Jeong Min Park awarded 2024 Schmidt Science Fellowship

Physics graduate student Jeong Min (Jane) Park has been selected as one of the 32 exceptional early-career scientists globally to receive the esteemed 2024 Schmidt Science Fellows award.

In her postdoctoral work as a 2024 Schmidt Science Fellow, Park will use an advanced instrument to directly detect phases that could potentially harbor new particles at the subatomic level.

Teaming up with her advisor, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics at MIT, Park is dedicated to exploring innovative quantum phases of matter.

“When there are numerous electrons in a material, their interactions can result in collective behaviors that defy expectations from individual particles, known as emergent phenomena,” Park explains. “One such example is superconductivity, where interacting electrons pair up at low temperatures to conduct electricity without any loss of energy.”

Throughout her doctoral studies, Park delved into unique forms of superconductivity by creating new materials with specific interactions and topology. One of her significant discoveries involved using graphene, an atomically thin two-dimensional layer of graphite, to uncover a robust form of superconductivity under high magnetic fields. This breakthrough led to the identification of a new class of materials with similar properties, shedding light on the underlying mechanisms of superconductivity and interaction-driven phenomena.

Looking ahead to her postdoctoral studies with Princeton University physics professor Ali Yazdani’s lab, Park expresses her enthusiasm for exploring and researching new quantum phenomena that could enhance our understanding of fundamental physics.

Classified as either bosons or fermions, elementary particles exhibit differing behaviors when two identical particles are interchanged—known as exchange statistics. Non-abelian anyons, a hypothesized class of particles, could revolutionize quantum computing by allowing for the encoding and storage of information through particle braiding.

Since its inception in 2018, the prestigious Schmidt Science Fellows program has aimed to dissolve disciplinary barriers in science to address global challenges and nurture future STEM leaders.

The Schmidt Science Fellows initiative, in collaboration with the Rhodes Trust, aims to identify, nurture, and empower the next wave of science leaders by fostering a community of scientists and advocates for interdisciplinary science. The 2024 cohort of fellows comprises individuals from 17 different nationalities spanning North America, Europe, and Asia.

Candidates for this esteemed postdoctoral program undergo a rigorous selection process involving academic reviews and final interviews with experts across various scientific disciplines and industry sectors.

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