A UCC professor just collected one of the world’s most prestigious science awards

24 Mar 2023

Previous winners include 18 Nobel Prize laureates.

Now an Irish scientist has been presented with the Buckley Prize, one of the most prestigious science awards in the world

Professor Seamus Davis of University College Cork received the American Physical Society’s Oliver E. Buckley Prize in Condensed Matter Physics at a ceremony last night in Las Vegas.


The accolade recognises 25 years of work and his development of quantum microscopes that allow direct atomic-scale imaging of quantum matter existing within advanced materials.

A global scientific race in the field of quantum physics is taking place, with advances expected to revolutionise the speed and power of computing, and Prof Davis is pioneering a research programme at UCC and Oxford University in a joint appointment supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

“Scientists have long-held theories about our galaxy and beyond – but now we are sending huge telescopes into space which are capturing images which are giving us the proof of what is out there. We are doing something similar, with the inner space of quantum materials,” stated Professor Davis.

‘We’re ready to go’

Prof. Davis’ and his team have developed a spectroscopic imaging-scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) at UCC, which is one of just six such machines in the world.

“We’re in the basement of the Kane Building at UCC, which is the science building, and this lab used to be a Civil Engineering lab,” he said.

“But UCC very generously rebuilt it for us into an ultralow vibration, high precision lab for studying quantum materials. That took a couple of years, during COVID, but now it’s all built, our instruments are built, and we’re ready to go.”

Story courtesy of YayCork.

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