University of California at Berkeley
"Predicting New Materials: Alchemy with Computers"
Elected to National Academy of Sciences 1980, received the Oliver E. Buckley Prize and the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society 1979 & 1994, respectively.
Marvin L. Cohen was born in 1935 in Montreal. He received his A.B. degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1957 and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1964. After a year at Bell Laboratories he joined the University of California, Berkeley where he is a university professor. His work in condensed matter theory has been characterized by both depth and breadth and includes such diverse topics like the original prediction of superconductivity in highly doped semiconductors, the elucidation of electronic and vibrational states in solids and fullerenes and carbon nanotubes. Professor Cohen has received many national and international recognitions. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1980 and received the Oliver E. Buckley Prize and the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society in 1979 and 1994, respectively. His lecture will address how the challenge of the 1920's and 1930's to use quantum mechanics to explain the properties of real material systems has been answered to a large extent. It is now possible to use quantum theory to predict the existence of new substances and to account for many material properties. The approach is applicable to many system and is sometimes referred to as the "standard model" of solids. Applications to electronic properties, superhard substances, nanodevices, computers, fullerenes, superconductivity, nanotubes, and such novel materials will be discussed.