Physics and Life Sciences
I typically offer two Senior Honours Projects (one in Semester 1, one in Semester 2). Projects can be experimental or computational (for example performing Molecular Dynamics simulations). One of these projects may be adapted to suit Chemical Physics students. I also offer projects in Physics Education Research, and project in collaboration with Medical Physicists. Please contact me for further details.
For MPhys projects please search the project list
There have been a multitude of studies of protein aggregation in bulk solution, and they have shed enormous light on the physical mechanisms underpinning self-assembly. The inappropriate self-assembly of proteins that is linked to diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's occurs, however, in very small volumes (on the order of the biological cell) and in crowded environments. Cells are not bags of fluid: they are packed with other proteins (they are "crowded") and this has interesting consequences for the physics of self-assembly. This project will use microfluidics to examine the influence of small, crowded, volumes on the kinetics of self-assembly.
Proteins are colloidal particles that partition to oil/water and air/water interfaces. Particle-stabilised emulsions represent an interesting class of soft matter that are ubiquitous in the food and personal care industries. Although a lot is known about the behaviour of systems stabilised by solid colloids (i.e. glass & Perspex), less is known about what happens when the stabilising agent is itself "squishy". This experimental project will use imaging techniques, rheology and tensiometry to understand what influence the particle type has on the mechanical properties of multiphase mixtures.
Informal discussions about potential project opportunites are always welcome