Researchers from the Department for Complex Matter and Department for Synthesis of Materials, Jožef Stefan Institute, and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana Peter Medle Rupnik, Darja Lisjak, Martin Čopič, Simon Čopar in Alenka Mertelj have studied the response of ferromagnetic chiral nematic liquid crystal to magnetic and electric fields. They described unique structural transitions of this material confined to a layer, which are not observed in the usual chiral nematic liquid crystals. The material is a liquid analog of a solid helimagnet. Its advantage is that in a liquid crystal magnetic structures can be easily manipulated with small external fields. The study was published in the paper Field-controlled structures in ferromagnetic cholesteric liquid crystals in the journal Science Advances.
The journal Physical Review Letters has published the article Field-Induced Instability of a Gapless Spin Liquid with a Spinon Fermi Surface by Matjaž Gomilšek, Martin Klanjšek, Matej Pregelj and Andrej Zorko from the Solid State Physics Department and Rok Žitko from the Department of Theoretical Physics of the “Jožef Stefan” Institute. With collaborators from China and France they discovered an instability of an enigmatic quantum spin liquid with a spinon Fermi surface. They showed that its magnetic excitation (spinons), which are equivalents of electrons with spin but no charge, form pairs in a magnetic field. This process is analogous to the formation of Cooper pairs in superconductors. The discovery of a “magnetic superconductor” could be important in the fields of spintronics and quantum computing.
The second UNESCO World Open Educational Resources Congress was organized by UNESCO, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and UNESCO Chair on Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources which has a seat at Jožef Stefan Institute headed by M. Sc. Mitja Jermol. Education ministers from around the world discussed open educational resources (OER) and agreed that the training teachers and motivating them to use ICT technologies in class. They also underlined the importance of the quality of open resources which must be inclusive and available in different languages. The 2017 Ljubljana OER Action Plan presents 41 recommended actions to mainstream open-licensed resources to help Member States to build Knowledge Societies.
After succesful presentaton at Automatica fair in Munich last year, researchers from Dept. of Automatics, Biocybernetics, and Robotics Timotej Gašpar, Martin Bem and Robert Bevec are this year presenting the results of H2020 innovation action ReconCell (A Reconfigurable robot workCellfor fast set-up of automated assembly processes in SMEs) at the largest industrial fair in the world, the Hannover Messe. Our presentation focuses on a new solution for automated assembly of automotive lights, which we developed in collaboration with a Slovenian SME Elvez. Our solution is distinguished by the application of new reconfiguration technologies, which enable the automated assembly of different lights in the same workcell without manual intervention. On the first day of the fair, our booth was visited also by European commissioner Günther Oettinger.