COURSE GOALS: The aim of the course Physics of Disordered Systems is to provide an introduction to the key concepts and phenomena in describing disordered systems in physics and other disciplines. Disordered structures that are self-similar on certain length scales are very common in nature. They can be found on the largest and the smallest scales: in galaxies and landscapes, in aggregates and colloids, in glasses and polymers, in proteins and other large molecules. Models and theories developed to describe disordered systems in physics are widely used in the other areas. Student is first introduced to the concept of order parameter. Then two widely used concepts of fractal and percolation are explained. Finally, glasses and disordered magnets are described.
LEARNING OUTCOMES AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROGRAMME:
1. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
1.1 formulate, discuss and explain the basic laws of physics including mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics
1.2 demonstrate a thorough knowledge of advanced methods of theoretical physics including classical mechanics, classical electrodynamics, statistical physics and quantum physics
1.3 demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the most important physics theories (logical and mathematical structure, experimental support, described physical phenomena)
2. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
2.1 identify the essentials of a process/situation and set up a working model of the same or recognize and use the existing models
2.2 evaluate clearly the orders of magnitude in situations which are physically different, but show analogies, thus allowing the use of known solutions in new problems;
2.3 adapt available models to new experimental data
3. MAKING JUDGEMENTS
3.1 develop a personal sense of responsibility, given the free choice of elective/optional courses
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
4.1 work in an interdisciplinary team
5. LEARNING SKILLS
5.1 search for and use physical and other technical literature, as well as any other sources of information relevant to research work and technical project development (good knowledge of technical English is required)
5.2 remain informed of new developments and methods and provide professional advice on their possible range and applications
5.3 carry out research by undertaking a PhD
LEARNING OUTCOMES SPECIFIC FOR THE COURSE:
By successfully completing the course Physics of Disordered Systems, student will be able:
* to explain qualitatively the phenomena of order/disorder in different physical systems ;
* to explain fractal geometry and its application in describing different phenomena;
* to explain percolation theory and give several examples of its application in different areas;
* to describe glasses;
* to describe disordered magnets;
Introduction. Ordered and disordered systems. Order parameters
Fractals: fractal geometry, self-similarity, scale invariance, random fractals, DLA, fractal growth. Fractals and experiments.
Percolation: geometrical phase transition, exact results (1D model, Bethe lattice), fractal geometry of percolation clusters, substructures, modifications of basic model (invasion percolation, directed percolation), transport phenomena in percolation clusters, fractons.
Glasses, glass transition, basic models.
REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:
Students are required to attend lectures and seminars, and actively participate in discussions.
They are also required to prepare and present a seminar paper on the given topic
GRADING AND ASSESSING THE WORK OF STUDENTS:
The final grade is based on the oral exam and seminar paper.
- 1. N.E. Cusak, The Physics of Structurally Disordered Matter, Adam Higler, Bristol, 1988.
2. A. Bunde, S.Havlin , Eds., Fractala and Disordered Systems, Springer, Berlin, 1996.,
3. D. Stauffer, A. Aharony, Introduction to Percolation Theory, Taylor& Francis, London, 1992.