Dr Andrea Fischer
I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick in 2011 and joined the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge as a Postdoctoral Research Associate the same year. I am a member of the Theory of Condensed Matter group in the physics department, where we use quantum mechanics to study the properties of matter at the nanoscale. Broadly speaking, I am interested in interacting quantum systems, particularly those in lower dimensions. My doctoral studies focused on graphene, a single layer of graphite, which has received a lot of media attention, due to its potential applications. I studied some of the material's fundamental optical properties in the presence of a uniform perpendicular magnetic field.
Since coming to Cambridge, I have been learning about ultracold atomic gases. These are gases of alkali atoms cooled to mere fractions of a degree above absolute zero temperature, using a complex configuration of lasers and magnetic fields. Experimentalists have a high degree of control over them, which means they can be used to simulate more complex, uncontrollable quantum systems. I have been studying atoms confined to 2D layers, in particular how they interact and form pairs analogous to Cooper pairs of electrons in superconductors. The idea is to learn something about high temperature superconductors, which are made up of loosely coupled 2D planes. I have also recently begun exploring the density wave phase, which can occur in such systems.
In addition to my research I very much enjoy being a member of the community at Christ's College and supervising the undergraduate students.
Andrea left her Fellowship in September 2014, moving into Medical Physics, with a joint position at the Royal Marsden, St George's and King's College Hospital.