An illustration showing the magnetic field lines of two electrons, arranged so that their spins point in opposite directions. This technique allows physicists like Texas A&M graduate student Fuxiang Li '13 to measure magnetic interactions between single electrons. (Credit: Weizman Institute of Science.)


Fuxiang Li, a former graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, is one of 14 graduate students across the campus who have been named Texas A&M Distinguished Graduate Students for 2015 in recogntion of exemplary achievement in teaching and research.

Each year students are nominated by their faculty advisors or departments, and up to 15 award recipients then are chosen by a panel of reviewers that includes faculty and administrators. Li earned a Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research.

"Master's and doctoral students contribute to the research and teaching mission of the university while also advancing scholarship through their academic excellence and completion of their advanced degrees," said Dr. Karen Butler-Purry, associate provost for graduate and professional studies. "Thanks to the support we receive from The Association of Former Students for these awards, we are able to recognize these students, who are among the best and brightest in their fields. They play a vital role in strengthening quality in academics at Texas A&M and carrying that experience with them throughout their careers."

Li and his fellow honorees were celebrated Monday (Apr. 27) in a ceremony at the Memorial Student Center's Stark Gallery sponsored by The Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Office of Graduate and Professional Studies as part of Texas A&M's Distinguished Day activities. Li's graduate advisor, Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Physics Valery L. Pokrovsky, attended the ceremony in Li's absence and accepted his framed certificate and custom gold watch from The Association on Li's behalf.

"The Association of Former Students takes great pride in supporting the Distinguished Graduate Student Awards which recognize students who have achieved excellence in research and teaching," said Porter S. Garner III '79, president and CEO. "The students we honor today embody Texas A&M's core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service, and will represent the Aggie Network well in their professional careers in academia and industry."

Li earned his doctorate in physics from Texas A&M in December 2014 and currently is a postdoctoral research associate in the Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he specializes in spin noise spectroscopy and non-equilibrium thermodynamics. While at Texas A&M, he served as both a research assistant and teaching assistant from 2009-2014.

At Los Alamos, Li's research continues to focus on condensed matter theory, a branch of physics that covers fundamental quantum problems and directly leads to promising applications in human life. To date in his young career, Li already has published 13 papers on different fundamental problems relating to myriad areas of condensed matter physics in the world's top journals in physics, including Physics Review Letters, Nature's Scientific Reports, Physical Review B and New Journal of Physics.

Li's research has led him to collaborate with several different groups and experts from around the world. While working with Pokrovsky and Dr. Thomas Nattermann, a professor from the University of Cologne in Germany, Li predicted a new kind of topological defect, vortex domain walls, in chiral magnets. More recently with Dr. Nikolai Sinitsyn at Los Alamos, Li developed a systematic and unified theory to explain and interpret the spin noise spectroscopy, a newly developed experimental technique that optically probes the physical system without disturbing it. He has also collaborated with experimentalists from ETH Zurich and proposed a universal scaling relation that beautifully explains the current-voltage curve obtained in the near-field scanning tunneling spectroscopy.

To learn more about the distinguished graduate student achievement and related recognition programs, visit http://ogaps.tamu.edu/.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Fuxiang Li

    (Credit: Fuxiang Li.)

  • In his collaborative work with Texas A&M's Valery Pokrovsky and the University of Cologne's Thomas Nattermann, Li predicted a new kind of topological defect, vortex domain walls, in chiral magnets. These combined figures are from their 2012 paper published in Physical Review Letters showing different types of helical ordering (top), domain walls in centrosymmetric helical magnets (middle) and domain walls in noncentrosymmetric helical magnets. (Credit: Li, Pokrovsky, Nattermann.)

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