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Research Fellows Directory

Edward Yelland

Dr Edward Yelland

Research Fellow


University of Edinburgh

Research summary

The exploration that I am part of is ‘materials research’ and its ultimate goal is to discover substances, often

not occurring in nature, which have properties that make them useful. But there is another dimension to it:

condensed matter physics is also about the pursuit of pure science for its own sake, a quest to understand nature

at the most fundamental level. It is this blend of the profound and the practical that drew me to the subject.

Whether driven by the hope to find tangible proof of a theory without any obvious application, or to identify a

new material for making coherent manipulations of quantum bits, condensed matter experimentalists are always

searching, and the landscape over which they search is so vast that the guidance provided by theory is essential.

My role is to devise and execute experiments that improve our physical understanding of solid-state materials

by critically testing current theories. Although I am quite far removed from the materials’ eventual application,

it is important to me that I am part of a field with practical objectives.

The materials that I am particularly interested in are metals in which the electrons acutely feel each other’s

presence, known collectively as strongly correlated electron systems (SCES). Electrons in SCES generally

behave in a much more interesting way than those in normal metals, precisely because they cannot act

independently. Usually these electronic idiosyncrasies emerge at low temperature where the averaging effect of

thermal fluctuations is small enough to allow fine structure and fragile phases to survive. This requires measurements to be made at extreme conditions of low temperature and high magnetic field and sometimes high pressure. The goals are highly motivating: to discover the materials that will give us future technologies, analogous to the silicon revolution of the twentieth century.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Quantum order at extreme conditions

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2014 - Sep 2015

Value: £112,334.92

Experimental investigation of quantum order under extreme conditions

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2009 - Sep 2014

Value: £593,070.77

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