Carl Davies, postdoc
As a postdoctoral researcher, Carl Davies explores how infrared light interacts with (mainly) magnetic materials. He is also in charge of maintaining user stations 3 and 11.
"My postdoc primarily involves studying how intense infrared laser pulses affect magnetic materials. Little physics is actually known in this area, so we often don’t know in advance what our experiments will produce – this makes it very exciting! For example, we very recently discovered that infrared light can switch magnetization via strain. As well as running my own experiments and helping students and external users with theirs, I enjoy the technical side of things, and have trained to operate the free-electron lasers FEL-1 and FEL-2.
At the moment, I am building novel techniques that will let us see how materials react to infrared pump pulses at sub-picosecond timescales. This will give us a direct viewpoint to a completely new realm of physics beyond the edge of our current understanding, possibly even leading to new concepts for technological applications.”