Superconductors, Exotic Magnetism, and Other Quantum States
Séamus Davis’ work revolves around macroscopic quantum mechanics, whether toward understanding materials like superconductors or discovering new states of magnetism. Davis invented Spectroscopic Imaging Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (SI-STM), a tool that visualizes quantum mechanical phenomena. His group currently uses SI-STM to research advanced magnetic and electronic materials; the tool essentially makes a movie of how electrons move at the surface of these materials, revealing how they work.
Davis is also interested in searching for new states of magnetism, such as exotic quantum magnetic fluids, far beyond basic ferromagnetism (like kitchen magnets). Funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation offers Davis the freedom to pursue research avenues which otherwise could not be funded. One of his goals is to develop new approaches to studying spacetime itself by approaching it as a form of quantum matter. “That’s a frontier area,” says Davis. “We should be able to manipulate spacetime and detect its exotic properties.”