Thursday, January 17, 2013
Physics Research Conference
Once Upon a Time in Kamchatka: The Extraordinary Search for Natural Quasicrystals
Paul Steinhardt, Princeton University
A quasicrystal is an exotic state of matter with symmetries once thought to be impossible for matter. The concept was first introduced and the first examples were synthesized in the laboratory thirty years ago, but could Nature have beaten us to the punch? This talk will describe the search for the first natural quasicrystal, an adventure that has taken us to the ends of the Earth and beyond (and one of the stranger scientific stories you are ever likely to hear).