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One of the basic features of any material is its ability to conduct an electrical current. Although the electrical conductivity varies with temperature, for most materials the division between metals and insulators is given by their chemical composition and crystallographic structure. There are, however, compounds which can be converted from a metal to an insulator and vice versa by a small variation of external parameters such as pressure or temperature.

Unique combination of plasma temperature and density has been achieved with X-ray free-electron laser

In the first February issue of Nature, a Letter [1] appeared attracting an attention of specialists in areas of high-energy-density physics, laboratory astrophysics, inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and plasma physics. An international team of researchers headed by young Oxford physicist Sam Vinko created a unique state of matter by isochorically heating a thin aluminium foil using a tightly focused X-ray beam produced by the LCLS (Linac Coherent Light Source) free-electron laser in California.

The results of long term research of silicon thin films achieved in the Institute of Physics have been recognized by invitation of RNDr. Jan Kočka, DrSc., head of the Department of Thin Films and Nanostructures of the Institute of Physics, to deliver the plenary “Mott lecture” at the 24th International Conference on Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Semiconductors (

Vítězslav Jarý, a PhD student in the Institute of Physics AS CR, has won the first prize in the H. Becquerel competition. He is involved in the Nuclear Chemistry program at FNSPE, CTU and is working on the scintillation mechanisms in the materials based on complex oxides. His studies are focused, in particular, on the problems of energy capture and energy transfer.

Academy Council took up proposals of Academy prizes and honorary medals on its 30th meeting on June 7, 2011. Academy Council recommended to the President of the Academy of Sciences of CR, upon proposal of the Institute of Physics, to award the Mach Medal for merits in physical sciences to Professor Dieter Vollhardt from the University of Augsburg who has been collaborated with Prof. V. Janiš and Dr. J. Kuneš from the Institute of Physics in the field of condensed matter theory. The award ceremony took place in the headquarters of the Academy of Sciences on June 8.

Relativistic behavior of electrons makes it possible to utilize magnetic resonance in electronic nanodevices. The discovery is a result of a longstanding fruitful collaboration of sicentists form the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and laboratories in Cambridge and Nottingham in the UK. The work was published in the prestigiuous journal Nature Nanotechnology

Joined work of scientific teams from the Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and the Autonomous University of Madrid (Universidad Autonóma de Madrid), Spain, notably advances our understanding of atomically resolved images of graphene and carbon nanostructures that can be acquired with scanning-probe microscopes. The results were published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters.

Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in the European Center for Particle Physics CERN starts to produce relevant physics results. In heavy ion collisions physicists managed to evocate situation which is often popularly called Little Big Bang. After first publications mapping the basic characteristics (particle multiplicities, rapidity and momentum spectra, etc.) of proton-proton interaction in the region three-and-half times exceeding up to now achieved energies, LHC is coming with a result which literally has flown around the world and excited scientific community.

An international team of researchers has reported an experimental demonstration of a transistor whose functionality is based on electron’s spin. The work was published in the December 24th issue of the Science journal. The team is formed by physicists from the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in the Czech Republic, the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory and University of Cambridge and Nottingham in the UK, and Texas A&M University in the US.

RNDr. Jan Čermák, PhD. has received award at the 3rd International Forum on Multidisciplinary Education and Research for Energy Science, held from 9th to 14th December 2010 on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Japan.