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Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group

Undergraduate Summer School and Research Projects in Surface nanoPhysics and Atom-Surface Scattering 2021

The Cavendish Surface Physics Group and Atom Scattering Facility invite undergraduate applications to a program of a remote/online summer school and collaborative summer research projects, which will be conducted remotely, given current and likely restrictions on travel. The program will cover areas such as ultrafast surface-dynamics, scattering of atoms, molecules, and neutrons from surfaces, and helium atom microscopy.

The summer school will aim to bring students up to speed with both theoretical and computational concepts associated with the area of the program. Research projects will follow the summer school, and will generally be computational, theoretical, or related to scientific instrument development. There will be two types of projects; supervised, and unsupervised.

Unsupervised projects will normally redress already solved problems, for training purposes only, and will typically last around 3-5 weeks. An example project could be the writing of Kinetic Monte Carlo simulation with inter-adsorbate interactions, and investigation of 2D formation of nano-cluster as function of temperature. Students will receive general guidance, and will be invited to exchange ideas and to discuss the projects in dedicated online forums.

Supervised projects will be offered by members of the surface physics group and national/international collaborators. Those projects will normally address original scientific problems, and will last 8 weeks (with an option to a short extension). For last years' projects, see A list of projects for the 2021 program will be published in due course.

The program will take the form:

  • Week 1-2: Summer school. Lectures, Educational Package of assignments, seminars on selected topics. Guided reading of relevant literature. Small group discussions. Allocation to projects based on interest and availabiliy.

  • Weeks 3-8: Individual work on projects, guided by a project mentor. Weekly group meetings with the cohort of project students and mentors, normally including a short overview of progress from each student.  Mid-project review.

  • Week 9-10: Completion of the research project and support with writing a high quality report on the activities.  Final review of the activities.

In addition, students will be invited to join our usual ‘virtual tea-time’ meetings, which have served for decades as a platform for exchanging ideas within the Cavendish laboratory.

Requirements & Commitment: As projects will be conducted remotely, individuals will need their own (basic) computer and a reliable internet connection suitable for video conferencing.  We will provide remote access to any high performance computers required for particular projects, as well as any software necessary.

Individuals will be able to be very flexible with their work pattern, but will be expected to commit to the full ten week programme (starting on 28th June 2021) and to at least weekly group video meetings with the project cohort and with their project mentor.

Application Process: Please send your CV and a short statement on why you wish to be involved in the programme (up to 250 words) to Dr Nadav Avidor as soon as possible, and by the end of February 2021 at the latest.