Catherine Kallin General Physics, Subatomic Particles, Optics, Biophysics, Theoretical Physics

Physicist: Contributed to the theory of high temperature superconductors

The Story

It was only by chance that Kallin, now recognized as one of the top condensed matter theorists in the world, got into physics. In high school she dropped physics after Grade 10. A community college course in “physics for poets” piqued her interest in the subject and led her to the honours physics program at UBC. Kallin and her collaborators made microwave measurements on high-temperature superconductors, and used the data to determine their electrical and magnetic properties to understand why the materials are superconductors at all. When superconductors were discovered in 1911, it was thought that superconductivity wouldn’t exist above -243 degrees Celsius. But “high-temperature” superconductivity (above -243) was discovered in 1986, and in subsequent years the temperature rose to the present record of -113 degrees Celsius. Kallin and others are trying to discover whether proposed electron-electron interactions are the cause of high-temperature superconductivity. Kallin received a Steacie Memorial Fellowship in 1996.

Sources: NSERC

The Person

Hamilton, Ontario
Physics Professor
McMaster University
  • B.Sc. Mathematics and Physics, UBC, 1979
  • Ph.D. Physics, Harvard University, 1984
Last Updated
August 16, 2006

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