Physics and Astronomy Colloquium - Prof. Lilia M. Woods, University of South Florida

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Date: February 11, 2021
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Virtual event
Category: Lecture

Title: From 2D graphene to its “cousin” 3D Weyl semimetal: Casimir effects 

Abstract: The Casimir force is a universal interaction originating from electromagnetic fluctuations between objects, however, its magnitude, sign, scaling laws, and other dependences are strongly affected by the interacting systems and their boundaries. The expansion of the graphene family of materials by adding silicene, germanene, and stanene has created new opportunities for probing Dirac-like physics and nontrivial band topology. Due to the finite buckling and significant spin orbit interaction in these newly added to the materials library systems, various quantum Hall phase states can be realized by applying external fields. These in turn cause Casimir force phase transitions with many unusual features, including repulsion and quantization. Weyl semimetals, considered to be 3D graphene analogs, display very different Casimir behavior despite the common Dirac-like energy spectra. While nontrivial topology may play dominant role in graphene interactions, such effects are secondary in the Weyl semimetal Casimir forces. These materials present an excellent platform for light-matter interactions, and, in particular, to show that the universal Casimir force has non-universal dependence upon distance, sign, magnitude, and various fundamental constants.

Bio: Lilia M. Woods has obtained her PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with Prof. Gerald D. Mahan as a PhD advisor. After graduation, she was a postdoc at Oak Ridge National Lab, followed by a second postdoc at the Naval Research Lab, where she held the prestigious Director’s funded NRC Fellowship. In 2003 she became an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida and in 2012 she was promoted to Full Professor. Lilia M. Woods has established a vigorous research program in theoretical and computational condensed matter physics, which has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy since 2006. She has been recognized by the USF Outstanding Research Achievement Award (three times) and by the Jewell Faculty Excellence Award. She is a member of the National Academy of Inventors. She has received the International Association of Advanced Materials Medal for 2018. Lilia Woods was also elected as an APS Fellow in 2017 and an AAAS Fellow in 2019.





February 2021