Colloquia 2006

The Many Facets of Zitterbewegung in Solids

Dr Ulrich Züelicke
Massey University (New Zealand)

Date
4pm, Thursday, 23November

Location
School of Physics Common Room
Room 64 Old Main Building
The University of New South Wales

Abstract
Zitterbewegung (German for trembling motion) is commonly considered to be a quirk of the otherwise very successful Dirac theory of relativistic electron dynamics. Its physical significance has been discussed controversially over the years. Recent suggestions for a possibly observable Zitterbewegung-like dynamics of band electrons in solids have lifted this discussion onto a new level and attracted a lot of interest. I will review the various aspects of Zitterbewegung phenomena and link the latter with observable effects such as electric-field-controllable spin precession and spin-dependent magnetic focusing.

Biography:
Dr Züelicke obtained his PhD from Indiana University (USA), working with Allan MacDonald on projects related to the quantum Hall effect. After postdoctoral positions with Gerd Schön at the University of Karlsruhe and a visiting professorship at the University of Munich (both in Germany), he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Physics at Massey University (New Zealand) in 2003. Dr Züelicke is a condensed-matter theorist with main research interests in semiconductor nanoelectronics and spintronics.

 

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