Professor Susan Coppersmith is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who has made substantial contributions to the understanding of a broad range of subjects, including glasses, biominerals, granular materials, and quantum computers. Her honors include fellowship in the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society of New South Wales, as well as the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and membership in the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.
Her current research focus is on the development of quantum computers using silicon technology similar to that used in modern classical computers, with a particular focus on the use of silicon/silicon-germanium heterostructures. Some publications reporting this work are Z. Shi et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 140503 (2012), D. Kim et al., Nature 511, 70 (2014), and T. F. Watson et al., Nature 555, 633-637 (2018). She is also working to develop robust methods for fabricating nanostructures that can host topologically protected excitations that would enable the development of new types of electronic components with lower dissipation [V. Kornich et al., Phys. Rev. B 101, 125414 (2020), B. Thorgrimsson et al., J. Appl. Phys. 127, 215102 (2020).]. Her past work has yielded new understanding of complex materials that include biominerals [e.g., P. Gilbert et al., JACS 130, 17519 (2008)], quantum magnets [e.g., S. Ghosh et al., Nature 425, 48 (2003)], and granular matter [e.g., C.-h. Liu et al., Science 269, 513-515 (1995)].