Director, Dr. Alan Tennant

Alan Tennant is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Tennessee. Dr. Tennant earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Edinburgh and a doctorate in physics at the University of Oxford. His former posts include Lead of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Labwide Quantum Materials Initiative, Chief Scientist of the ORNL Neutron Sciences Directorate, and the Head of Institute of Complex Magnetic Materials at the Helmholtz Center Berlin, Germany. He has also held a number of teaching and scientific positions in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, and Denmark. His research is primarily undertaken with neutron and xray scattering techniques on condensed matter systems, as well as complementary theoretical and computational studies. The main topics covered are: Fractionalisation of quantum numbers which can in principle occur in low dimensional or highly frustrated quantum magnets, physics at high magnetic fields and millikelvin temperatures, quantum magnetism and quantum phase transitions, and electronic states with strong correlations. Currently he is working on quantum glass formation, the application of topological concepts to materials including Weyl semimetals and spin liquids, topologically protected quantum states, correlation in disordered matter, fundamentals of transport theory, and the application of machine learning to scattering problems and magnetic simulations. To contact Dr. Tennant call 865-250-5382 or email

Assistant Director, Dr. Cristian Batista

Cristian Batista is the Willis Lincoln Chair Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Tennessee, and he holds a joint appointment with ORNL. He works in the area of correlated electron systems with particular emphasis on quantum magnetism. He received his PhD in 1996 from the Intituto Balseiro (Bariloche, Argentina). In 2001, he became a J. R. Oppenheimer fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is fellow of the American Physical Society. Batista works in theoretical physics with emphasis in strongly interacting electron systems. His research tools combine analytical methods with numerical techniques for describing static and dynamical properties of many-body systems. He is interested in the novel states of matter that are realized in frustrated quantum materials and in finding efficient algorithms for the simulation of these systems. Quantum magnetism offers the simplest playground (purely bosonic systems) to study the multiplicity of exotic quantum states matter, ranging from multipolar orderings to spin liquids, that can emerge at low energies out of very simple competing interactions. The dynamical response of interacting quantum systems offers an invaluable tool for detecting proximity to novel quantum states of matter, as well as for characterizing these states. Developing experimental and theoretical tools for studying dynamical responses of quantum materials is crucial for the development of condensed matter physics. One of Batista’s current areas of research is the development of field theory techniques for computing dynamical responses of quantum magnets with strong quantum fluctuations. He is also developing new numerical algorithms for extending semi-classical approaches to itinerant systems. These tools are essential for interpreting neutron scattering data obtained at the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL. To contact Dr. Batista call 865-974-0771 or email

Administrative Specialist, Hope Moore-Webb

To contact Hope call 865-576-8630 or email