Quantum mechanics seems to be everywhere these days, from superhero movies to Fortune 500 companies. But what makes quantum mechanics so different and special? How can it be used? And can objects really pass through barriers? This talk will bridge the divide between popular imaginations of quantum and real quantum mechanical devices, covering the basics of quantum mechanics (such as wave-particle duality) as well research and applications of solid-state quantum devices.
Nadya Mason is a professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her PhD in physics from Stanford University and engaged in postdoctoral research as a Junior Fellow at Harvard University. A condensed matter experimentalist, Dr. Mason focuses on electron behavior in low-dimensional materials such as nanowires, graphene, and nano-structured superconductors. Her research is relevant to the fundamental physics of small systems and applications involving nano-scale electronic elements. In addition to maintaining a rigorous research program and teaching, Dr. Mason works to increase diversity in the physical sciences. Dr. Mason was named a 2008 Emerging Scholar by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine, and was a recipient of the 2009 Denise Denton Emerging Leader Award, the 2012 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award of the American Physical Society (APS), and the 2020 APS Edward Bouchet Award. She is a former General Councillor of the APS and former Chair of the APS Committee on Minorities, and currently serves as Director of the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (I-MRSEC).