I study transport (resistivity, Hall effect) and other properties (specific heat) of high-temperature superconductors in an effort to understand how these materials superconduct. My focus is on the normal-superconducting phase transition.
My current research focuses on the cuprate superconductor Praesodymium Cerium Copper oxide (Pr2-xCexCuO4). This research, funded by the National Science Foundation, includes sample growth at the University of Maryland, sample patterning via photolithography at the Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility, and measuring the samples back in the Low Temperature Lab at Ithaca College. A separate project is to measure the critical current density in these materials.
We hope to soon (in 2010) measure some of the new iron pnictide superconductors recently discovered. These crystals are grown by researchers a the University of Maryland.
Interested in what we do? Take a look at a movie made by Ithaca College Physics student Marco Salvaggio describing the research he did during the summer of 2007. It's a must-see! It clocks in at over ten minutes and about 20 MB. If you'd like to see smaller portions, we've uploaded the movie in two parts on YouTube: Part 1, and Part 2.
One of the other aspects of our lab that we work on is outreach: How to bring superconductivity to a wider audience. We made a cool movie about a superconducting levitation and suspension demonstration that physics Student Charlie Strehlow worked on. It's another must-see! It even has a roller-coaster track. A lower-quality movie (thus shorter download) is here on YouTube also. This work was expanded upon by another student, Arnold Kotlyarevsky, with a really cool figure-8 track. Check it out!