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University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Physics and Astronomy

Area of Research:

Ian Affleck is an eminent theoretical physicist, now Professor of Physics at Boston University. Professor Affleck's main research interests are in theoretical condensed matter physics, in particular its interface with elementary particle theory. The latter theory has developed many fascinating mathematical constructions such as string theory, which are often difficult to apply directly to the present-day experimental reality of particle physics. Condensed matter physics offers a host of exotic experimental systems which can sometimes provide applications for these sophisticated mathematical ideas.

Examples include:

- understanding the new high-Tc superconductors,
- applications of quantum field theory to the physics of quasi-one dimensional antiferromagnets and
- the application of conformal field theory (which is the mathematical underpinning of string theory) to shed new light on the interactions between magnetic impurities and conduction electrons in metals.

He also works on the physics of quantum wires and quantum dots. Professor Affleck is an Associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was also an A.P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. He has received a great number of prizes and honours, including the NRC Steacie Prize, the CAP Hertzberg Medal, the RSC Rutherford Medal, the UBC Killam and Biely Prizes, the CAP/CRM Prize for Theoretical/Mathematical Physics and, most recently, the British Columbia Science Council "New Frontiers in Research" Award.

©2012 Institut Périmètre de Physique Théorique