Andrea Cavalleri - Biography#


Andrea Cavalleri received a Laurea degree and a PhD at the University of Pavia (Italy) in 1994 and 1998. Between 1996 and 1998 he worked in the physics department of University of Essen (Germany).

Between 1998 and 2001 he was a Postdoc at UC San Diego, working with the late K.R. Wilson. Cavalleri and co-workers performed the first measurements of atomic-structural dynamics in solids with femtosecond x-rays, which they generated from Terawatt-laser produced plasmas. These experiments pioneered the field of ultrafast structural science, and lead to the first time resolved detection of structural phase transitions in the solid state.

Between 2001 and 2005, he was a member of the scientific staff at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he developed the first scientific applications of sliced pulses of synchrotron radiation. For this work, Cavalleri was awarded the David Shirley Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement.

In 2004, Cavalleri received the first European Young Investigator Award and joined the faculty of the University of Oxford. He was promoted to Professor of Physics in 2006. His work on the optical control of complex materials, culminated in the striking demonstration of light induced superconductivity in the striped cuprates and later on alkaly-doped fullerites (K3C60). Those works have been seminal in launching the filed of light-induced high Tc superconductivity.

In 2008 Andrea Cavalleri was appointed to be the first and founding director of the Max Planck Research Department for Structural Dynamics, a project that in 2013 lead to the foundation of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter.

Many of his most recent scientific contributions have involved the application of X-ray Free Electron Lasers to the study of photo-induced phase transitions in a wide range of materials.

In 2015, he received the Max Born Medal from the DFG and the IoP, as well as the Dannie Heinemann Prize from the Academy of Sciences in Goettingen, awarded to him for his work on photo-induced phase transitions.
He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (2011), of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2016) and of the Institute of Physics (2015).

Cavalleri has held many named lectures, including the 2012 Ångström Lecture at Uppsala University. In 2017 he was an Invited Professor at the Collége de France.

The impact of Cavalleri's work on our basic understanding of the condensed matter is unrivaled in two ways: 1) he has not only developed the central ideas and concepts but also invested enormous effort to implement them into tools which are now in widespread use and which are essential in explaining and controlling the behavior of broad classes of real materials; and 2) he has applied these methods to a wide variety of important examples, coming up with predictions of new phenomena and powerful insights that advanced understanding of the fundamental behaviors of novel and complex solids, enabling the exploration of new directions and applications.

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