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PhD Studentship: Wetting Transitions of Active Matter

University of Bristol

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: 3.5 years at the UKRI rate (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st December 2021
Closes: 31st January 2022

The project:

Active matter describes systems whose constituent elements consume energy and are thus out-of-equilibrium. Examples include flocks or herds of animals, collections of cells, and bacteria. Physicists often study simple models for active systems to elucidate their key properties. We are interested in how active matter behaves when it is confined by physical barriers that hinder its movement, for instance bacteria confined by a membrane wall. It has recently been realized (see very recent work [1]) that active systems can undergo surface phase transitions analogous to the way an equilibrium drop of water spreads out to ‘wet’ a solid substrate when the substrate-fluid attraction is sufficiently strong. This PhD project working with Prof Nigel Wilding at Bristol will use computer simulations to investigate the properties of wetting transitions in prototype models of confined active matter, thereby extending the study of the physics of surface phase transitions to a new class of non-equilibrium systems.

[1] https://arxiv.org/abs/2111.02492 

How to apply:

Please make an online application for this project at http://www.bris.ac.uk/pg-howtoapply. Please select Physics PhD on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form. Please make sure you include the title of studentship and the contact supervisor in your Personal Statement.

Candidate requirements: 

Candidates should have completed an undergraduate degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) in Physics, with some evidenced competency in mathematical methods and computer programming.

Funding: This studentship is fully funded under the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. Funding will cover tuition fees at the UK student level and an annual stipend for up to three and half years at the standard UKRI stipend rate (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22).

Contacts: Prof Nigel Wilding - nigel.wilding@bristol.ac.uk 

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