Meet the people: Christian Ludt

Today we will present Christian Ludt. He attended the 3rd meeting of the Young Crystallographers in september in Aachen. In the poster session he presented his theme Electronic structure of the homologous series of Ruddlesden-Popper phases SrO(SrTiO3)n (n=0-3, ) and was awarded with a prize. Below he will tell us about himself and his experiences.

How is your education connected to the work you presented? / How did you end up in your theme of work?
I studied Applied Natural Sciences in Freiberg. Beneath mathematics, chemistry and biology I had the pleasure to get some physical education. For my bachelor thesis I decided to work in this direction and specialized further into theoretical physics. Not as successful as I wanted, but my interest for these topics awoke. As I started my master, I had the chance to deepen my education in this sector and to strengthen my interest for it. The work I presented, as student of the Institute of Experimental Physics, combines the theoretical interest I inhibit with a more applied component, which is – for me – a nice sector to work on.

What is the most interesting part or fact about your work for you personally?
DFT – for me – is a complex but with it a very interesting topic. I’m fascinated by the creative ideas which were and are used to develop and improve the theory. Another point is the power DFT inhibits: Being able to calculate this bunch of properties without empiric parameters, specifications or other initials is beautiful.

If you get the opportunity: what other theme would you like to work on?
Before I started to work for the Institute of Experimental Physics to analyze practical issues with this theoretical method, I was a long time interested in helping to improve the method itself. Maybe one day I will orientate myself more into this direction but for now I am fine with what I do. Other dreams are connected to the big physics facilities: Since I had the luck to visit the European XFEL in Hamburg I am fascinated by the machine as well as the possibilities it exhibits. Speaking of this, I – of course – have to mention the LHC at CERN, too. I think I share this fascination with most physicians.

DFT is a very time-consuming method. How is that affecting your progress and how you see your work?
Of course the calculations of bigger systems can take a while, but I don’t think this differs much compared to experimental work: The scientists working in laboratories have their waiting time, too

What advice would you give to other young scientists?
Speaking of my experiences as a bachelor student and the problems I faced, I would like to motivate people who may have same difficulties to find their personal specialization in the mass of – let’s say not always interesting – basics. Of course, it is important to study them but for me the real fun began afterwards. So my advice would be: Get the basics, look out for the topic which really inspire you and start working.