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Internal Summer Placement Projects 2013

All internal summer placement projects available for 2013 are listed below:

Title: Defects in Spin Ice

Supervisor: Professor Jon Goff

Duration: 8 weeks

The proposal for the observation of magnetic monopoles in spin ice [1] has enjoyed much success in the intermediate temperature regime [2,3].  However, low-temperature measurements now point to the importance of defects in monopole dynamics, in providing extrinsic resistance for monopole currents [4].  This project is to study the defect structures of spin ice materials using x-ray diffraction.  The work will include the measurements of single crystals using the x-ray equipment at Royal Holloway, structural refinement of the Bragg reflections, and computer simulations of the diffuse scattering.

[1] C. Castelnovo et al., Nature 451, 42 (2008)
[2] D.J.P. Morris et al., Science 326, 411 (2009)
[3] T. Fennel et al., Science 326, 415 (2009)
[4] H.M. Revell et al., Nature Physics 9, 34 (2013


Title:  Development of new undergraduate teaching experiments

Supervisor: Professor Brian Cowan

Duration: Up to 8 weeks

Title: Terahertz Fourier Transform Spectroscopy

Supervisor:  Dr Vladimir Antonov

Duration:  4 weeks

The project concerns a study of the operation of and experiments with the Terahertz Fourier Transform Spectroscopy system (TFTS).  This system is intended for the spectral assessment of different sources and detectors of terahertz radiation.  The student will assemble the TFTS, ensure that it works, write a computer program for remote operation and study spectral characteristics of terahertz sources: Gunn diode, resonance tunnelling diodes, terahertz laser.  A few days will be allocated for writing a detailed report on the TFTS technology, instructions for the operation of the TFTS, and an assessment of terahertz sources and detectors. 

Title: Semiconductor quantum devices

Supervisor:  Dr James Nicholls

Duration: 8 weeks

As part of a collaboration (samples and theory from Cambridge & UCL) we wish to cool the electrons in semiconductor devices down to less than 1 mK. This has never been achieved before and in low-dimensional systems such as 1D wires and 0D quantum dots it is predicted that electrons will order into new quantum states.  In this project there will be a variety of activities that will contribute to the setting up of preliminary measurements on new equipment: testing semiconductor devices at 4.2 K, making and testing filters for low noise measurements, writing software to control equipment or analyse data, modelling, etc.  There will be opportunities to develop new skills and to work in a team of researchers (post docs, academics, technicians).

Title: Searches for new physics using the ATLAS detector

Supervisor:  Dr Tracey Berry

Duration: 4-8 weeks

A computer based project to search for new physics resulting in a final state of 2 electrons in the ATLAS detector in order to search for evidence of gravitons and investigate if quarks are fundamental & leptons particles.

Title: 1. Developing Cryogenic Environments for ultralow temperature experiments or 

2. Development of Low field SQUID NMR system for room temperature samples.

Supervisor:  Dr Andrew Casey

Duration: 4-8 weeks

1. Working with a cryogen free dilution refrigerator to extend its cooling capabilities to below the 10 mK that can be achieved commercially.

2. Development of a system for performing NMR experiments on room temperature samples using low Tc SQUIDs called to 4.2K in a custom built low noise helium dewar.

Title: Quantum Devices Group

Supervisor:  Dr Phil Meeson

Duration: 4-8 weeks

Project title to be determined

Title: Dark Matter Group

Supervisor:  Dr James Nikkel

Duration: 4-8 weeks

Project title to be determined.

Title: Applications of Quantum Field Theory in Theoretical Particle Physics

Supervisor: Dr Nikolas Kauer

Duration: 4-8 weeks

The project introduces the student to advanced concepts and methods in  quantum mechanics and lets the student get experience with applications in theoretical particle physics.  The student will work on one of the final projects in the standard introductory textbook of theoretical particle physics [1].  Available topics are: Radiation of gluon jets, The Coleman-Weinberg potential, and Decays of the Higgs boson.  Other topics are possible and can be agreed with the supervisor.

 [1] Michael E Peskin and Daniel V Schroeder:  An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, Westview Press, 1995.  (Library: 530.143 PES)


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