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NWO Projectruimte for physicists Schalm and Zaanen

NWO has awarded a €392k Projectruimte grant to physicists Koenraad Schalm and Jan Zaanen to study ‘strange metals’. These materials are alleged to follow the bizarre laws of quantum mechanics even at everyday length scales.

Together with a PhD student and a postdoc, Schalm and Zaanen will focus on one aspect of strange metals’ abnormal behaviour: the time they need to distribute heat throughout the entire material starting from one place. Remarkably enough, this solely depends on the temperature and Planck’s constant. The researchers want to show that this is because strange metals indeed purely consist of quantum material. Subsequently, they draw a surprising parallel with black holes, which exhibit the same behaviour.

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