Minoru Yamashita Group
Group of Solid State Physics [Physics in Extreme Conditions]
Exploring something unknown is always exciting. Join
our challenges for mysteries hiding in new materials
under unprecedented extreme environments.
We are studying exotic phenomena at very low temperatures. Helium, for example, never freezes but remains liquid even at absolute zero temperature. Liquid Helium undergoes a superfluid transition at ~2 K and shows bizarre phenomena below the transition temperature - a flow without viscosity, a creeping climbing along container walls, etc. These phenomena are well known examples of macroscopic manifestations of the quantum mechanics which describes phenomena at microscopic length scales. Macroscopic quantum states provide us clear cuts to understand quantum physics which often defies our intuitive understandings of Nature. Condensed-matter physics at very low temperatures are good playgrounds to study these macroscopic quantum phenomena, and are our main research fields. In particular, when a trivial stable state is frustrated by quantum fluctuations, new non-trivial states emerge. We are now exploring these exotic states of new materials down to very low temperatures.
Associate Professor Minoru Yamashita
- 2000-2005: Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Ph.D. Science
- 2005-2007: JSPS Research Fellow (PD), ISSP, University of Tokyo and Cornell University
- 2007-2007: Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell University (J.C. Davis group)
- 2007-2012: Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Kyoto University (Matsuda-Shibauchi group)
- 2012-2013: Research Scientist, Riken (Kato group)
- 2013-present: Associate Professor, Institute for Solid State Physics, The University of Tokyo
What happens when materials are cooled down close to absolute zero temperature? It sounds a boring question because everything freezes at T = 0. It is NOT, however, in some materials because quantum fluctuations persist even at absolute zero temperature. It was first discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes at 1911, who was the first to liquify Helium and reach ~ 1 K, that the resistance of mercury suddenly vanished at low temperature. Followed by the discovery of the superconducting transition, many amazing quantum phenomena - superfluid transition of Helium, Bose-Einstein condensations of Alkali Bose gases - were found at low temperatures.
We are interested in these quantum condensed states at low temperatures where the thermal fluctuation is negligible. Especially, we are now focusing on studies to characterize the elementary excitations of a new quantum condensed state of spins which may emerge in frustrated magnetic materials, such as antiferromagnets at two-dimensional triangular or kagome lattices, by precise themo-dynamic measurements at ultra-low temperatures.