Marcel Franz studied physics as an undergraduate at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1994. After postdoctoral appointments at McMaster and Johns Hopkins Universities, he was appointed Assistant Professor (2000), and later Associate Professor (2006) at the University of British Columbia. He received the A. P. Sloan Fellowship (2004), and become a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (2003). His main research interests include superconductivity, strongly correlated electron systems, and all things unusual. He also likes to spend time at the Aspen Center for Physics and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) in Santa Barbara.
The esoteric concept of “axions” was born thirty years ago as an attempt to resolve a puzzle in the description of the strong interaction between quarks. It appears that the same physics—though in a much different context—applies to an unusual class of insulators.