Physicist nets £1.4m to pay for research

Dr Dmitry Zmeev is a member of the Lancaster Low Temperature group
Dr Dmitry Zmeev is a member of the Lancaster Low Temperature group
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A university academic has been awarded more than £1m to further his research studies.

Dr Dmitry Zmeev, a physicist at Lancaster University, has been awarded a £1.4M EPSRC Career Fellowship over five years.

The organisation is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences

Dr Zmeev is a member of the Lancaster Low Temperature group, which has an international reputation for performing state-of-the-art experiments at the lowest achievable temperature on earth.

He was selected after a competitive evaluation by the EPSRC and will use the money to set up a research group.

The Low Temperature group performs experiments on superfluids and other materials with wider applications in areas such as nano-electronics, cosmology and turbulence.

The subject of Dr Zmeev’s research is superfluid helium 3He, a liquid which does not freeze down to absolute zero.

He said: “ Ultralow temperatures allow quantum coherence effects to overtake the behaviour of this liquid on a large scale and it acquires a super power: it can flow without friction. 3He belongs to a class of materials that possess this property, other example being superconductors.

“The superflow in all of them is destroyed at velocities faster than a certain critical value.

“We have recently discovered in Lancaster that 3He is a surprise exception to this wisdom: under certain conditions the superflow survives at velocities much higher than the critical velocity.”

He added: “In my Fellowship I will scrutinize these supercritical supercurrents and try to pinpoint their nature.”

Dr Zmeev was selected after a competitive evaluation by the EPSRC, which said: “Our Fellowships aim to provide greater support to aspiring and current world-leading individuals who are delivering the highest quality research to meet UK and global priorities.2