Our mission is to synthesize, structure, and study matter at different spatial and temporal scales, going from single atoms to a small ensemble of them up to highest purity complex macroscopic single crystals with exotic quantum and many body properties. By doing so, we wish to gain knowledge on the fundamental physics governing the material properties and develop devices with new (quantum) functionalities. In teaching, we strive at conveying the fascination of physics in general and in particular of state-of-the-art solid state physics at all levels.
The understanding of solid state systems has lead to a wealth of discoveries and to many applications, which govern our every day live, most prominently the fundamental contributions to the development of our modern information society. At the Institute for Solid State Physics (Laboratorium für Festkörperphysik, LFKP) we aim at exploring innovative research directions with the potential to discover new and potentially useful phenomena in condensed matter. Materials are designed and synthesized on all length scales from atomic to macroscopic, with different effective dimensionalities. Quantum phenomena of single electrons and of collective states are studied with a wide variety of advanced methods, e.g., transport, thermodynamics, spectroscopy. Synthesis and measurement techniques are developed in-house and in collaboration with ETH facilities (the FIRST laboratory, Frontiers In Research: Space & Time; the Electron Microscopy center ETH Zurich, EMEZ). Our research agenda benefits from the proximity of the neutron (SINQ), X-ray (SLS), and Muon sources at PSI. The goal is to understand and tailor condensed matter with respect to interactions that influence the properties of a solid at all length scales, and ultimately to provide the scientific underpinning of future technologies. Activities at LFKP are closely linked to the center for Quantum Science and Technology (QSIT) in collaboration with activities in the institutes of theoretical physics and quantum electronics.
The members of the LFKP have a strong commitment to teaching at all levels. Presently, Andreas Vaterlaus from LFKP is the Studiendelegierter of the physics department, coordinating the entire physics curriculum. In addition, Bertram Batlogg from LFKP serves as the Studienvorsteher for the Mathematics and Physics departments and thus is responsible for the administration of the undergraduate studies of the two departments. Andreas Vaterlaus also heads the physics teacher education program (Lehrdiplom für Maturitätsschulen). In co-operation with the Chair for Research on Learning and Instruction (Institute of Behavioral Sciences at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences), he develops and evaluates new teaching and learning programs for secondary education. Furthermore, he is strongly involved in the modernization of physics teaching at school by developing new content resources and by training future teachers. Guillaume Schiltz, a member of the Vaterlaus group who was jointly appointed by the department and by the rectorate, acts as an educational developer for the department. He supports and advises lecturers in teaching matters, directs discipline-specific courses for teaching assistants, and implements teaching innovations according to the strategic aims of the school board. Quality assurance and quality enhancement of teaching and learning are both achieved in agreement with the individual lecturers and aligned to the objectives of the department.
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