Modeling solids and its impact on science and technology

Marvin L. Cohen (University of California at Berkeley & 
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) — Tuesday June 6, 1:30 p.m. in Conf. IV


Abstract :
For modeling solids in condensed matter physics (CMP), although we know that quantum theory is applicable, that electromagnetic interactions are dominant, and we also know the constituent particles, yet the problem is still formidable because of the large density of particles and their relatively strong mutual interactions. Approximations and technical approaches are needed, and conceptual physical models are essential. Over the last century, the models and methods for calculating properties of solids have become useful and conceptually interesting. Not only have the results been vital for technology, the theoretical and experimental developments have had a large impact on science through the links of CMP to other branches of physics and to other areas of science and engineering. I will focus mainly on theoretical developments in CMP with emphasis on “modeling solids” which gave rise to many intellectual and conceptual contributions to science. I’ll begin by briefly discussing the evolution of this area over the past hundred years, and then I’ll discuss some current achievements and discoveries.

Biography :
Marvin L. Cohen is University Professor of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
His current and past research covers a broad spectrum of subjects in theoretical condensed matter physics. He has contributed more than 830 technical publications and is one of the world’s most cited physicists.
Marvin is a recipient of many prizes and honors, among them the National Medal of Science and Technology Pioneer Award from the World Economic Forum, and Doctor Honoris Causa degrees from the University of Montreal, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2005, Marvin was President of the American Physical Society (APS).

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