Understanding the link between the crystal chemistry of semiconductors and their electronic properties paved the way for the electronics revolution. Similarly, the development of materials within which photons could be controlled and guided heralded the design of optical materials, such as lasers and light-emitting diodes. Unfortunately, our fundamental understanding of the phonon properties of materials has always lagged behind that of their electronic and photonic properties. Since phonons are the fundamental quasiparticles that carry heat in insulators, this knowledge gap not only prevents us from realizing the promise of phonon-only-based devices (thermal transistors, thermal memories), it also hinders progress in fields as diverse as unconventional superconductivity, optical spectroscopy, spintronics, and quantum information.
The Need For A Workshop
The physics of phonons in insulating solids is central to many different research fields including condensed matter physics, solid-state chemistry, materials science. and mechanical engineering. However, researchers working in these communities are almost completely isolated from each other. There are no existing conferences or workshops designed to bring researchers from these various fields together, and since they generally publish in their own specialized society journals, papers that could spur interdisciplinary advances are likely to be missed. As a result, effort is wastefully duplicated and major scientific breakthroughs are impeded. The aim of this conference is to lower disciplinary boundaries by bringing together both experimental and theoretical researchers under the uniting theme of fundamental phonon physics.