Young physics professor receives DOE early career grant

Physicist James Analytis has been awarded one of the Department of Energy’s coveted Early Career Research Program grants to pursue work on exotic behavior in metals.

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James Analytis, assistant professor of physics. (Ben Ailes photo)

The 2015 awards, which consist of $150,000 per year for five years for university researchers, are designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early-career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

The Office of Science selected 44 scientists in all for early-career awards: 27 from U.S. universities and 17 from DOE’s national laboratories. Two Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers also received grants: staff scientist Daniela Ushizima, who also is a data scientist fellow with the Berkeley Institute for Data Sciences; and research scientist and chemist Anubhav Jain.

“Supporting talented researchers in their early-career years is one key to building and maintaining an effective scientific workforce for the nation,” said Patricia Dehmer, acting director of DOE’s Office of Science. “We congratulate the winners of this year’s competition and look forward to following their achievements over the next five years.”

Analytis, an assistant professor of physics, joined the faculty in January 2013 as the Charles Kittel Chair in condensed matter physics. He focuses on the discovery and understanding of exotic materials that manifest novel quantum phenomena and have fundamental as well as technological implications. These include superconductors, exotic magnets and topological insulators.

The DOE grant will fund work to understand and manipulate materials that should be magnetic at low temperatures but aren’t, so-called “frustrated” quantum magnets. These materials are closely associated with quantum spin liquids, an exotic state of matter characterized by strong quantum entanglement.

For more information on the grantees, see DOE’s press release.