Event Details

Carbon: From Simplicity to Quantum Complexity

  • 2018-02-07
  • Prof. G. Baskaran, IMSc and Perimeter Institute, Waterloo, Canada

Carbon atoms bind via simple sp1, sp2 and sp3 quantum mechanical bonds to produce many allotropes - graphite, diamond, carbon nanotubes, bucky ball, carbon chains, carbon black, amorphous carbon, Q carbon and their limitless combinations. These simple quantum mechanical hybridizations create a quantum complexity, which is unique among elements in the periodic table.
I will provide an aerial view of an emerging hierarchy of physical phenomena and quantum properties in the rich world of pure elemental carbon. Some of them include relativistic type quantum effects in graphene. Further, there are quantum entangled novel spin liquid phases, Majorana fermion excitation and high Tc ferromagnetism. There seems to be even room for room temperature superconductivity in the world of carbon.

Professor G. Baskaran is a SERB Distinguished Fellow at The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai. He also holds a Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics at Waterloo, Canada. He had his education at St Mary’s High School, Thiagarajar College and The American College at Madurai. His Ph.D. (1975) in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics was from the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore. With a general interest in Theoretical physics, he focusses on Condensed Matter Physics - Strongly correlated electronic systems, High Tc Superconductivity, fractional quantized hall effect, Non-fermi liquid states, Supersolid phase in He4, solid state Qubits, topological quantum computation etc. He is passionate and pessimistic about room temperature superconductivity and offers theoretical guidelines. Has a long time fascination for biology, in particular quantum processes in biological systems. He Lectures and writes popular science articles in Tamil.