Cong Lui joined Carnegie from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Spain, where he was a Postdoctoral Associate working on the theoretical study of quantum solids such as Helium-4 and other analogous boson crystals by using Density Functional Theory, Quantum Monte Carlo simulations, and Machine-Learning techniques. While at EPL, Liu will work with Staff Scientist Dr. Ronald Cohen on studying the transport properties of planetary core materials, with a particular emphasis on solid and liquid iron alloys. This study plan outlines his research's objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes, highlighting its relevance to our understanding of planetary formation and evolution.
Liu obtained his Ph.D. in physics from Nanjing University under the supervision of Prof. Jian Sun, researching and constructing models for planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune based on first principles calculation. At the interior of planets, condensed matter is subjected to extreme pressures and temperatures, thus can exhibit exotic states such as superionic and plastic phases; precise knowledge of these uncommon phases is necessary to understand the formation and evolution of planets (because the thermal and transport properties of the planets interior may significantly change depending on the specific phase).