Speaker: Professor David Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Harvard University
Title: Wigner Lattices and Born Melting
Abstract: This talk will describe new routes to melting of crystal lattices. The lattices are nearly defect-free, and are formed through repulsive interactions exclusively, thus forming Wigner lattices. The absence of defects inhibits melting, making the crystal much more stable. This reduces the energy difference between crystal and liquid, giving the melting transition a distinct second order character, even though it is strictly a first order transition. This form of melting was first proposed by Born nearly 80 years ago, but it is only now that its study can be carried out.
Speaker Bio: Professor Weitz received his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University and then joined Exxon Research and Engineering Company, where he worked for nearly 18 years. He then became a professor of physics at the University of Pennsylvania and moved to Harvard at the end of the last millennium as professor of physics and applied physics. Professor Weitz leads a group studying soft matter science with a focus on materials science, biophysics and microfluidics. He has co-founded several companies to commercialize some of the microfluidics work developed in his lab.