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alan tennant
Alan Tennant
Professor of Physics and Materials Science
Director of Shull Wollan Center at ORNL

Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Office: 306 South College and 309 IAMM Building
Phone: 865-250-5382

Brief Vita
  • D. Phil Oxford University (1994)
  • BSc in Physics, Edinburgh University (1990)
  • Postdoctoral researcher, Oxford University, United Kingdom (1994-1996)
  • Postdoctoral research associate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA (1996-1998)
  • Visiting Scientist, Risø National Laboratory, Denmark (1998)
  • Keeley Rutherford Research Fellow Wadham College, University of Oxford, and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), United Kingdom (1999-2002)
  • Staff Scientist, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, United Kingdom (2003)
  • Lecturer in Physics, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom (2003-2004)
  • Professor of Physics (C4) and Institute Director, Technical University Berlin and Helmholtz Center Berlin, Germany (2004-2013)
  • Distinguished Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2013-2021)
  • Professor of Physics and Materials Science, University of Tennessee (2022-present)

Selected Honors
  • ORNL neutron science paper of the year (2022)
  • Fellow of the Neutron Scattering Society of America (2022)
  • Top 10 Science Achievements at SNS & HFIR (2021)
  • Discover Magazine top 100 breakthroughs (2016)
  • ORNL Director's Award for Outstanding Team Accomplishment (2016)
  • ORNL Team Research Accomplishment Award (2016)
  • Recipient of the European Physics Prize (Condensed Matter) (2012)
  • Most downloaded science press release worldwide (2010)
  • Science Magazine's Top 10 breakthroughs of the year (2009)
  • Lockheed Martin Technical Achievement award (1997)

Research Areas

My group explores quantum magnetic phenomena using neutron scattering. We connect experiments with theory and computation to test fundamental ideas about quantum states in quantum magnetic networks. This entails the development of new experimental techniques to push our knowledge of quantum entanglement in materials to new length and time scales. We work closely with theorists and computational scientists at UTK, Berkeley, Cambridge, Amsterdam, Max Planck Dresden, University of Southern California, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and primarily use neutron sources at Oak Ridge and internationally. We are part of the Quantum Science Center for Topological Quantum Information at ORNL and apply artificial intelligence with neutron scattering to quantum magnets where we are working on non-Abelian anyon materials (topological superconductors and quantum spin liquids) for error-free (topological) quantum computers and sensors. We also work on magnetic topological materials especially magnetic Weyl semimetals where magnetism can control topological quantum states. Current themes are out-of-equilibrium quantum phenomena, AI and autonomous experiment, application of supercomputing to quantum materials, and using quantum information theory to understand quantum measurement. Our group is based at both IAMM and the Shull Wollan Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

See e.g., this interview with NANOScientic magazine

Recent Publications

Publications on ResearchGate
Publications on Google Scholar

  1. Jonathan N. Hallen, S. A. Grigera, D. Alan Tennant, Claudio Castelnovo, Roderich Moessner, "Dynamical fractal and anomalous noise in clean magnetic crystal" Science publication December 19th (2022); ArXiv preprint arXiv:2211.00051.
  2. Samarakoon A.M., Barros K., Li Y.W., Eisenbach M., Zhang Q., Ye F., Dun Z.L., Zhou H., Grigera S.A., Batista C.D., and Tennant D.A., "Machine Learning Assisted Insight to Spin Ice Dy2Ti2O7", Nature Communications 11, 892 (2020).
  3. Qiang Zhang, Satoshi Okamoto, Jiaqiang Yan, German D. Samolyuk, Matthew B. Stone, Alexander B. Aleksandrov, Michael A. McGuire, David Mandrus, and D. Alan Tennant, "Unusual Exchange Couplings and Intermediate Temperature Weyl State in Co3Sn2S2", Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 117201 (2021); ArXiv:2102.07050.
  4. Pontus Laurell, Allen Scheige, Chiron J. Mukherjee, Michael M. Koza, Mechtild Enderle, Zbigniew Tylczynski, Satoshi Okamoto, Radu Coldea, D. Alan Tennant, and Gonzalo Alvarez, "Quantifying and Controlling Entanglement in the Quantum Magnet Cs2CoCl4", Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 037201 (2021).
  5. A. Scheie, P. Laurell, A.M. Samarakoon, B. Lake, S.E. Nagler, M.B. Stone, J-S. Caux, and D.A. Tennant, "Quantum wake dynamics in Heisenberg antiferromagnetic chains", Nature Communications 13, 5796 (2022).
Other Selected Publications
  1. Morris, DJP, Tennant, DA, Grigera, SA, Klemke, B, Castelnovo, C, Moessner, R, Czternasty, C, Meissner, M, Rule, KC, Hoffmann, JU, Kiefer, K, Gerischer, S, Slobinsky, D, Perry, RS "Dirac Strings and Magnetic Monopoles in the Spin Ice Dy2Ti2O7", Science 326, 411-414 (2009).
  2. Coldea, R, Tennant, DA, Wheeler, EM, Wawrzynska, E, Prabhakaran, D, Telling, M, Habicht, K, Smeibidl, P, Kiefer, K, "Quantum Criticality in an Ising Chain: Experimental Evidence for Emergent E8 Symmetry", Science 327, 177-180 (2010).
  3. Banerjee A, Bridges C.A., Yan J-Q., Aczel A.A., Li L., Stone M.B., Granroth G.E., Lumsden MD, Yui Y., Knolle J., Bhattacharjee S., Kovrizhin D.L., Moessner R., Tennant DA, Mandrus D.G., Nagler SE, "Proximate Kitaev Quantum Spin Liquid Behavior in a Honeycomb Magnet", Nature Materials 15, 733-740 (2016).
  4. Coldea R, Tennant DA, Habicht K, Smeibidl P, Wolters C, Tylczynski Z, "Direct Measurement of the Spin Hamiltonian and Observation of Condensation of Magnons in the 2D Frustrated Quantum Magnet Cs2CuCl4", Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 7203 (2002).
  5. Lake B, Tennant DA, Nagler SE, Frost CD, "Quantum criticality and universal scaling of a quantum antiferromagnet", Nature Materials 4, 329-334 (2005).
  6. Allen Scheie, Nick E. Sherman, Maxime DuPont, Stephen E. Nagler, Matthew B. Stone, Garrett E. Granroth, Joel E. Moore, and D. Alan Tennant, "Detection of Kardar–Parisi–Zhang hydrodynamics in a quantum Heisenberg spin-1/2 chain". Nature Physics 17, 726-730 (2021).
  7. Coldea R, Tennant DA, Tsvelik AM, and Tylczynski Z, "Experimental realization of a 2D fractional quantum spin liquid", Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 1335 (2001).
  8. Roger M, Morris DJP, Tennant DA, Goff JP, Gutmann MJ, Hoffmann J-U, Feyerherm R, Dudzik E, Prabhakaran D, Boothroyd AT, Shannon N, Lake B, and Deen P, "Patterning of sodium ions and the control of electrons in sodium cobaltate", Nature 445, 7128 (2007).
  9. Borzi RA, Grigera SA, Farrell J, Perry RS, Lister SJS, Lee SL, Tennant DA, Maeno Y, and Mackenzie AP, "Formation of a nematic fluid at high fields in Sr3Ru2O7", Science 315, 5809 (2007).
  10. Banerjee A, Yan JQ., Knolle J., Bridges C.A., Stone M.B., Lumsden M.D., Mandrus D.G., Tennant D.A., Moessner R., Nagler S.E., "Neutron scattering in the proximate spin liquid alpha-RuCl3", Science 356, 1055 (2017).



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