Colloquium: Dr. Can-Ming Hu

Fri. Jan. 22 12:30 PM - Fri. Jan. 22 01:20 PM
Location: 1L06

Dr. Can-Ming Hu
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Manitoba

Title: Cavity Spintronics

Abstract: The art of experimental Condensed Matter Physics (CMP) research is to perform well conceived experiments on specially designed samples and devices, in order to reveal the physics relations normally hidden by the competing interactions in the many-body system of materials. It is in this context that the CMP research resembles the artistic work of Movie Making which intends to use staged screenplays to highlight intricate human relations formed in a complex society. Via device design (set decoration), data taking (cinematography), advanced instrumentation (special effects), theoretical modeling (screenplay), and paper writing (film editing), both professions are rewarding for creative minds not only because of practical relevance or impact, but more profoundly, due to the great satisfaction of the creative intellectual labour itself.  

In this perspective, I will provide a review of the frontier CMP research in the field of Spintronics for the general audience of physics. Starting from the groundbreaking Spin Injection Experiment performed in the 1980s in the PhD thesis of Mark Johnson, I will introduce the “Stanley Kubrick”, “Steven Spielberg” and “George Lucas” in the field of spintronics. Via the stories of their work, I will explain the central theme and the key challenge of spintronics. I will then turn my attention from the “directors” to the “stars”. A great educational value of CMP research is that students and young researchers are always the stars shining at the center stage (e.g., as the leading author of their publications). In this line, I will highlight some distinct achievements of young talents in the Manitoba Production of the recent episodes of Spintronics, and thereby explain the intriguing physics of spin currents, spin torque, spin rectification, spin pumping, spin-orbit coupling, and spin Hall effect, which are some of the “hottest themes” of Spintronics.           

* Experts may download in-depth references from our group website at:

* Non-experts are encouraged to watch an inspirational documentary on Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking movie of “2001, A Space Odyssey” at: