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Amgen Scholars: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty for the Amgen Scholars program.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor. For additional tips on identifying a mentor click here.

Please remember:

  • Students pursuing Amgen must be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or students with DACA status.
  • Students pursuing Amgen must complete the 10-week program from June 21 - August 25, 2023. Students must commit to these dates. No exceptions will be made.
  • Accepted students must live in provided Caltech housing.

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Project:  Theory of Electronic Fractals in Quantum Materials
Discipline:  Physics
Mentor:  Erica Carlson, 150th Anniversary Prof. of Physics and Astronomy, (PMA), ewcarlson@purdue.edu, Phone: 765-494-3041
Mentor URL:  https://www.physics.purdue.edu/~erica  (opens in new window)
Background:  NOTE: This project is being offered by a Caltech alum and is open only to Caltech students. The project will be conducted at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana.

The fragility and complexity of ice crystals and trees have found their counterparts in strongly correlated electronic materials. Inside conventional materials like metals and semiconductors, electrons are evenly spread out, like liquid filling a container. But in correlated quantum materials, where electrons interact strongly with each other and with the atomic nuclei of the material, electrons act more like an exotic gumbo. Nanoscale images of the surfaces of these materials show that the electrons clump into complicated shapes, at least at the surface. Understanding the formation of these patterns is vital to our understanding of the electronic properties and to our eventual technological control of these materials.

By importing theoretical tools from fractal mathematics and disordered statistical mechanics into the field of strongly correlated electronic materials, we define new paradigms for interpreting and understanding nanoscale electronic textures observed at the surface of these materials. These new methods allow conclusions to be drawn about the inside of a material, based on observations that are made only on the outside of the material. The key insight is that the geometric structure of fractals reveals the dimension in which they reside: fractals have different shapes when they form only on the surface of a material (like frost on a window), from when the fractals extend deep inside the material (like a tree whose roots reach deep underground). Our new theoretical framework has revealed that electrons form fractals in many different quantum materials.
Description:  The SURF student will use codes we have developed, to help us understand the properties of electronic fractals in quantum materials.
References:  https://www.physics.purdue.edu/~erica/publications/index.html
Student Requirements:  none listed
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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