Claudia Felser appointed as new international member of the United States National Academy of Sciences

May 17, 2021

Claudia Felser appointed as new international member of the United States National Academy of Sciences

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has appointed Claudia Felser as an International Member under the auspices of the Applied Physics Section in recognition of her outstanding and continuing research accomplishments. This year, 120 new members were elected, 59 of them women, and a total of 30 international members.

The NAS was founded in 1863 with the signature of President Abraham Lincoln and has advised the U.S. government on scientific matters ever since. Admission as a member is based on the recommendation of previous members and is considered one of the highest international honors for scientists. The induction ceremony for the new members will take place in Washington, D.C., in late April 2022.

“The appointment is a great honor for me and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in this top-tier academy,” says Claudia Felser, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden (Germany).

Claudia Felser studied chemistry and physics at the University of Cologne in Germany (diploma in solid state chemistry, 1989, doctorate in physical chemistry, 1994). Felser has been honored with numerous awards, among others the Alexander M. Cruickshank Lecturer Award of the Gordon Research Conference, a SUR-grant Award from IBM and the Tsungmin Tu Research Prize from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan, the highest academic honor granted to foreign researchers in Taiwan. In 2019, Claudia Felser was awarded the APS James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials together with Bernevig (Princeton) and Dai (Hongkong). She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the IEEE magnetic society, and is a member of the Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences, the acatech, the German National Academy of Engineering, and the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Felser’s research interests are the design, synthesis, and physical characterization of new quantum materials with topological properties. One versatile class of materials in the focus of her research are Heusler compounds and related superstructures. New classes of topological quantum materials were identified by Felser and her team. These materials display a plethora of novel phenomena including topological surface states, hydrodynamic flow of electrons, quantum effects known in high energy physics as the chiral anomaly and in astrophysics as the axial gravitational anomaly, non-collinear spin structures, and a phason collected mode which mimics a dynamical axion. A hallmark of many of these new quantum properties that are derived from fundamental symmetries of the bulk is that they are topologically protected. Surprisingly, more than 35% of all known inorganic compounds belong to a non-trivial topological materials class. Several of these materials can be building blocks for future quantum technologies.


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