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Module PY4P07 Advanced Topics

Cohort: SS Physics, SS Theoretical Physics (optional)

Credits: 5

Lecturer: Professors I. Shvets, I, C.McGuinness, J. Coleman, M. Ferreira, H. Zhang

Duration: Michaelmas Term, Hilary Term, Choice of two: Energy, Thin Films, Polymers, Green's Functions in Physics, Diffraction, Imaging, and Spectroscopy of Nanostructure (12 lectures each)

Assesment: End of Year Exam.

Students select 2 topics from the 5 topics offered.

Description: Energy (I Shvets): Global consumption of energy. Where the energy is expended and how much of it we need to sustain our life style. Sources of energy. Where can we get the energy and how much. Carbon emission, can the carbon damage be reversed.  Renewable energy sources, challenges and options. The two mainstream energy producing conventional devices: steam turbine and combustion engine. Why they are more important than all other devices.
Energy efficiency of these devices considered from the first principles of physics. Can it be increased and by how much? Materials science is the key element in the new energy technologies.

Thin Films (I McGovern): Lectures cover the following topics: basic concepts, surface crystallography, surface spectroscopy, adsorption, growth energetics, epitaxy basics, epitaxy models, general thin film growth, specialist thin film growth, nanostructures

Lecture Notes

Polymers (J Coleman): In this course we study polymer physics starting with an introduction to polymers, moving on to energetics of polymer-polymer and polymer-solvent interactions and the configurations of polymer chains. We study polymers in bulk ie in the liquid and solid phases, focusing on the physical properties of polymers, in particular viscoelasticity and mechanical properties. Finally we look at advanced polymers such as Kevlar and spider silk.

Green's Functions in Physics (M. Ferreira): Part 1: Green's function in Classical Physics

  • Green's function as a useful tool in Mathematical Physics
  • Green’s-function method in the solution of the: Harmonic oscillator problem; Wave equation; Laplace and Poisson equations; Diffusion equation;

Part 2: Green's functions in Quantum Physics and their applications to Materials Science

  • Green’s-function methods for solving the Schrödinger equation
  • Green's functions and perturbation theory
  • Scattering theory (single and multiple scattering)
  • Applications: Numerical tools based on the use of Green's functions; Calculating the electronic conductance of a quantum system; Magnetic properties of metals;  Linear response theory.

Diffraction, Imaging, and Spectroscopy of Nanostructure (H. Zhang):