The quantum nature of matter at extreme conditions: The next challenges

14.05.2014 to 15.05.2014
Graeme Ackland, Miguel Martinez-Canales, Andreas Hermann and John Loveday

CSEC (Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions)

Key Speakers:

We plan to bring together the two main research centres in the UK working on condensed matter under extreme conditions (of pressure and/or temperature), based at UCL and at Edinburgh’s own CSEC. With the leading minds of both groups we plan to discuss the current state of first-principles description of matter under extreme conditions, to identify the most challenging and pressing challenges ahead, and to coordinate efforts to systematically overcome those challenges.

The development of unbiased structure prediction methods in the last 5-10 years has led to a plethora of predicted stable ground state phases in a wide range of crystalline materials. Over the same period, advanced classical treatments of dynamic effects have been developed for the description of the high-temperature regime. However, important questions remain - on the quantum nature of highly compressed condensed matter, on efficient methods to investigate energy surfaces, including characterisation of metastable states and kinetics of phase transitions, or on the role of configurational entropy, to name a few.

As an immediate result of the workshop, we expect much enhanced collaboration between the two centres on these topics, resulting in the development of new methodologies used by researchers worldwide. In the long term we thus expect UK-based research to become world-leading in the field of condensed matter under extreme conditions.