Thursday, January 17, 2013

Abstract audiences

I have posted before that a key to attracting an audience to a talk is to write an effective and engaging abstract that will motivate the target audience to attend. The abstract (talk) will be different if the target audience is chemists or physicists, experimentalists or theorists, experts or non-experts.

I was invited to give a seminar in the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry in the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore. My hosts asked for a general talk that might also attract people from the Physics department and the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit.
Here is the abstract I composed.

Superconducting organic charge transfer salts: from chemistry to quantum many-body physics

A recent essay suggested that chemistry research in India could benefit from a greater interaction with physics [1].
I will give an example of an exciting research field where there has been a rich interaction between physics and chemistry.
Charge transfer salts based on molecules such as bis(ethylenedithio)tetrathiafulvalene [BEDT-TTF] and 1,3-dithiole-2-thione-4,5-dithiolate [dmit] exhibit a rich chemistry.
Small chemical substitutions in the charge donor or acceptor lead to changes in crystal structure due to the subtle interplay of covalent, ionic, and hydrogen bonding. Furthermore, these small structural changes can lead to qualitative changes in physical properties. In particular, one can tune between insulating, metallic, and superconducting states.
Over the past five years these materials have attracted significant new attention from physicists because their Mott insulating phase can exhibit long sought after exotic
quantum many-body ground states including a spin liquid and valence bond crystal [2]. Furthermore, application of pressure can induce a transition into an unconventional superconducting state. Consequently, these materials realise seminal ideas of Anderson [3] concerning resonating valence bonds and superconductivity.
I will emphasize some of the rich interchange of ideas between chemistry and physics.
Some of the cultural and institutional obstacles to collaboration between chemistry and physics will also be discussed.

[1] E. Arunan, R. Brakaspathy, G.R. Desiraju, and S. Sivaram, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 114 (2013).
[2] B.J. Powell and R.H. McKenzie, Reports of Progress in Physics 74, 056501 (2011).
[3] P.W. Anderson, Science 235, 1196 (1987).

The seminar is next wednesday. I will post the slides once I have prepared the talk!

No comments:

Post a Comment