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Physics press conferences at next week's American Physical Society March Meeting
Date:3/17/2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 10, 2010 -- The following press conferences will take place during the March Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS), to be held March 15-19, 2010 in the Portland Convention Center. Journalists are invited to attend the meeting free of charge. Registration information can be found at the end of this release.

MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCES

Monday, March 15, 9:00 a.m.

TOPOLOGICAL INSULATORS (session B2)

This briefing highlights one of the most exciting topics in condensed matter physics. In specially prepared semiconducting samples, tiny currents of magnetic spins and electric charges move with much reduced dissipation of energy -- and at room temperature. At first only a prediction, the movement of energy-preserving currents has now been demonstrated in the lab. Since heat dissipation in microcircuits is the leading obstacle to maintaining Moore's law (the ability of microchips doubles about every 18 months), these new materials -- a 3D extension of the 2D quantum spin Hall effect -- might play a big role in future electronics. Just as important, these new materials will help facilitate the establishment of spintronics, that analog to electronics where information can be processed in terms of spins, not just charges. These materials, insulating on the inside but conducting on the outside, operate without the need for low temperatures or high magnetic field.

At this briefing, scientists from the United States, China, and Germany will report on physical measurements of the materials (verifying reduced dissipation) and on turning the materials into the kinds of structures -- nanoribbons, nanocrystals, and thin films -- needed to make eventual devices. Last but not least is the expectation that these quantum-spin-Hall materials will support the creation of exotic particles (axions and monopoles), which mimic the exotic particles in the early universe.

Speakers: Shou-Cheng Zhang (Stanford Un
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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