Philip W. Phillips
Associate professor of physics, chemistry
When electrons are confined to move in a plane, the famous theorem of Anderson (for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1977) tells us that they will not be able to carry any current if any defects are present. The ubiquitous presence of defects in all materials has then led to the commonly held view that metallic conduction is impossible in materials that are strictly two-dimensional. Recent experiments by Kravchenko and colleagues call this view into question, as they have observed a conducting phase in a dilute two-dimensional electron gas. It is Professor Phillips’ purpose to develop a fundamental understanding of the physical origin of the newly found conducting state in two-dimensions. He will explore the possibility that the experimental observations are explainable by a transition to a superconducting state.