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On the 70th Anniversary of the Institute, March 23-29, 2019 - Programme

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Prof. dr. Spomenka Kobe is the recipient of the prestigious Fray Award for Leadership in development new technologies that contribute to a global sustainable development in the environment, economy and social points of view. The summit honored the 2019 STARS of sustainable science, technology, and innovation and was divided into ten parallel Symposia devoted to the awardees. One of them was the Kobe International Symposium on Science of Innovative and Sustainable Alloys and Magnets, where the world-leading scientists from the field of magnets and complex alloys presented the latest achievements in the field. Fray Award is granted to scientists, economists, and politicians. So far, the only awarded Slovene was a commissioner for science and later for environment dr. Janez Potočnik.

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Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit (SIPS 2019) took place in Cyprus from 23th to 26th of October 2019. A special symposium was organized in honor of the distinguished work and lifetime achievements of prof. Spomenka Kobe from the Department of nanostructured materials, who is well known in the area of magnetic materials. At this conference, Dr. Nina Kostevšek was awarded the Wüthrich International Young Star Award for the outstanding performances during the early career stages. This award has been established in honour of the distinguished work and lifetime achievements of 2002 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Prof. Kurt Wüthrich, who is known for developing the NMR method for studying macrobiological molecules. Dr. Nina Kostevšek presented work on the development of new nanoparticle-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.

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Upon the invitation from Nature Materials, Mojca Otoničar from Electronic Ceramics Department, JSI, and Brahim Dkhil from CentraleSupelec, University of Paris-Saclay, wrote an opinion for News&Views - Electrocalorics hit the top (published October 24, 2019). They commented on an article published in Nature (published online October 9, 2019), in which a team of researchers led by Xavier Moya and Neil Mathur from the University of Cambridge reported on multilayer capacitors exhibiting an extremely high electrocaloric effect (∆T=5.5K), forecasting a breakthrough of the alternative cooling technology. The authors demonstrated the importance of active material to be pushed into a 'supercritical' state by an electric field, yielding a strongly enhanced electrocaloric response.

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Matjaž Gomilšek, Martin Klanjšek, Matej Pregelj and Andrej Zorko from the Solid State Physics Department and Rok Žitko from the Department of Theoretical Physics at the “Jožef Stefan” Institute, in collaboration with researchers from Switzerland and China, have published the paper Kondo screening in a charge-insulating spinon metal in Nature Physics. The Kondo effect where conduction electrons screen the local moments of magnetic impurities is well known to occur in ordinary metals. Here, the researchers have shown that an analogous phenomenon is possible also in electric insulators, in particular, in a quantum spin liquid with magnetic spinon excitations forming a Fermi surface. This discovery could be important for manipulating topologically protected spin-liquid states in quantum computing.

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