Neil Ashcroft

Horace White Professor of Physics, Emeritus

622 Clark Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca NY 14853

(607) 255-8613
(607) 255-9684

B.Sc., 1958, M.Sc., 1960, Dipl. Hons., 1960, University of New Zealand. Ph.D.,1964, Cambridge University, England. Research Associate, University of Chicago, 1964-65. Research Associate, Cornell University, 1965-66. Assistant Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1966-69. Associate Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1969-75. Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1975-present. Horace White Professor of Physics, Cornell University, 1990-present. Director, Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP), Cornell University, 1979-84. Director, Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR), 1997-2000. Associate Director, Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), 1978-89. Deputy Director, CHESS, 1990-97. Chair, Division of Condensed Matter Physics, American Physical Society, 1985-87. Chair, Board of Trustees, Gordon Research Conferences, 1990-91. Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, 1984-85. Chair, US Dept of Energy Visiting Committee, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1986-90. Bridgman Prize, AIRAPT, 2003. Member, Advisory Committees, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2000-2004. Member, Editorial Board, Physical Review, 1996-1999. Fellow, American Physical Society. Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of New Zealand. Fellow, the Institute of Physics. Foreign Member, Russian Academy of Sciences. Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Research Areas
Density functional theory and field theoretic methods in both classical and quantal systems; matter at high densities and in reduced dimensionality, including the two-dimensional electron gas and confined electron systems; superlattice hetero-structures, their electronic structure, and their transport properties; metallic hydrogen and its electronically ordered alloys. The general theory of superconductivity.

Current Research

Present research themes are centered on the theory of strongly correlated many-particle systems, both classical and quantal, and high-temperature superconductivity.

Topics of special interest include:

  • Chemical pre-compression, and higher superconductivity in the lower elements in combination
  • Ground state liquid metals and their possible superfluidity
  • Ordered states of condensed matter at elevated pressures
  • Quantum and classical density functional theories (and applications)
  • General symmetry aspects of the metal-insulator transition
  • Theory of melting, and other first-order phase transitions
  • Theory of metallic hydrogen and its alloys

  • Spotlight

    Wui Ip Professor Carl Franck and student Wui Ip (who is at Cornell as part of the NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program) are studying how cells interact and signal each other to form complicated structures. For example, cells communicate when conditions are good, and they exchange growth factors. Franck and Ip are focusing on the question "Why do cells need company to grow?" It is well known that a minimum culture is needed to grow cells. What determines that ... read more