Libor Šmejkal is a research team leader in the INSPIRE group at the Institute of Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and an associate researcher at the Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences. Born in the Czech Republic, he studied theoretical and experimental physics in Brno and Vienna and received his PhD from the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in Prague in 2020. Currently, Šmejkal is researching topological and magnetic quantum matter, developing theoretical physics tools for studying functional quantum matter on supercomputers, discovering unconventional magnetic crystals, developing materials and conceptual devices which may contribute to sustainable nanoelectronics of the future, and collaborating globally on related experiments. His scientific contributions were recognized by several awards including the European Magnetism Association Young Scientist Award 2021, the Czech Head Prize 2021 and the Siemens Award 2020.
Libor Šmejkal: Breaking the Wall to Quantum Magnets
How a New Type of Magnetism Can Lead to Lossless Electronics
Before the discovery of altermagnets, researchers studied ferromagnets and antiferromagnets. Ferromagnets are commonly used but suffer energy loss due to resistance when electricity passes through them. Antiferromagnets, where magnetic moments cancel out, also experience energy losses in electronic devices due to electrical resistance. These limitations hindered the efficiency of electronic devices and wasted energy.
The breakthrough with altermagnets lies in their ability to conduct electricity without resistance. This is possible because of their unique electron arrangement and their capability to detect strong quantum mechanical fields. Libor Šmejkal is a research team leader at the Institute of Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, and an associate researcher at the Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences.
At Falling Walls, Šmejkal will delve into his breakthrough of altermagnets—a discovery that has the potential to revolutionise the way we design and use electronic technology, making it much more efficient and sustainable.
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Berlin, 10243 Germany