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Neil Ashcroft

Horace White Professor of Physics Emeritus

Neil Ashcroft

Clark Hall, Room 622

Educational Background

B.Sc., 1958, M.Sc., 1960, Dipl. Hons., 1960, University of New Zealand. Ph.D.,1964, Cambridge University, England. Research Associate, University of Chicago, 1964-65. Research Associate, Cornell University, 1965-66. Assistant Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1966-69. Associate Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1969-75. Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1975-2006. Horace White Professor of Physics, Cornell University, 1990-2006. Director, Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP), Cornell University, 1979-84. Director, Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR), 1997-2000. Associate Director, Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), 1978-89. Deputy Director, CHESS, 1990-97. Chair, Division of Condensed Matter Physics, American Physical Society, 1985-87. Chair, Board of Trustees, Gordon Research Conferences, 1990-91. Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, 1984-85. Chair, US Dept of Energy Visiting Committee, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1986-90. Bridgman Prize, AIRAPT, 2003. Member, Advisory Committees, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2000-2004. Member, Editorial Board, Physical Review, 1996-1999. Fellow, American Physical Society. Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of New Zealand. Fellow, the Institute of Physics.  Foreign Member, Russian Academy of Sciences. Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences.


Density functional theory and field theoretic methods in both classical and quantal systems; matter at high densities and  in reduced dimensionality, including the two-dimensional electron gas and confined electron systems; superlattice hetero-structures, their electronic structure, and their transport properties; metallic hydrogen and its electronically ordered alloys. The general theory of superconductivity.


  • Physics

Graduate Fields

  • Physics


  • Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP)
  • Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS)


Present research themes are centered on the theory of strongly correlated many-particle systems, both classical and quantal, and high-temperature superconductivity.

Topics of special interest include:

Chemical pre-compression, and higher superconductivity in the lower elements in combination

Ground state liquid metals and their possible superfluidity

Ordered states of condensed matter at elevated pressures

Quantum and classical density functional theories (and applications)

General symmetry aspects of the metal-insulator transition

Theory of melting, and other first-order phase transitions

Theory of metallic hydrogen and its alloys