Physics Graduate Classes

It’s that time of year again where we all need to start thinking about the courses that we need to enrol in. The Physics department has done a great job of getting all of the courses to be offered up on PAWS.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out which courses are being offered and have a discussion with your supervisor. Some of the courses offered in Term 1 include: Condensed Matter Physics 1, Radiophysics of the Upper Atmosphere, and Electrodynamics.

Seminar Thursday July 17, 2014

Seminar Thursday July 17, 2014

Speaker: Evan Smith
Location: Physics 175
Time: 3:30, July 17 2014

Abstract: Over one hundred years ago, Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered the phenomena of superconductivity, a property wherein some materials exhibit exactly zero electrical resistance under specific conditions. The pursuit of broadening our knowledge on this peculiar phenomena has lead the scientific community to discovering new classes of materials. Some of these materials exhibit a property known as topological superconductivity. This theoretically implies the existence of Majorana fermions, which if found to exist, hold significant promise to several areas of condensed matter and material science research. Majorana fermions allow for the most theoretically stable form of quantum computation – their existence truly has the potential to usher in a new paradigm of computation and catapult society into a new era of technology.

The goal of my research is two-fold: examining the effects of various lattice inhomogeneities on crystal structure, and gaining insight into the properties of Majorana fermions and how they might exist within topological superconductors. It is necessary to understand how the creation, stabilization, and manipulation of Majorana fermions is achieved in order to evolve into this new era. At the same time, it is fundamental that we understand how a set of inhomogeneous regions influences the properties of the elusive Majorna fermion, and how we might use that knowledge to our benefit.

We make use of the Bogoliubov de-Gennes theory, a generalization of the more conventional and well-known BCS theory, and the extended Hubbard model to obtain a low-energy effective Hamiltonian which is then used to investigate the theoretical zero-energy Andreev bound states of Majorana fermions and inhomogeneities. We utilize a set of recently adapted and developed computationally efficient algorithms along with highly parallel programming to achieve our goals.

Seminar Thursday July 3, 2014

Speaker: Amy Pitman
Location: Physics 175
Time: 3:30,  July 03 2014

Abstract: A society driven by the need for newer and faster technology, we have constantly pushed for a continued technological revolution. As advances in electronics continue to increase at a near exponential rate, we get closer to the limits of our advances in both size and speed. A recently emerged technology known as Spintronics may provide the opportunity needed to continue the trend of decreasing size by utilizing electron spin in electronic materials. While retaining the operation of traditional electronics, Spintronics allows for the opportunity to exploit a second pair of states — spin-up and spin-down — and exponentially increasing the potential logic operations. These properties are only achieved when both semiconducting and ferromagnetic properties exist simultaneously. This work focuses on one sub-set of Spintronic materials, Dilute Magnetic Semiconductors (DMSs), a class of materials which consist of a semiconductor doped with a small amount of transition-metal atoms. The primary system of interest is the semiconductor MoS2 doped with cobalt. We determine the dopant sites via the local bonding environment using cobalt L2,3 x-ray experiments and calculations while sulphur L2,3 x-ray experiments provide an estimate of the band gap.