The Dirac equation, derived by Paul Dirac in 1928, describes particles with relativistic speed and provides a theoretical basis for that mysterious property of spin. These Dirac particles, typically relegated to the realm of high-energy physics, have been observed to emerge in certain materials such as the carbon-based lattice of graphene, discovered in 2004. The study of Dirac materials is right on the frontier of condensed matter research, explored at the theoretical, experimental, and applied levels. Exhibiting unorthodox phenomena, such as massless charge carriers that can perfectly tunnel across barriers, these materials have enormous potential in future technology, from highly efficient batteries to a filter that can make seawater potable. In this talk, I will describe Dirac particles and materials, focusing more on their fundamental properties which elucidate our knowledge of the natural universe.
The talk is from 3-4 pm (snacks at 2:30!). Make sure to follow the Graduate Seminar Series on Facebook.