Queen's University Belfast | School of Maths & Physics | Theor. & Comput. Physics

The Queen's University of Belfast

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PhD in Mathematical Sciences

Applied Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, Computational Physics


The University and the School of Mathematics and Physics

Queen's University was founded in the last century and recently celebrated its sesquicentenary. It has always had a strong tradition in science and engineering. At present there are approximately 15000 students (full and part-time), of which approximately 3500 are postgraduates. Queen's staff numbers almost 3000, including over 1000 academic staff. The School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's covers the teaching and research areas of theoretical and experimental physics, applied and pure mathematics. Research activity is very strong, with many externally funded projects and a high publication rate. The School has an international reputation in the study of atomic, molecular and optical physics, and is one of the largest users of supercomputers amongst the United Kingdom universities.

Research Fields

Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Processes and Applications

The programme of research embraces a wide range of theoretical studies of the properties of atomic and molecular systems and the way in which they interact. A significant part of the research is complemented by experimental work in other research divisions of the School.

The work involves the application of Quantum Mechanics (although Classical Mechanics can sometimes be used as an approximation) leading to the development of analytic approximations (including variational and perturbation techniques), and the use of appropriate numerical procedures requiring the development of extensive computer programs, for instance, to solve coupled differential equations or to diagonalize large matrices.

Research areas pursued include the following:

  1. atomic and molecular structure and properties;
  2. electron, photon and positron collisions with atoms, ions and molecules;
  3. heavy particle collisions including charge exchange, ionization and recombination;
  4. atomic data for controlled thermonuclear fusion, laser physics, upper-atmosphere physics and astrophysics;
  5. quantum optics; laser physics and quantum chaos;
  6. multiphoton processes in intense microwave fields and atoms in other strong fields;
  7. ferromagnetism;
  8. Bose-Einstein condensation.

Computational Physics

Research in this area involves the application of supercomputers to a wide variety of problems in physics and physical chemistry. Studies include the application of a CRAY T3D, a CRAY T3E, an Alphaserver-8400 cluster and an HP Itanium 2 Cluster to problems in atomic, molecular and optical physics and the development of new methods for the storage and retrieval of data.

Course Structure

A PhD is normally obtained after 3 years research. The student is also required to attend lectures and tutorials, to participate in a Journal Club and to submit end-of-year reports. Frequent seminars are given, many by our numerous visitors.

Computing Equipment

In the Theoretical and Computational Physics Research Division:
    HP, DEC, INTEL workstations and servers; X-terminals and PCs

At the Queen's University Computer Services:
    HP Itanium 2 Cluster; SUN V440

Peer-reviewed resources at UK national supercomputer centres:
    Supercomputer resources provided by the Computer Services for Academic Research (Manchester University);
    CRAY T3D and CRAY T3E (Edinburgh University);
    Columbus and Magellan (clusters of Compaq Alphaserver 8400s at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory).

Entrance Requirements

The normal minimum entrance requirement for the PhD course is an upper second-class honours degree in mathematics, physics or contiguous subject, or an equivalent qualification from outside the Isles.

Financial Support

The University nominates a limited number of successful PhD applicants for either EU-University or DHFETE-QUOTA or CAST awards. Research Council (e.g. EPSRC and PPARC ) studentships may also be available for specific research topics, but this is unusual.

Academic staff in the Theoretical and Computational Physics Research Division of the School of Mathematics and Physics

Kenneth L Bell   MA Calif, BSc, PhD, CPhys, FInstP, FAPS  -  Professor of Theoretical Physics

Philip G Burke   CBE, BSc, PhD Lond, Hon DSc Exe, CPhys, FInstP, MRIA, FAPS, FRS  -  Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Physics

Derrick S F Crothers   MA Oxon, PhD, CPhys, FInstP, CMath, FIMA, MRIA, CEng, FIEE, FAPS  -  Professor of Theoretical Physics

Andrew B Gallagher   BSc  -  Computer Manager

Gleb Gribakin   MSc, PhD StPb  -  Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Alan Hibbert   MA, DPhil Oxon, CPhys, MInstP, CMath, FIMA  -  Professor of Applied Mathematics (Head of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics Teaching Division)

Myungshik Kim   BSc Sogang, MSc Essex, PhD London  -  Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

James F McCann   BSc, PhD, CPhys, MInstP  -  Reader in Theoretical Physics

Patrick Norrington   BSc, PhD, CPhys, MInstP  -  Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

S Francesca C O'Rourke   BSc, PhD, AFIMA, CPhys, MInstP  -  Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Jens Rasch   Vordip Heid, PhD Cantab  -  Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Robert H G Reid   BSc, PhD, CPhys, MInstP  -  Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

M Penelope Scott   BSc, Grad Cert Ed, PhD, CPhys, MInstP  -  Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Dimitri Sokolovski   MSc, PhD StPb  -  Lecturer in Theoretical Physics

Kenneth T Taylor   BSc, PhD, CPhys, MInstP  -  Professor of Physics (Head of Theoretical and Computational Physics Research Division)

Hugo van der Hart   MSc Leiden, PhD Amster  -  Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

H R James Walters   MA, PhD Cantab, CPhys, MInstP  -  Professor of Theoretical Physics

Information and Application Forms

Further information on application procedures and studentships can be obtained from:

Prof K T Taylor
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
David Bates Building
The Queen's University of Belfast
BELFAST BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

Telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 5049 (direct line) Telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 3189 (secretary) Fax: +44 (0)28 9023 9182 Email: k.taylor@qub.ac.uk


Disclaimer

This document is intended as a guide to the course only and does in no way constitute a guarantee of course content or form a contract either wholly or partially.

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