Thursday, February 25, 2010

An excellent (and depressing?) question

My colleague, Ben Powell, recently sent me the thought provoking email below. I think it raises an excellent question. I want to think about my answer more, before I post something. Although, it is a little depressing that I cannot immediately rattle off several things....
Others should feel free to post their thoughts, provided it does not involve self-promotion.
When I was walking home last night I started wondering about the following question (brought on by the fact I realised that it is now more than 10 years since I started my PhD).

What do we KNOW now about CMT [Condensed Matter Theory] that we didn't know 10 years ago?

I stress the T in CMT as I specifically want to rule things like "that the pnictides superconduct" as the seem like chance discoveries - however interesting they are, but really I want understanding about real materials, which is clearly rapped up in the border between theory & expt. I'd like things to be on a firm footing and generally agreed upon, but really I'm happy to be a little fast and lose with

1 comment:

  1. Certainly the prediction and discovery of topological insulators and many of their properties has to count as an advance in cmT of the last decade.