Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Kondo effect in the New York Times!

The Kondo effect is a paradigm for quantum many-body physics. It has so much: non-perturbative effects, scaling, emergent energy scales, Bethe ansatz solution, asymptotic freedom, Fermi liquid, ...

The Kondo model is a benchmark for testing many approximations and numerical methods.

Furthermore, it connects to so many other things: Anderson single impurity model, Dynamical Mean-Field Theory, Kosterlitz-Thouless transition, heavy fermions, ...

Nevertheless, outside the strongly correlated electron community, it is not widely known, and particularly not in popular discussions of science.

I never thought it would feature at the beginning of the New York Times article, unless Jun Kondo (now 90 years old) was awarded a belated Nobel Prize.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a long profile of Myriam Sarachik that began with her experimental work on the Kondo effect back in 1963.

The article also chronicles some of the sexism she faced in her career and the very limited employment options there were for women in physics. The article also describes how she was not very "productive" for a decade due to recovering from the personal tragedy of the murder of her daughter. Yet, as her mental health recovered she made significant contributions: quantum tunneling in single molecule magnets and the metal-insulator transition in semiconductor heterostructures.

There is a longer autobiographical piece in Annual Reviews.

No comments:

Post a Comment