Research objectives and content
The main objective of the proposed project is developing Density Functional Theory (DFT) based techniques to study phase transitions and related phenomena in inhomogeneous electron-ion mixtures such as liquid metals. The proposed methods extend ideas from classical DFT to coupled electron-ion systems by treating the electrons quantum-mechanically, the ions classically, but both by DFT. The first application will be the melting of simple metals; the main ingredients have already appeared in the literature,and need only to be combined into one general theory. Experience gained with the melting problem will guide applications to other phenomena in inhomogeneous electron-ion liquids such as solid-solid transitions, fluid-fluid and fluid-solid interfacial phenomena etc...; problems that currently can be treated only by a classical DFT constrained by simple effective potentials.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The current experience of the applicant has been in classical liquid theory as well as in solid-state-physics. Combining past experience into this one project, together with the unique research environment at Cambridge, will train him in an important area crossing the disciplines of liquid physics, chemistry and materials science.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
No direct collaboration.