Sofja Kovalevskaja-Award for Dr. Mazhar Ali
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation honors Mazhar Ali with one of the highest endowed science awards in Germany, the 2016 Sofja Kovalevskaja Award.
Massless particles facilitate novel electrical applications - they have no mass and they are very mobile – and thus ideal for the electronic transmission of information without friction loss. We are talking about Weyl fermions, which were only definitively discovered in 2015. These elementary particles can only exist inside certain solids such as so-called Dirac and Weyl semimetals. The particles are named after the German physicist Hermann Weyl who predicted their existence back in 1929. Contemporary physicist Mazhar Ali now wants to appropriate the materials’ unusual properties and to investigate the transport and spintronic applications of Dirac and Weyl semimetals in crystalline thin films as the basis for novel electronic components.
Dr. Mazhar Ali was born in the United States in 1986. He studied physics and chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, from 2006 to 2009, concurrently pursuing internships in industry. With two Bachelor’s degrees under his belt he moved to Princeton University where he took a Master’s in chemistry in 2011 and a doctorate in chemistry and materials science in 2014. He subsequently became a postdoc at the IBM Almaden Research Center, near San José. | Text © humboldt-foundation.de