L’X laboratory receives funding from the prestigious Simons Foundation
On July 24, 2018, the Simons Foundation awarded $8 million to an international group of ten researchers studying the localization of waves. Among them, Marcel Filoche and Claude Weisbuch from l’X’s Laboratory of Condensed Matter for Physics
On July 24, 2018, the Simons foundation announced the attribution of an $8 million grant to an international group of 10 research scientists studying wave localization, led by Svitlana Mayboroda, mathematician at the University of Minnesota.
Marcel Filoche and Claude Weisbuch, CNRS research directors at the Laboratory of Condensed Matter for Physics (a joint École polytechnique – CNRS research unit) are among the project initiators, along with two members of the teaching staff: Alain Aspect, professor at École Polytechnique and Institut d’Optique, and Yves Meyer, former mathematics professor at École Polytechnique and researcher at CMLA of ENS Paris Saclay.
Predicting where waves will localize
The Simons Foundation, co-founded by Jim and Marylin Simons, supports basic and applied research in mathematics and theoretical physics. This funding, attributed for four years (with a potential extension to seven) supports research conducted in fields on the verge of major transformations where essential questions remain unresolved.
The 10 recipients of this collaboration grant – five leading mathematicians and five preeminent physicists – are working on an ambitious project to understand, predict, and control the localization of waves in complex and disordered structures.
This universal problem can be applied as much to the behavior of electrons as waves in semiconductors with disordered alloys as to cold atoms where the quantum wave is localized by a random light field. A sufficiently high level of disorder, existing on a microscopic scale, can keep waves from propagating freely to the point of confining them completely to a very limited region of space. This is referred to as localization.
Applications in the quantum field
A recent mathematical theory, called “localization landscape,” developed by several of the project’s participants, sheds new light on this phenomenon. “This wave localization landscape determines in which region the stationary wave will remain concentrated depending on the characteristics of the medium,” explains Marcel Filoche, “and it also predicts the energies of localized waves and their density of states. Now the aim is to predict and eventually control the localization and propagation of waves in complex mediums.”
This research should afford scientists a thorough understanding of the quantum scale of light-emitting diodes (LED and OLED light). “We have the starting theory; now we have to develop it and extend it to the vast range of areas where it can be applied: from cold atoms to LED lights, and from molecular systems to organic solar cells,” adds Marcel Filoche.
The ten project researchers are:
- Douglas Arnold, University of Minnesota, USA
- Alain Aspect, Institut d'Optique, France
- Guy David, Université Paris-Sud, France
- Marcel Filoche, École Polytechnique, France
- Richard Friend, University of Cambridge, England
- David Jerison, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
- Svitlana Mayboroda, University of Minnesota, USA
- Yves Meyer, ENS-Paris Saclay, France
- Jim Speck, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
- Claude Weisbuch, École Polytechnique, France, and University of California Santa Barbara, USA
> To find out more, read this article from QuantaMagazine