title: 

James Analytis joined the faculty in January 2013 as the Charles Kittel Chair in condensed matter physics, and served as Department Chair from 2020-2023. He received his B.Sc. in physics from Canterbury University in 2001 and his D. Phil. from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes' Scholar in 2006. At Oxford, he worked with Stephen Blundell and Arzhang Ardavan on experimental and computational studies of quasi-two dimensional organic superconductors. Following his graduate studies, Analytis was a Lloyd's Tercentenary Fellow at the University of Bristol, where he worked on understanding the nature of anisotropic scattering in cuprate superconductors. In 2008 he became a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University where he worked on both pnictide superconductors and topological insulators. Analytis' current interests are unconventional superconductors, quantum critical systems, frustrated magnets and topological spintronics.

As Department Chair, Analytis created the Pi2 undergraduate fellowship program, the Physics Innovation Lab, and drove a number of transformative reforms in graduate admissions, the graduate PhD program, undergraduate mentoring, departmental finances and initiated new approaches to faculty hiring to ensure our department remained at the forefront of academic institutions. Analytis led the department through the peak of the SARS-COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining the department's mission to provide a world class education to aspiring scientists and engineers.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the discovery and understanding of exotic materials manifesting novel quantum phenomena that have both fundamental and technological implications, particularly superconductors, exotic magnets and topological insulators. Many of the physical problems I am interested in transcend a single material, and in my view each compound can lend a new insight into a given question. Where possible, my strategy is to use materials as a tool to get to scientifically important problems by designing and tuning their properties.
Our understanding of condensed matter physics is driven by the discovery of new materials. Before the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in the cuprates, few would have suspected that oxides would harbor such a variety of quantum properties, and before the availability of high-mobility GaAs, none predicted the spectacular properties of the fractional quantum Hall states. My lab's focus is to create materials with properties that are at the boundary of our understanding of condensed matter physics.
The present focus of my lab is in primarily three questions: (i) can we understand the properties of a system near a quantum critical point in a universal manner, or does it depend on the details? (ii) how are interactions between quantum particles affected by their geometry (their “topological” properties)? (iii) can we manipulate the properties of a material so that its quantum nature can be observed at ordinary temperatures and pressures?.