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In our research we try to understand the nature of a variety of unconventional materials. One example is superconductivity, but we also address other phenomena that occur at low temperatures, for example metals that drastically change their properties if one applies a magnetic field.
Probing solids with light is a powerful way to investigate their properties: Even with the human eye one can immediately distinguish between a metal, which is reflecting, and an insulator like glass, which is transparent. We follow a similar approach in our research, but we have to choose a different spectral range of light. The phenomena that we study are characterized by very low energy scales, such as the low temperatures that are required to exhibit these effects. Therefore, we use light of similarly low photon energies, meaning THz radiation and microwaves.
These experiments allow us to probe the fundamental behavior of charge carriers and spins that govern these various exotic states and to understand their underlying physical mechanisms.