First prize for this year’s 2022 IoP CPG Thesis Prize has been awarded to Zafiirah Hosenie, University of Manchester. Zafiirah’s thesis, titled Feature Detection and Classification in streaming and non-streaming astronomical datasets, applied machine learning techniques to the challenges that arise from the large, streaming, data volumes that are prevalent in modern Astronomy.
When classifying astronomical source types to their observed variations in brightness, there exists an imbalance: There are many class types that are rare but potentially quite interesting. Zafiirah enacted a rigorous statistical analysis of the features used to identify these systems, and developed novel machine learning approaches to deal with the class imbalance. Additionally, she worked with the real-time transient pipeline of the MeerLICHT telescope to resolve the problem of distinguishing between real transients and ‘bogus’ ones. Time-domain astrophysics, studying transient and variable stars, also allows astronomers to explore the Universe from a new perspective, and the algorithms Zafiirah developed have been successfully deployed at the MeerKAT radio telescope array and the MeerLICHT optical telescope, both in South Africa.
We look forward to reading more about Zafiirah’s work in the next IoP Computational Physics Group Newsletter. In the meantime, Zafiirah’s thesis is available online.
Second prize for this year’s 2022 IoP CPG Thesis Prize has been awarded to Mary Coe, University of Bristol. Mary’s thesis, titled Hydrophobicity Across Length Scales: The Role of Surface Criticality, employed Monte Carlo simulations and density function theory to elucidating the behaviour of water near a hydrophobic solid surface. Despite its ubiquity in everyday life and in many scientific disciplines, the underlying physical mechanism relating hydrophobicity on the microscopic scale to hydrophobicity on macroscopic length scales has remained a difficult problem. Mary studied density depletion and enhanced fluctuations in the vicinity of the drying critical point for several fluid-fluid and fluid-solid interactions near curved surfaces, and so extended her work beyond hydrophobicity to consider more generally solvophobicity. Mary’s results provide strong numerical evidence that the mechanism underlying both hydrophobicity and solvophobicity across microscopic and macroscopic length scales is a drying surface critical point.
We look forward to reading more about Mary’s work in the next IoP Computational Physics Group Newsletter. In the meantime, Mary’s thesis is available online.
Living systems are continually in active motion. From global scale migration down to enzymatic conformational transitions and kinetic action, living systems self-organize by moving. Moreover, motility as a response to stimuli is a key strategy by which living organisms capitalize on opportunities and combat threats. Motion is then a characteristic hallmark of biological complexity; however, it is also fundamentally physical. This has made studying motility one of the most fruitful points of collaboration between biologists and physicists, and remains an exciting frontier for both groups.This workshop aims to stimulate new collaborative partnerships between experimental biologists and computational physicists. The programme is organized jointly by the IOP Biological and Computational Physics Groups and seeks to address: Biological questions that have yet to receive sufficient attention from computational modellers; Emerging numerical approaches with potential for simulating biological motions.
This year’s 2021 IoP CPG Thesis Prize has been awarded to Sarah Jenkins, University of York. Sarah’s thesis, titled Spin Dynamics Simulations of Iridium Manganese Alloys, develops an atomistic model of IrMn. This poorly understood material is antiferromagnetic and has been used in hard disk drives for some time; however, its physics at the atomic scale has not previously been well understood due to the complexity of the material’s structure. Sarah implemented a multiscale micromagnetic model within the open-source VAMPIRE simulation package. Sarah’s thesis presents her findings on IrMn alloys in three parts: (i) its ground state magnetic structure and thermal stability, (ii) its magnitude and magnetic anisotropy (iii) the interaction (exchange bias) at the interface with a ferromagnetic layer. Her results resolve the microscopic origins of exchange bias with potential impacts in future data storage, neuromorphic computing and antiferromagnetic spintronics.
We look forward to hearing about Sarah’s work in the CPG Talks Series and reading more about Sarah’s project in the next IoP Computational Physics Group Newsletter. In the meantime, Sarah’s thesis is available online.
The conference is the XXXII in a series of meetings of scientists working in the domain of Computational Physics. The registration is now open and we welcome researchers from all areas of Computational Physics to join us in this online event. More details can be found at the conference webpage below:
This year’s 2020 IoP CPG Thesis Prize has been awarded to Javier Díaz Brañas, University of Lincoln. Javier’s thesis, titled Computer Simulations of Block Copolymer Nanocomposite Systems, implemented efficient, parallel code to simulate the interaction of nanoparticles in diblock copolymer systems by developing a hybrid-technique based on Cell Dynamic Simulations for the polymers and Brownian Dynamics for the particles. Block copolymer melts can themselves self-assemble into mesoscale soft matter structures, thanks to the connectivity between different segments along these macromolecules. The addition of nanoparticles can induce morphological transitions, resulting in complex co-assembly processes in which a rich variety of structures are formed.
We look forward to reading more about Javier’s work in the next IoP Computational Physics Group Newsletter. In the meantime, Javier’s thesis is available online.
The Computational Physics group is pleased to announce that Ilias Konstantinou, a PhD student at Newcastle University, has won our banner image competition with his image of a simulation of blood under a magnetic field. The submission, along with a brief scientific description and acknowledgements of funding can be found here:
The deadline for the CPG Banner competition had been extended to January 31st 2019, midnight GMT as a reminder, terms and conditions can be found here, the hashtag associated with this competition is #CPGbannerCompetition. Please submit images which showcase computational physics to CPGbanner_comp@mail.com along with a 150 word caption understandable by non-experts. Prize values and other terms and conditions remain unchanged.
The deadline for the CPG Banner competition had been extended to January 1st 2019, as a reminder, terms and conditions can be found here, the hashtag has also been changed to the more accurate #CPGbannerCompetition. Please submit images which showcase computational physics to CPGbanner_comp@mail.com along with a 150 word caption understandable by non-experts. Prize values and other terms and conditions remain unchanged.
The computational physics group needs a new banner and we want your help to create it!
Please submit images which showcase computational physics to CPGbanner_comp@mail.com along with a 150 word caption understandable by non-experts. If you aren’t a CPG group member (but are an IoP member) then join — it’s free. Cash prizes will be offered (50 GBP for the first, 25 GBP for the two runner ups). See here for full terms and conditions. Submitters are also encouraged to tweet under #CPGbannerCompetition, but official submissions must be made through email. The competition closes on the 1st of January 2019