Professor Alexander Balatsky will be joining Nordita in September 2012.
His field of research is theoretical condensed matter physics where he has made a number of seminal contributions. His recent work has mainly been in strongly correlated materials, unconventional superconductivity, and biomolecular electronics.
Professor Balatsky received his PhD in 1987 at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics and Moscow Physical Technical Institute in Moscow. He comes to Nordita from Los Alamos National Laboratory and has previously held positions at the Landau Institute and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
John S. Wettlaufer, the A.M. Bateman Professor at Yale University, and currently a Wenner Gren visiting professor at Nordita (see the Nordita News 2011, Issue 2), was awarded the Tage Erlander Guest Professorship 2012. A condensed matter theorist, John's expertise lies in, among other things, surface and size effects in melting and freezing, pattern formation and stability of moving boundaries, applied mathematics and fluid dynamics, and the statistical physics of soft matter. His work has implications in astrophysics, biophysics and geophysics.
The holder of the chair is appointed by invitation from the Swedish Research Council. Since its inception, this prestigious award has been given to accomplished scientists covering a broad range of topics including mathematics, signal processing, applied physics, theoretical biology, nuclear physics, and chemistry. Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalists and members of many National Academies of Science are included in the list of past Erlander Professors.
John's term will be spent at Nordita where with collaborators and students he plans to study the surface phase transitions underlying planetary accretion, the statistical physics of rapid climate change, and lattice Boltzmann methods for electromagnetism and fluid dynamics.
Three new postdoctoral fellows arrived at Nordita in October.
Dr. Dmitri Bykov received his PhD from Trinity College Dublin in 2011.
His research interests include spin chains, sigma models, gauge theory and
Post-doctoral fellow Dr. Ville Keränen received his PhD from the University of Helsinki in 2011. He is working on the use of the AdS/CFT duality to address questions in quantum field theory. His fellowship at Nordita is supported by a grant from the Icelandic Research Fund.
Dr. Dmytro Volin received his PhD from Univesité Paris-Sud XI, Orsay in 2009 and was a postdoc at the Pennsylvania State University before joining Nordita. His research interests include strongly coupled gauge theories and exactly solvable models, with particular focus on integrability in the AdS/CFT correspondence.
Nordita PhD student Tobias Zingg successfully defended his PhD thesis "Holographic Models for Condensed Matter" at the University of Iceland on September 2. His PhD advisor is Nordita Director Larus Thorlacius.
Tobias will be staying on at Nordita as a post-doctoral fellow, supported by a grant from the Icelandic Research Fund, until summer 2012.
Nordita is happy to host Christos Tsagas for over 2 months. Christos has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece since the autumn of 2005. Previously, he has been a postdoctoral researcher at Portsmouth (ICG), Cape Town (RCG) and Cambridge (DAMTP). He received his PhD from the University of Sussex in 1998, where he worked under the supervision of Professor John Barrow.
Christos is a theorist with research interests in the interface between Relativistic Cosmology and Relativistic Astrophysics and he is the author/coauthor of approximately fifty scientific articles, reviews and conference proceedings. His main expertise is in the area of cosmological magnetic fields and the large-scale structure of the universe. His work on the interaction between electromagnetism and spacetime geometry has attracted the attention of the wider scientific community, with related news pieces appearing in magazines and newspapers worldwide.
his visit between mid September and early December 2011,
Christos will be working with Axel Brandenburg and his research
group on a project studying the interaction between gravitational waves
and electromagnetic fields.
Members of the ERC-supported AstroDyn project were excited to report on what they call a negative effective magnetic pressure instability (or NEMPI for short). During the last year they did already verify that on large enough length scales covering many turbulent eddies, a modestly strong magnetic field can suppress turbulence, lowering therefore the turbulence pressure locally. In spite of the added magnetic pressure, the total effective pressure can still get reduced.
Last September, during the most recent visit of
and Igor Rogachevskii,
they detected for the first time in a turbulence simulation
that this effect can lead to an instability and, as a result,
can form large-scale magnetic flux concentrations.
This paper is now published in the
Astrophysical Journal Letters 740, L50 (2011)
According to the authors, this marks an important milestone in their
quest to understand the formation of active regions and ultimately sunspots.
They have assembled some additional material including some movies on
a web page.
The picture above shows how a magnetized structure (yellow) with negative effective magnetic pressure must attain higher gas pressure to have lateral pressure equilibrium.
This higher pressure leads to higher density, which makes the structure heavier, so it sinks,
as is also seen in the sequence of pictures above.
All Nordita positions are announced through the job application manager, jam.nordita.org, where one also finds electronic application forms.
Nordita Post-Doctoral Fellowships
Nordita Assistant Professor in Theoretical Condensed-Matter Physics
Nordita invites applications for a new round of Nordita Programs in 2013-2014. The announcement and the guidelines for submitting a proposal can be found at www.nordita.org/propose. The deadline is the 15th of December.
A Nordita Scientific program is an extended workshop where a limited number of scientists work together on specific topics for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Program topics can range beyond the traditional borders of theoretical physics and scientists in related areas of the natural sciences are encouraged to submit proposals.
Up to 25 participants can be accommodated at any given time. This typically includes a core of 8-12 internationally recognized leaders in the subject area of the program, 5-8 invited Nordic scientists, and a limited number of other applicants including accompanying postdoctoral fellows and PhD students.
The final report from the Nordita program on Dynamo, Dynamical Systems and Topology (25 July - 19 August 2011) lists among its main achievements the establishment of links between the dynamo theory, numerical simulations and observational results, developing collaborations, approaches and ideas, and getting new science results. The Nordita program stimulated further development of the dynamo theory, numerical simulations and observational programs.
The total number of program participants was 45 including 4 women, and 20 Nordic participant (Denmark 1, Finland 3, Sweden 16, of which 12 from Stockholm). A significant portion of the participants came from the US (5), Russia (4), Brazil (2), as well as Germany (6), Israel (2), and the UK (2). Of the 33 people from outside Stockholm, 24 stayed for 3 weeks or longer. The program marked a highlight in the ERC-supported Astrophysical Dynamo Project at Nordita, with two of the post-docs (Piyali Chatterjee and Gustavo Guerrero) just departing.
The next Nordita Board meeting will take place in Stockholm on 10 February 2012.
→ Link to electronic preprints: www.nordita.org/preprints
The following preprints have been posted to the Nordita on-line archive since the last newsletter issue:
If you have information about meetings or other items that would be useful to include in Nordita News, please send it to Anne Jifält, Nordita, email: annekth.se.
For back issues of the Nordita newsletter, see http://www.nordita.org/news/about/archive/issues/index.php