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My research interests are in first-principles quantum condensed matter theory. I work on the development of new methods to understand the effects of atomic vibrations, quantum and thermal, in solids. One aspect concerns the study of atomic vibrations beyond the harmonic approximation, that we have found to be important in the study of the phase diagram of high pressure solid hydrogen, as well as central to demonstrate that snowflakes are hexagonal rather than cubic. I also study the coupling between the vibrational state of solids and generic physical properties. In particular, I work on the effects of electron-phonon coupling in semiconductors, and I have recently proposed a computationally inexpesive approach for the study of thermal effects in nuclear magnetic resonance calculations.
In Plain English
The building blocks of all the visible matter in the Universe are the electrons and nuclei inside atoms, and quantum mechanics is the theory that allows us to describe this microscopic world. My work focuses on how we can use our understanding of the smallest, in order to explain the largest, the world around us. In particular, I am investigating new ways in which we can describe temperature from an atomic point of view. For example, I have recently discovered a link between the effects of temperature on the helium atoms that make up the atmospheres of white dwarf stars, and the rate at which these stars cool down. The cooling rate is then used by astrophysicists in order to date the stars, and my work has shown that white dwarf stars are in reality somewhat older than we used to believe.
Temperature effects in the band structure of topological insulators
Phys. Rev. Lett. 117 226801 (2016)
Topological insulators feel the heat
Correlation effects on electron-phonon coupling in semiconductors: many-body theory along thermal lines
Phys. Rev. B 93 100301(R) (2016)
Lattice dynamics and electron-phonon coupling calculations using non-diagonal supercells
Phys. Rev. B 92 184301 (2015)
Electron-phonon coupling and the metallization of solid helium at terapascal pressures.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 112 055504 (2014)