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Physics Department News

Resolution of the exponent puzzle for the Anderson transition in doped semiconductors

The Anderson metal-insulator transition (MIT) is central to our understanding of the quantum mechanical nature of disordered materials. Despite extensive efforts by theory and experiment, there is still no agreement on the value of the critical exponent ν describing the universality of the transition—the so-called “exponent puzzle.” In this Rapid Communication, going beyond the standard Anderson model, we employ ab initio methods to study the MIT in a realistic model of a doped semiconductor. We use linear-scaling density functional theory to simulate prototypes of sulfur-doped silicon (Si:S). From these we build larger tight-binding models close to the critical concentration of the MIT. When the dopant concentration is increased, an impurity band forms and eventually delocalizes. We characterize the MIT via multifractal finite-size scaling, obtaining the phase diagram and estimates of ν. Our results suggest an explanation of the long-standing exponent puzzle, which we link to the hybridization of conduction and impurity bands.

Thu 21 February 2019, 10:43 | Tags: Research

Paul Goddard wins Teaching Award 2017/18

All undergraduates in the Department were invited to vote for who they would like to win the Physics Department Teaching Award 2017/18. The winner was Paul Goddard. The Head of Department, David Leadley, presented the award to Paul in one of his lectures this term.


Paul also won the Award in 14/15. The other winners have been: Neil Wilson (15/16) and Martin Lees (16/17).

Wed 20 February 2019, 13:57 | Tags: Undergraduates, Awards

New ideas to measure the mass of the W boson

As a first step towards a new measurement of the W boson mass with the LHCb experiment the role of proton structure uncertainties is studied in detail, resulting in interesting new ideas.

Mon 18 February 2019, 15:51 | Tags: Research

Research on attachment of antifreeze proteins to nanoparticles gathers pace

In recent months, work from the XPS Facility has contributed to publications on attaching antifreeze proteins to nanoparticles to modulate the formation and growth of ice at sub-zero temperatures, including an article in the Pioneering Inverstigators issue of Polymer Science.

Tue 05 February 2019, 11:34 | Tags: Research

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