Campus: CSU Northridge -- January 26, 2005

CSUN Professor Invited to Spend Next Two Years as Scholar with International Physics Institute

Cal State Northridge physics professor Nicholas Kioussis has been named a 2005-2007 scholar with the prestigious Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) at UC Santa Barbara.

Kioussis will spend the next two years meeting with some of the world's top scientists to discuss future collaborative research projects and publications as well as the latest findings in such areas as quantum computing, spintronics and materials science as well as other areas of theoretical physics.

"What's really exciting is the learning process-to be able to discuss ideas and brainstorm with some very smart people and possibly collaborate on research that could go in a new whole direction. I'm really looking forward to it," said Kioussis, who learned about his selection as KITP Scholar over the holiday break.

The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics is internationally renowned among the world's scientists. The institute is headed by David Gross, who was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics.

In the letter to Kioussis informing him of his selection, Gross said "the selection committee was very impressed with your application and we look forward to your association with the KITP."

The Kavli Institute brings together diverse groups of theoretical physicists and other scientists to do research in areas of science that are timely, important and intellectually challenging. KITP programs encompass particle and nuclear physics, astrophysics and cosmology, condensed-matter physics, atomic and molecular physics and emerging interdisciplinary fields such as biophysics, neurophysics and mathematical physics, addressing questions that lie at the very frontier of fundamental knowledge.

Only about a handful of scientists from around the world are invited every two years to be KITP Scholars.

During the course of their time as KITP scholars, the scientists are invited to visit the facility in several one- to two-week stints during which they may initiate collaborative research and publication projects with the institute's permanent faculty. The scholars are also invited to take part in the institute's workshops and conferences which feature some of the world's leading scientists discussing timely and intriguing scientific questions-from deciphering the human genome to the hidden mysteries of ordinary matter and new and strange features of the quantum world.

Kioussis said there are three areas of research he is interested in pursuing while at the Kavli Institute: spintronics, or spin electronics, the study of the role played by electron spin in devices that specifically exploit spin properties (instead of or in addition to charge degrees of freedom); strongly correlated electron nanoclusters, exploring how the properties of strongly interacting electrons become modified at the nanoscale; and the mechanical properties of materials.

"Depending on what happens during discussions with permanent and visiting people at the institute, my research could embark in completely different areas," Kioussis said.

Adding to the experience, Kioussis said, is that whatever he learns he will be able to share with the colleagues, students and post-doctoral students he works with at Cal State Northridge. "The exploration of the unknown is the exciting part, really," he said.

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130, carmen.chandler@csun.edu


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