Laura Greene (physicist)

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Laura H. Greene is a physics professor at Florida State University and Chief Scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. She was previously a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [1].

She is noted for her research on Andreev bound states and is an expert in strongly correlated Fermionic systems. During the discoveries of the first high transition temperature (Hi-Tc) superconductors she and collaborators from AT&T laboratories, were amongst the first to report on the role of oxygen and crystal structure in the copper-oxides. Laura Greene is a champion for diversity and is active in promoting equal rights for women and minorities. She is a member of the Department of State supported COACh team, an organization for assisting in the success and impact of women scientists and engineers [2].


As a child Laura Greene always had an intense curiosity about the working of the natural things around her and took a liking of the sciences. But, as a teen growing up in a culturally vibrant and diverse neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, she was also passionately attracted to music, especially folk music often singing and playing guitar at coffee houses and parties. Music remains an important constant in her life, she enjoys performing and is a regular participant in the American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting “Physics Songs” symposia. She is the mother of two grown up sons and is married to the noted British born, pianist and conductor Ian Hobson.

Laura Greene has held numerous professional positions at institutions all over the world. However, since 1992 she has been a permanent member of the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). At UIUC she holds the Swanlund endowed chair professor of physics, Center for Advanced Study professor of physics and Co-Associate Director, Center for Emergent Superconductivity (CES) Energy Frontier Research, Department of Physics, Materials Research laboratory (MRL), center for Nanoscale Science & Technology, UIUC, IL 61801-3080, USA.

Education, career and major professional contributions[edit]

Laura Greene studied physics as an undergraduate at Ohio State University and was awarded a cum laude BS, (1974) degree and Master’s (MS) in 1978. For higher education she joined Cornell University. At Cornell, first she was awarded a MS in experimental physics (1980) and then in (1984) she completed a PhD degree in condensed matter physics.

With her PhD she joined the fabled AT&T Bell Labs in Murray Hills in New Jersey (NJ) and later Bellcore, Red Bank also in NJ. The first ever evidence of, high critical temperature (high-Tc) superconductivity was reported (1986) by Bednoz and Muller, two researchers at the IBM’s research laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland. Within months, the IBM report was followed up with discoveries of far higher temperature superconductors from all over the world and publicized by professional events like the Woodstock of physics in the March meetings of the American Physical Society in 1987 & 1988; the first one was in New York city and the next in New Orleans, Louisiana. Greene and colleagues then still at AT&T were amongst the first groups to make a number of key contributions, especially discovering the remarkable sensitivity of the superconducting transition, in the ‘123- materials’, to the exact amount of oxygen present, as well as the interdependence of atomic crystal structure and chemical composition with superconductivity. They reported these results in the first couple of conferences such as the one in Anaheim, California in the spring, 1987 meeting of the Materials Research Society (MRS) and the Berkeley meeting later in the summer that same year. The Anaheim meeting was attended by Karl Alexander Muller, the original co-discoverer of high-Tc and Nobel Prize (1987) winner for the discovery of high temperature superconductivity. Greene’s pioneering contribution was recognized in the first book on this subject, “Copper-oxide Superconductors”, and in other highly cited research articles. She was also a panelist at the Woodstock-II.

Since the early days Greene has continued research on unconventional or novel superconducting materials, especially by Andreev reflection (PCAR) spectroscopy, demonstration of Andreev bound states, and a wide range of symmetry breaking phenomena, including time-reversal symmetry breaking. Her recent work include quantum mechanics on a macroscopic level, strongly correlated materials, PCAR experiments in Heavy fermion superconductor systems, and others.

Professionally at UIUC Laura Greene has been influenced by John Bardeen (the only double Nobel Laureate in physics) and Anthony Leggett (another physics Nobelist); she has worked with many other scientists, including B. Batlogg, Malcolm R. Beasley, R. A. Buhrman, David Ceperley, Timir Datta, Mildred Dresselhaus, Robert C. Dynes, A. J. Epstein, Theodore H. Geballe, Nigel Goldenfeld, David C. Larbalestier, W. E. Moerner, T.P. Orlando, David B. Tanner, J. M. Tarascon, T. Timusk, Dale Van Harlingen and others.

Outreach and societal awareness[edit]

Laura Greene is committed to equal rights for women and minorities in education and in the work place, particularly when it comes to the hard sciences and the engineering professions; she also actively promotes awareness and sensitivity towards people who face difficult health challenges. She is a Co-founder of the Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public (FOEP), and a member of Committee on Informing the Public, both parts of the American Physical Society. Laura Greene was on ‘BOOST/Grantwriting/Indonesia Advisory Board’; part of COACH International, for the Kavli Frontiers of Science Indonesia Meeting, Bali, Indonesia, and she has served on the Argonne Education and Outreach Council for the Division of Educational Programs, Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne-U/Chicago-LLC).

Recent outreach and public service[edit]

  • Popular article: “High-Temperature Superconductivity: Taming Serendipity” Physics World, 24, 41-43 (2011).
  • Popular article: “Confronting fraud in science”, Book Review of On Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science by David Goodstein, Physics World, 23, 42-43 (2010).
  • Organizer and chair for the 2013 APS March Meeting “Physics for Everyone” DMP symposium, March 20, 2013, Baltimore, MD.

