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Douglas Natelson
Works at Rice University
Attended Stanford University
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Douglas Natelson

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What are Weyl fermions? Will they really lead to computers 1000x faster?
A new paper  (published online in Science) with experimental work from Zahid Hasan 's group at Princeton has made a splash this week.  In it, they argue that they see evidence in crystals of the compound TaAs for (quasi)particles that have the properties of...
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A grand challenge for nano: Solar energy harvesting near the thermodynamic limit
As I'd mentioned earlier in the week, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy had issued a call for "Grand Challenges" for nanotechnology for the next decade, with a deadline of July 16, including guidelines about specific points that a response shou...
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Nano "Grand Challenges" for the next decade
Last month the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a call for suggestions for "nanotechnology-inspired grand challenges" .  The term " grand challenge " is popular, both within the federal agencies and among science/technology coordin...
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Ten years of blogging about CMP/nano
A couple of weeks ago this blog passed through it's tenth anniversary (!).  That makes me about 70 in blog-years .  At the time, science blogging was going through a rapid expansion, and since then there has been a major die-off (we still miss you, Incohere...
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How much information can you cram down an optical fiber?
A new cool result showed up in Science this week, implying that we may be able to increase the information-carrying capacity of fiber optics beyond what had been thought of as (material-dependent) fundamental limits.  To appreciate this, it's good to think ...
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Brief news items
In the wake of travel, I wanted to point readers to a few things that might have been missed: Physics Today asks " Has science 'taken a turn towards darkness'? "  I tend to think that the physical sciences and engineering are inherently less problematic (be...
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Douglas Natelson

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The nanoscale: The edge of emergence
One of the most profound concepts to come out of condensed matter physics is the idea of emergent properties - nontrivial properties of a system that are not trivially deducible from the microscopic aspects and interactions of the underlying degrees of free...
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Active learning vs. lecturing: the annual hectoring
The new issue of Nature contains this article , discussing the active learning approach to teaching.  Actually, "discussing" is too neutral.  The title of the article and the subheadline flatly state that  lecture-based pedagogy is "wrong".  The article inc...
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What do IBM's 7 nm transistors mean?
Two days ago IBM and their consortium partners made a big splash by announcing that they had successfully manufactured prototype chips on the wafer scale (not just individual devices) with features compatible with the 7 nm "node".   What does that mean?  It...
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Can we use machine learning to solve really hard physics problems?
One of the most important achievements in 20th century physics and chemistry is density functional theory (DFT).  In 1964,   Walter Kohn and Pierre Hohenberg  proved a rather amazing result :  If you want to know the ground state electronic properties of an...
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What is quantum coherence?
Often when people write about the "weirdness" of quantum mechanics, they talk about the difference between the interesting, often counter-intuitive properties of matter at the microscopic level (single electrons or single atoms) and the response of matter a...
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Have him in circles
323 people
Anuj Arora's profile photo
Paul Cherukuri's profile photo
Arnab Pattanayak's profile photo
María Soriano's profile photo
李雅婧's profile photo
Sergiy Bokoch's profile photo
Juan Alvaro Cabanillas's profile photo
Yongxin Yao's profile photo
Heather Hanson's profile photo
Education
  • Stanford University
    Physics, 1993 - 1998
  • Princeton University
    Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1989 - 1993
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Employment
  • Rice University
    Professor of Physics and Astronomy, 2000 - present
  • Bell Labs
    Postdoctoral Member of Technical Staff, 1998 - 2000
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