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K-State Today

April 17, 2019

2019 K-State physics doctoral graduate receives prestigious international fellowship to conduct research in Spain

Submitted by Kim Coy

Adam Summers

Adam Summers has been named a winner of a PROBIST Postdoctoral Fellowship. This award is sponsored by the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology and co-funded through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the European Union’s Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 program.

The award provides three years of funding to include salary and relocation expenses. Summers will be hosted by the Attosecond and Ultrafast Optics group of Jens Biegert at the Institute for Photonic Sciences in Barcelona.

As part of the PROBIST fellowship, Summers also will participate in a training program focused on leadership, entrepreneurial skills and technology transfer issues, such as intellectual property, industrial collaborations and spin-off development.

His research in Barcelona will focus on time resolved measurements of the dynamics that occur during quantum phase transitions in correlated systems such as high-temperature superconductors, topological insulators and other novel materials.

"Learning more about interplay between the bulk material and the electron correlation in these systems is critical for advancements in both fundamental science as well as for next generation technologies in computing, energy transport, and ultra-precise light sensing applications," Summers said. "Understanding and describing the fundamental, many-body interactions present in these dynamic quantum phase transitions, particularly how they are initiated, is of immense importance for modern material science."

Summers also was recently awarded the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence, which recognizes the quality and innovation of his proposed research. The seal is an extremely competitive honor. In 2018, less than 14% of applicants were awarded the honor.

"Despite decades of intensive research, many aspects of correlated materials are not well understood," Summers said. "This proposed research takes advantage of recent advancements in the fields ultrafast optics and attosecond science to investigate these systems in a novel and powerful way."

Summers recently completed his doctorate working in the James R. Macdonald Laboratory of the physics department on ultrafast science. He was mentored by Daniel Rolles, K-State, and Carlos Trallero, University of Connecticut.

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