Cenke Xu, a young theoretical physicist at UCSB, was awarded a Packard Fellowship this week. He is one of only 16 scientists around the country to receive the distinction, and he’ll get an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 over five years. “Everyone is familiar with the states of matter in the classical world: solid, liquid, and gas,” Xu said in a press release. “The goal of my research is to look for and understand new states of matter in the quantum world,” he explained, noting that quantum mechanics helps understand the physics of metals, insulators, and semiconductors, the foundation of modern electronics.


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