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Ekhard Salje

College positions:
Emeritus Fellow, Honorary Fellow
Earth Sciences
Department of Earth Sciences
Contact details:

Professor Ekhard K.H. Salje

Professor Salje’s research focuses on mineralogy and mineral physics, using approaches that combine theoretical and experimental methods. In particular he is concerned with the stability of minerals and the transformation processes that occur within them in response to changes in temperature and pressure.

His work includes the study of structural phase transitions, the formation of polaronic states in transition metal oxides like WO3, and ferroelasticity. The dynamics of phase transitions includes the movements of nano-domains which progress as avalanches in most cases. He discovered avalanche behaviour by experiment and computer simulation in ferroelastics, ferroelectrics and martensitic alloys. His work in the field was rewarded in 1996 when he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. This has been followed by him being elected Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Academiques (France) in 2004 and awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2007. He is fellow of the Leopoldina (Nat. Academy of Germany) and the Royal Society of the Arts and Sciences of Barcelona.

He is the co-author of the report by the Royal Society on nuclear waste and was chairman of the Steering Committee of the National Institute for Environmental e-Sciences. As Programme Director of the Cambridge-MIT Institute he was responsible for joint research in the field of Future Technologies. He was chairman of the Cambridge e-science Centre and chairman of the steering committee of the Cambridge Environmental Initiative (CEI) which advises on environmental research in Cambridge. Professor Salje has been visiting professor in Japan (Mombusho chair), Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, Univers. Paris VI, Bilbao, Grenoble, Le Mans. He is hon. Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University (China) and Ulam fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Select publications

  • Sheet superconductivity in twin walls: experimental evidence of WO3-x, Aird, A and Salje, EKH, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS-CONDENSED MATTER 10 (22) , pp.L377-L380 (1998)
  • Ferroelastic Materials, Salje, EKH, ANNUAL REVIEW OF MATERIALS RESEARCH, VOL 42 42 , pp.265-283 (2012)
  • Multiferroic Domain Boundaries as Active Memory Devices: Trajectories Towards Domain Boundary Engineering, Salje, EKH, CHEMPHYSCHEM 11 (5) , pp.940-950 (2010)
  • Crackling Noise in Disordered Materials, Salje, EKH and Dahmen, KA, ANNUAL REVIEW OF CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, VOL 5 5 , pp.233-254 (2014)
  • Domains within Domains and Walls within Walls: Evidence for Polar Domains in Cryogenic SrTiO3, Salje, EKH; Aktas, O; (…); Scott, JF, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 111 (24) (2013)
  • Avalanche criticality during ferroelectric/ferroelastic switching, Casals, B; Nataf, GF and Salje, EKH, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 12 (1) (2021)
  • Domain Wall Damping and Elastic Softening in SrTiO3: Evidence for Polar Twin Walls, Scott, JF; Salje, EKH and Carpenter, MA, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 109 (18) (2012)

Select awards

• Abraham-Gottlob-Werner Medal in Mineralogy, 1994
• Schlumberger Medal of the Mineralogical Society, 1998
• Humboldt Research Prize, 2000
• Ernst Ising Prize for Physics, 2002
• Agricola Medal for Applied Mineralogy, 2006
• Werner Heisenberg Medal, 2017
• Honorary PhD (Dr. h.c.), University of Würzburg, 2019
• Honorary Senator (Ehrensenator) University of Würzburg, 2020

Further links