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Statistical Physics of Complex Systems: Problems in the statistical physics of disordered systems

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Weigel
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree with Coventry’s Faculty of Engineering and Computing. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

Applications are invited for a PhD student to work on problems in the statistical physics of disordered systems.

Spin glasses and random-field systems are models of disordered media with often highly counter-intuitive properties and an enormous number of experimental realisations in condensed matter physics, including highly frustrated magnets, superfluid helium, amorphous solids and ferroelectric materials. Recently, interest in such systems has been additionally fuelled by their connection to adiabatic quantum computing. Candidates for this project will study the physics of spin-glass and random-field systems using advanced numerical techniques such as parallel tempering, multi-canonical and population annealing Monte Carlo methods. In socio-physics, we investigate the complexity of texts and works of art via mathematical analyses. For paintings, students will compare information theoretic descriptions of complexity in paintings (fractal geometry, colour distributions from image segmentation etc.) to art theoretic descriptions. For texts, a complexity science approach to the mining of large literary corpora will be used to understand the evolution of languages and their correlation with historic events.

For more details regarding our work, see here:

Coventry’s research in the area of theoretical physics and applied mathematics includes eight statistical physicists, making it one of the largest statistical physics groups in the UK. There is a similar number of PhD students and a healthy influx of international visiting scientists. Coventry University's Statistical Physics Group is a member of the Doctoral College for Statistical Physics of Complex Systems. This is a partnership with the Universities of Leipzig (Germany), Lorraine (France) and Lviv (Ukraine) and we are developing co-supervision arrangements with each of these universities. We also have close collaborations with other leading universities worldwide and co-tutelle arrangements with some of these may also be possible.

Application information can be found in our how to apply section. Before completing the application please contact Martin Weigel for an initial informal discussion about the opportunity. For more information and application details, please click here:

Deadline: 30 April 2016 (early application is strongly advised.)

Funding Notes

This studentship is open to UK/EU/International students with the necessary entry requirements.

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