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Kudos: Fellowship Awarded to Student Who Combines Research with Volunteering

February 22, 2016

Alexandru Georgescu (Physics) was chosen to be this year’s D. Allan Bromley Graduate Fellow.

The D. Allan Bromley Fellowship Fund for Graduate Research in Physics was established in 2005 by alumni to honor Bromley’s “exceptional teaching and research career at Yale.” Bromley (1926-2005) was former Sterling Professor of the Sciences and Presidential Science Advisor to President George H.W. Bush.

The Fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate student in Physics who has advanced to candidacy and “who exhibits a broader interest than just physics, including, but not limited to, science and public policy, engineering, and applied science.” Candidates are nominated by the faculty and selected by the D. Allan Bromley Professor of Physics, currently Richard Casten; and the Director of Graduate Studies of Physics, currently Sean Barrett.

Georgescu studies the quantum mechanics of condensed matter (solids and liquids) under the supervision of Sohrab Ismail-Beigi.  His dissertation focuses on understanding the physics of oxides of transition metals — those found in the middle section of the periodic table. The ones he studies have interesting properties, from magnetism to superconductivity (conducting current without any loss of energy), that are not well understood theoretically. Unusual quantum mechanical properties occur because the electrons in these metals both move freely (as they would in a regular metal) and are 'localized' — stuck to the transition metal atoms they are on due to strong interactions with each other.

Georgescu uses both theoretical and computational methods at Yale's High Performance Computing center (HPC). A better understanding of these materials may enable engineers to harness their properties to create faster computers and improve or invent other electronic applications.

Born and brought up in Bucharest, Romania, Georgescu earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in New York. At Yale, when not working on research, he has focused on science education and community service, among other things. He has given lectures and led experiments for the S.C.H.O.L.A.R. program, which is aimed at high school students. He has also mentored students in K-12 with science fair projects and served as outreach liaison for the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center at Yale and Southern Connecticut State University.