Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Condensed matter

A couple of brief items from the Institute of Physics Condensed Matter and Materials Physics meeting in Exeter, based on press releases that I wrote, are available here and here. The IoP got me into this because they've found CMMP particularly hard to 'sell' in the past. To the extent that the work in this area can involve exploring arcane electronic effects in strange and exotic solids at unearthly low temperatures, this isn't perhaps surprising. But condensed matter is at the heart of modern physics (contrary to popular impressions), and so it seems odd and mildly distressing that most people outside of physics don't even know what it is. To the world at large, physics is about quarks and cosmology. Why so? I'll come back to this.

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