2011 Mott Medal and Prize

Professor Andrew Peter Mackenzie

University of St Andrews

For his major and original contributions to the physics of strongly correlated electrons in oxides, in particular, their superconductivity and quantum criticality.

Andrew Mackenzie is known as a pioneer of the study of superconductivity and strongly correlated electron physics in oxides. In his early career he concentrated on the high temperature superconducting cuprates. Notably, he worked on TI2Ba2CuO6, performing the first measurements of the metal-superconductor boundary at dilution refrigerator temperatures in collaboration with S R Julian of Cambridge University. This initiated a fifteen year search for the de Haas-van Alphen (dHvA) effect in that material, with the successful measurement performed in 2008 by a Bristol-Toulouse-St Andrews collaboration led by N Hussey, on crystals grown by Mackenzie.

In 1994 he began collaborative work with Y Maeno of Kyoto University on the newly discovered superconductivity in Sr2RuO4. In two influential papers, he established the nature of the metallic state from which the superconductivity condenses and provided the first convincing evidence that the superconducting state possesses unconventional symmetries . Although many people have worked on Sr2RuO4, the contributions made by Mackenzie and Maeno's teams were seminal.

Mackenzie's recent work has concentrated on the formation of non-superconducting correlated electron phases in the vicinity of quantum critical points. His group has discovered one of the most striking examples of such a phase, thought to be a kind of electronic liquid crystal, in Sr3Ru2O7.

Mackenzie's work is marked by a powerful combination of scientific insight and experimental virtuosity which places him at the very forefront of one of the most important, competitive and exciting areas of condensed matter physics today.