18 March 2010

Zapf receives 2010 Lee-Osheroff-Richardson prize

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Vivien Zapf, a staff member of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's Pulsed Field Facility and a major collaborator at all three branches of the Magnet Lab, is the winner of the prestigious 2010 Lee-Osheroff-Richardson Prize.

The prize is sponsored by Oxford Instruments Inc. to support and recognize the work of young scientists employing low temperatures and/or high magnetic fields in their research.

Zapf, a long time collaborator with the Mag Lab's High B/T user program at the University of Florida, was cited "for notable achievements in making the definitive experimental verification of the applicability of the Bose-Einstein condensation universality class to magnetic field-induced phases in quantum magnets, requiring the development of novel experimental techniques at ultra-low temperatures."

Zapf received her Ph.D. from the University of California in San Diego. Her research at the University of Florida Microkelvin Laboratory with Liang Yin and his collaborators led to the measurement of the power-law behavior for the temperature dependence of the critical fields in the quantum magnet NiCl2-4SC(NH2)2 (DTN). In this and related compounds, applied magnetic fields induce long-range order of the Ni S = 1 moments between magnetic fields of 2 tesla and 12 tesla. The measurements at the High B/T facility down to 1 mK represent the lowest temperature at which Bose-Einstein condensation has been investigated in a quantum magnet, and is the first and only experiment to clearly establish the characteristic power-laws expected of a BEC system without any need to extrapolate data from higher temperatures. Zapf also studies boson mass renormalization and magneto-electric and multiferroic behavior in quantum magnets.

Zapf was presented with the prize, which comes with an $8,000 cash award and a certificate and trophy, at the Oxford Instruments "Socialize with Science" event at the APS 2010 March Meeting in Portland, Oregon.