Selected awards and honors[edit]

  • Chair-elect, Division of Materials Physics (DMP) of the American Physical Society, elected 2012 (Vice-Chair 2012; Chair-Elect 2013; Chair 2014; Past Chair 2015).
  • US delegate to the Commission on Structure and Dynamics of Condensed Matter (C10), International Union of Pure and Applied Physicists (IUPAP), elected 2011 for a three-year term.
  • U. S. Liaison Committee, International Union of Pure and Applied Physicists (IUPAP), elected 2011 for a three-year term.
  • External Advisory Panel, Argonne Materials Advisory Board, 2010 – present.
  • Co-chair (with R. L. Greene) of the ICAM International Working Group on New Superconductors, 2010 – present.
  • Fellowship Selection Committee, Institute of Physics (IoP – UK), 2007 – present.
  • The Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academy of Sciences (BPA-NAS), 2003–2006 and 2008–2014.
  • Fellow, Institute of Physics, “FInstP”, UK, elected 2007.
  • Member, National Academy of Science, elected 2006.
  • Founding member, board of trustees, board of governors, Institute for Complex and Adaptive Materials (ICAM), University of California, 1999 – present.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected 1997.
  • Fellow, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected 1996.
  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society, 1994.
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, elected 1993.
  • Panelist, Woodstock of Physics-II, Triple-digit superconductivity in the Copper-oxide system, New Orleans, March 1988.


1. L. H. Greene, R. T. Warner, W. E. Moerner, A. J. Sievers and J. F. Figueira, "Passive mode locking of a TEA(CO2) laser with matrix-isolated SF6", Journal of the Optical Society of American 70, 640-641 1980).

2. L. H. Greene, D. B. Tanner and A. J. Epstein, "Optical properties of the cation- deficient platinum chain salt, K1.75Pt(CN)4•1.5H2O", Physical Review B 25, 1331-1339 (1982).

3. L. H. Greene, W. L. Feldmann, J.-M. Rowell, B. Batlogg, E. M. Gyorgy, W. P. Lowe and D. B. McWhan, "Structural, magnetic and superconducting properties of rare-earth/superconductor multilayer films", Superlattices and Microstructures, 1, 407-415 (1985).

4. L. H. Greene, W. L. Feldmann and J.-M. Rowell, "Proximity-effect studies of Nb-based bilayers with s-p, rare-earth and heavy-fermion metals", Physica B 135, 77-80 (1985).

5. J.-M. Tarascon, L. H. Greene, W. R. McKinnon, G. W. Hull and T. H. Geballe, "Superconductivity at 40K in the Oxygen-Defect Perovskites La2-xSrxCuO4-y", Science 235, 1373-1376 (1987).

6. J. M. Tarascon, W. R. McKinnon, L. H. Greene, G. W. Hull, B. G. Bagley, E. M. Vogel and Y. LePage, "Oxygen Doping of the High Tc Superconducting Perovskites" in High Temperature Superconductors, D. V. Gubser and M. Schluter, eds., (Materials Research Society, Pittsburgh, PA 1987) pp. 65–67.

7. J.-M. Tarascon, P. Barboux, L. H. Greene, G. W. Hull and B. G. Bagley, "3d-Metal Doping (Fe, Co, Ni, Zn) of the High Tc Perovskite YBa2Cu3O7-y", in High Temperature Superconductors, M. N. Brodsky, R. C. Dynes, H. L. Tuller and K. Kitazawa, eds., (Materials Research Society, Pittsburgh, PA, 1988) pp. 523–526.

8. L. H. Greene, J.-M. Tarascon, P. F. Miceli, B. G. Bagley, P. Barboux, M. Giroud, G. W. Hull, Y. LePage, W. R. McKinnon, J. J. Rhyne and D. A. Neumann, "Recent Magnetic and Structural Studies of the High-Tc Cuprates at Bellcore", in Proceedings for SC-GLOBAL-89; International Superconductor Applications Convention, San Francisco, CA, V. Nurenberg, ed., January 11–13, 1989.

9. L. H. Greene, A. Kastalsky, J. B. Barner and R. Bhat, "Superconductive Proximity-Effects in Nb on InGaAs-Based Heterostructures", Physica B 165-166, 1573-1574 (1990).

10. L. H. Greene, M. Covington, M. Aprili, E. Paraoanu, “Tunneling into Andreev Bound States of YBa2Cu3O7: Observation of Broken Time-Reversal Symmetry”, The Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, 59, 2021-2025, (1998).

11. H. Aubin, L. H. Greene, S. Jian and D. G. Hinks, “Andreev Bound States at the Onset of Phase Coherence in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8”, Physical Review Letters, 89, 177001-177004 (2002).

12. L. H. Greene, “Data Dips and Peaks”, Physics Today 58, 58 (2005).

13. Laura H. Greene, “’Key issues’ articles in Reports on Progress in Physics”, Reports on Progress in Physics 70, 1 (2007).

14. Laura H. Greene, “Taming Serendipity”, Physics World, 24, 41-43 (2011).

15. Laura H. Greene, Hamood Z. Arham, Cassandra R. Hunt, and Wan Kyu Park, “Design of new superconducting materials, and point contact spectroscopy as a probe of strong electronic correlations“, Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism 25, 2121-2126 (2012).

External links[edit]

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Physics [1]
  • COACH Organization [2]
  • National Academy of Sciences; News [3]
  •;Hot Topic [4]
  •;News [5]
  • YouTube;Laura Greene [6]
  • Women in Science [7]
  •; Meeting [8]