Quantum materials researcher wins only Guggenheim Fellowship in physics for 2022
In recognition of his work on the novel properties of quantum materials, University of Toronto Professor Yong-Baek Kim has won a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship. Dr. Kim, director of the university’s Centre for Quantum Materials, works in theoretical quantum condensed matter physics. This involves the study of matter and its exotic behaviour when quantum mechanical electrons are subjected to extreme conditions, such as low temperature and high pressure.
“What we are doing is basically trying to understand emergent physical properties that cannot be easily understood,” he says. “There are actually many materials where interaction between electrons is fundamentally important, and even if you understand the motion of the single electron, you cannot predict the motion of many, many electrons.”
His research has potential applications for various quantum technologies, including quantum computing. His main contributions include theory of quantum spin liquids in quantum materials with strong spin-orbit coupling and theoretical proposals for experimental detection of novel quasiparticles in topologically ordered quantum phases, which may become useful for future quantum technologies.
Dr. Kim was the only researcher to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in physics for 2022.