Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.
Professor of Physics; Department Chair of Physics
Contact & Office Hours
McConnell Hall 315
Ph.D., Boston University
B.A., Swarthmore College
Nathanael Fortune's research concerns the experimental behavior of lower-dimensional electronic and magnetic materials in the quantum limit. These systems exhibit a wide variety of novel ground states and magnetic-field-induced states at low temperatures; to find and identify these states of matter, we use a variety of thermodynamic probes, with a focus on specific heat and magnetocaloric measurements as a function of temperature, magnetic field strength and crystal orientation. Examples include the discovery of a magnetic-field induced-phase transitions to novel high field superconducting states in the quasi-2D molecular superconductor κ-(BEDT-TTF)2Cu(NCS)2 and the layered structure heavy electron superconductor CeCoIn5, as well as the observation of magnetic-field-induced cascade of quantum phase transitions in a Heisenberg spin 1/2 frustrated antiferromagnet. Students help carry out measurements down to temperatures of 0.3 K—1,000 times colder than room temperature—in magnetic fields up to 9 T—200,000 times the strength of Earth’s magnetic field—in Fortune’s lab at Smith; they also have the opportunity to travel with Fortune to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory for measurements down to 0.1 K in magnetic fields up to 45 T.