He joined the faculty of the University of California, San Diego as an Assistant Professor in 1997 and was promoted to Professor in 2001. At present, he serves as the Chair of the Physics Department.Throughout his career, Basov has developed and used various infrared techniques to investigate novel electronic and magnetic phenomena in a wide variety of materials including high-Tc superconductors, transition metal oxides, ferromagnetic semiconductors, organic materials, and - most recently - graphene. A leitmotif of his research is to explore optical phenomena originating from many body effects and electronic correlations. Basov is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2005). He was awarded the Ludwig Genzel prize in 2004 and the Humboldt Research Prize in 2009.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, after a national competition, has selected nineteen Moore Experimental Investigators in Quantum Materials. Through grants to 11 universities around the United States, this five-year, $34.2 million investigator program will allow these outstanding physicists to pursue ambitious, high-risk research, including the development of new experimental techniques. The program could transform our understanding of quantum materials and make it possible to ask fundamentally new questions about how complex quantum matter organizes and behaves.
Quantum materials are substances in which collective behavior of electrons leads to many emergent properties, such as high-temperature superconductivity and exotic forms of magnetism. New discoveries in this field could eventually lead to revolutionary applications in electronics, computing, energy technology and medical devices.
The Moore Experimental Investigator in Quantum Materials Awards are part of a $90 million Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) Initiative - one of the largest privately-funded initiatives in this field - that provides support for highly talented scientists in three areas: experiment, materials synthesis and theory. The EPiQS Initiative aims to facilitate scientific breakthroughs by giving some of the fieldss most creative scientists the freedom to take risk and the flexibility for agile change of research direction, and providing them with an environment that encourages collaboration with other leading researchers. Earlier this year, the Moore Foundation announced the winners of its competitions for Materials Synthesis Investigators and Theory Centers.
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Each year the Physics Department and its faculty host a number of undergraduates in its Research Experience for Undergraduates program. The students are selected from approximately 450 applicants. The program is funded by an NSF Grant (with Dmitri Basov and Hans Paar co-PIs).
Besides working hard in the labs and attending seminars and workshops, the students also take the Physics of Sailing course. The course consists of a classroom lecture and a laboratory component that takes place on the San Diego Bay in a 42' Catalina sailboat. The photograph shows the students, Charmaine Samahin and her husband Randy, and the instructor (Hans Paar).