Physics World announces its Breakthrough of the Year finalists for 2020

Thomas Young Centre and MMM Hub members Kostya Trachenko of Queen Mary University of London, Bartomeu Monserrat and Chris Pickard of the University of Cambridge and Vadim Brazhkin of the Russian Academy for Sciences were nominated as one of Physics World's Breakthrough of the Year 2020 finalists.

The nomination was awarded for calculations showing that the upper limit on the speed of sound in solids and liquids depends on just two dimensionless quantities - the fine structure constant and the proton-to-electron mass ratio.  The team's theoretical prediction is backed up by experimental data of the speed of sound in a range of solid materials and a calculation of the speed of sound in metallic hydrogen - a material that is yet to be created in the lab but should have the fastest speed of sound.  The research provides insight into how fundamental constants impose bounds on physical properties.

Covered by the the Economist, Science News, Sky News and Daily Mail


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