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Kate A. Ross

Kate Ross studies emergent phenomena arising from quantum magnetic materials. She was drawn to this field of research after learning about the idea of quasi-particle excitations in condensed matter; these particles only exist within the background of a well-ordered crystal lattice. Kate loves the simplicity of the quasi-particle description, given the apparent complexity of the collective dynamics that produces them. Kate’s research group works to create new phases of matter in real materials, with the goal of producing unusual types of quasi-particles. Her lab produces high quality single crystals of targeted materials and uses a variety of characterization techniques, particularly neutron scattering, to understand their properties. The materials are selected based on their propensity to show strong quantum effects at very low temperatures. An example is the Quantum Spin Liquid; this type of phase appears to be disordered from a local perspective, resulting in rather featureless responses in most measurements, yet gives rise to emergent quasi-particles that can be identified using inelastic neutron scattering. Kate is best known for her work on a class of materials known as pyrochlores, whose lattice geometries prevent the development of “standard” phases of magnetism, allowing quantum phases like the Quantum Spin Liquid to dominate. Kate’s work on one such material, Yb2Ti2O7, indicated that the material could potentially host emergent quasi-particles that are analogs of photons, electrons and magnetic monopoles. In other words, a full “emergent electrodynamics” could exist in this material.


NSERC Post Doctoral Fellowship, 2015.

Royal Society of Canada’s Alice Wilson Award, 2014.

Neutron Scattering Society of America’s Prize for Outstanding Student Research, 2014.

NSERC CGS-D, 2009-2011.

Selected to attend the 2008 Lindau Nobel Laureate conference, 2008.

Relevant Publications

K. A. Ross et al, "Static and dynamic XY-like short-range order in a frustrated magnet with exchange disorder," Phys. Rev. B 93, 014433, 2016.

K. A. Ross et al, "Order by Disorder Spin Wave Gap in the XY Pyrochlore Magnet Er2Ti2O7," Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 057201, 2014.

K.A. Ross et al, "Lightly stuffed pyrochlore structure of single-crystalline Yb2Ti2O7 grown by the optical floating zone technique," Phys. Rev. B 86 (17), 174424, 2012.

L. Savaryet al, "Order by Quantum Disorder in Er2Ti2O7," Phys. Rev. Lett. 109 (16), 167201, 2012.

K.A. Rosset et al, "Quantum Excitations in Quantum Spin Ice," Phys. Rev. X 1, 021002, 2011



CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar Quantum Materials


Colorado State UniversityDepartment of Physics


PhD (Condensed Matter Physics) McMaster University

BSc (Physics) University of Waterloo


United states

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