Nano-plasmonics and other physical properties of composite media in Solid State Physics and Biology
Prof. David Bergman works mainly on physical properties of composite media or meta-materials. Recently he developed the eigenstates of the full Maxwell equations in such a medium as a basis for expanding the local EM field in that medium which results either from a given incident field or a given charge and current distribution. This has resulted in a very efficient method for computing such a physical field.
He has also been studying the macroscopic response of a composite thermoelectric medium when a strong external magnetic field B is applied. In a composite where the micro-structure is periodic this response is strongly dependent upon the direction of B and that of the macroscopic electric and heat currents. There is also an intriguing possibility of finding such a composite where the thermoelectric figure of merit is large enough so that such a material can be useful in technology for the construction of an efficient heat pump or electric power generator.
He has also been collaborating with a chemist (Ed Kossower) from our School of Chemistry in trying to understand the infra-red absorption spectrum of some water oligomers which lie upon a thin layer of polyethylene. In particular, surprising resonant dips in that spectrum were discovered by EK in his experiments. Those dips change into peaks when the temperature is raised. These observations have now been explained by these two collaborators.