Steven Kivelson is a physicist interested in the qualitative understanding of the macroscopic and collective properties of condensed matter systems, and in the relation between this and the microscopic physics at the single electron or single molecule scale.
In particular, he explores the spectacular consequences of strong correlation effects in electronic materials and devices where the low energy properties are qualitatively different from those of a non-interacting electron gas. This field of study has been made particularly rich and exciting by the seemingly non-ending sequence of unexpected experimental discoveries that have occurred within it in the past couple of decades — discoveries that undermine accepted beliefs, and raise conceptually deep questions about the emergent behaviour of systems with many strongly interacting degrees of freedom.
Currently, Kivelson is actively pursuing the implications of a theoretical proposal concerning the existence and character of a variety of zero temperature phases of correlated electronic systems, which he and his collaborators have named ‘electronic liquid crystalline.’ Apparently, some of these have already been observed, recently, in high temperature superconducting materials and in quantum Hall devices.
Kivelson is also involved in developing a new approach to understanding the old, but certainly unsolved, problem of the glass transition in supercooled liquids.
Member, National Academy of Sciences
Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship
Fellow, American Physical Society