PhD Submission - Sam Wilkinson

Sam Wilkinson has submitted his PhD today, entitled "Quasicharge models of Josephson junction arrays". This thesis studies electronic response and transport in arrays of Josephson junctions, in 1-, (quasi)1- and 2-dimensions. A notoriusly difficult problem, transport in junction arrays combines all of the most difficult parts of condensed matter physics. It is a many-body problem, with long interaction lengths, disorder plays a key role in the dynamics, finite size effects are crucial, both Cooper-pairs and quasiparticles can transport current, the processes are partially coherent, and depending on the experimental conditions very different physics can be at play. An important part of Sam's thesis is that he has provided a unified theoretical framework of the mathematical description of these circuits. Starting from the detailed derivation of the Hamiltonian of the circuits, he shows how the quasicharge description can be used to derive effect equations of motion and how it links to the theory of depinning. He then applies this approach to the study of Coulomb drag in bilinear arrays, a first for the study of drag and depinning in the same system. In the case of 2D arrays, Sam has performed some of the first theoretical analysis of a new spectroscopic technique for studying vortex dynamics, using linear response theory and master equations. Another highlight of the thesis is chapter 3 where Sam surveys the many papers written by mathematicians on the Mathieu equation, chases down all the units and factors of two to link this to the physics literature and even shows that substracting 1 provides a better approximation than not! Throughout his PhD Sam has balanced his excursions into practically every branch of condensed matter physics with his love of B, C and even D grade movies, a pretty impressive amount of European travel and creating an imaginary world of the dungeons and/or the dragons to help distract his fellow students from their own 'real-life' quests.

PhD Submission - Martin Cyster

Martin Cyster has submitted his PhD today, entitled "Modelling Josephson Junctions: from atomistic deposition to electronic transport". This thesis presents the first demonstration of an end-to-end modelling solution for understand the formation and electrical response of aluminium-oxide tunnel junctions. He has implemented some of the most computationally intensive molecular dynamics and NEGF simulations the group the group has ever attempted. Martin was able to successfully converted many many KSU of supercomputer time into detailed simulations of both the aluminium oxidation process and the conduction of electrons through the resulting junctions. Either half could easily have been a PhD in its own right but together it is a tour-de-force of computational techniques. Having had many distractions and moments of self-doubt, Martin has pushed through despite the ever present temptation of the glamorous life of a lead guitarist or book seller. Of particular note is the attention to detail in Martin's thesis, be it in terms of scientific rigour, software engineering best practice, graphic design, colour scheme and font choice, or stunning reproductions of vegetation indigenous to the Ballarat area. Martin's thesis opens up a new world of possibilities in terms simulations of superconducting qubit fabrication and will be of great interest to many of the worlds leading labs. Hopefully now the thesis is done, we can also look forward to a new album from Hello Porkins.

PhD Submission - David Ing

David Ing has submitted his PhD today with the title "On the application of theoretical multi-dimensional coherence spectroscopy techniques to discrete quantum systems". This is an exploration of the complexity of ultra-fast, multi-pulse spectroscopy, open-quantum systems theory, the interplay of coherence and decoherence and how to do a PhD remotely (eventually). Having spent far more time out of metropolitan Melbourne than in it, David has new found skills in self-motivation and diligence. With a 12 month stay at Ulm Universität and a series of stints living in Bendigo and commuting to Melbourne, David's german skills, his ability to get up well before sunrise and his knowledge of the V-line system have all progressed a long way from when he first joined the group as a fresh-faced 3rd year intrigued by non-Markovian processes. David's thesis involved numerical simulating a range of multi-dimensional spectroscopy setups, including working with some particularly nasty double-sided Feynman diagrams (or Feynagrams as he would call them). From David's work we now understand much more about how noise correlation length, coupling strength and orientation, and temperature can be studied with these advanced spectropic techniques. Whether its the natty suits or the blacksmith practice, David has always been our go to person when trying to explore the 18th and 19th centuries incognito.

New members, new space for 2018

Well, 2018 is shaping up to be a big year. We have 9 new members already. Igor Lyskov, André Anda and Mike Klymenko have all joined us as postdocs in the Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science. Hugh Sullivan and Anjay Manian have commenced a PhD, while Tyler Hughes, Raymond Harrison and Carl Belle have all commenced Masters by Research. In addition we have Yik Kheng Lee commencing Honours. In addition, two-thirds of TCQP have finally relocated to level 12 into a new joint research facility. With our new seminar room, staff room and expansive view of the north part of the city, it appears we have a tolerable work space!

PhD Submission - Jamie Booth

Dr. Jamie Booth has submitted his SECOND PhD today, thereby successfully completing his conversion from Chemist to Physicist. His thesis entitled "Strongly correlated GW calculations and their application to vanadium dioxide" is a tour de force of Greens functions, diagramatic expansions, Hubbard models, path integrals and some of the most intensive GW VASP calculations ever attempted by the group. With four papers already submitted or published and more on the way, Jamie's work has extended far beyond the original scope of understanding phase transitions in vanadium dioxide. Congratulations Jamie on submitting your second PhD, a feat many of us would never dare!