Professor Xiaolong Liu has been named a winner of a 2022 Blavatnik Regional Award for Young Scientists in the category of Physical Sciences & Engineering. The award was announced today by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences. The Awards honor outstanding postdoctoral scientists from academic research institutions across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Prof. Liu joined Notre Dame Physics & Astronomy Department in January 2022, coming from a postdoctoral position at Cornell University.
The award notification states that Condensed Matter physicist Dr. Xiaolong Liu has developed new types of microscopic imaging techniques, like the high-speed scanning Josephson-tunneling microscopy technique (SJTM), that explore vexing problems in quantum physics. The new microscope Liu developed led to the very first atomic-scale observation of Cooper-pair density waves—standing waves of electron pairs in a superconductor, similar to the standing wave of a plucked string. Liu engages in another exciting area of physics—electron superfluids—an electronic version of a fluid, much like water, that contains no resistance to flow. Using SJTM, Liu showed that jet-speeds of up to 3,000 meters per second (up to MACH 9) can be reached by electron pairs in a superfluid. The new imaging methodologies being developed by Liu are equipping scientists with novel tools to explore exciting new problems in quantum physics.