Gareth Conduit



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I am a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Theory of Condensed Matter Group, at the University of Cambridge. My research is focused on the design of new materials & drugs and quantum phenomena. Further details can be found in a synopsis of my research on materials design, quantum systems and publications list, and recent talks.

Materials & drug design

Three components of materials design
Three key stages of materials design: quantum simulations, grain structure, and electronic optical properties.

We have proposed, implemented, and employed a neural network code that has specialist capabilities to handle the typical experimental data set. The tool learns trends from the data, and then designs new optimal solutions. The approach is generic so we have applied it to both industrial materials and drug design. The tool is now being commercialized by spinout Intellegens.

In a collaboration with Rolls Royce the tool was used to discover four new alloy families. The alloys include two nickel-based alloys for jet engines, and two molybdenum alloys for forging hammers. Each alloy has thirteen individual physical properties that are predicted to match or exceed commercially available alternatives, and for each alloy eight properties have been experimentally verified. The central patents are:

  1. Method and system for designing a material
    EP14153898, US 2014/177578, GB1302743

  2. Molybdenum-hafnium alloys for high temperature applications
    EP14161255, US 2014/223465, GB1307533

  3. Molybdenum-niobium alloys for high temperature applications
    EP14161529, US 2014/224885, GB1307535

  4. A nickel alloy
    EP14157622, amendment to US 2013/0052077 A2, GB1403486

  5. A New Nickel Based Superalloy for a Combustor Liner and Other high Temperature Applications
    GB1408536

Quantum physics

Pairing of 3 trapped atoms
Two up spin atoms and one down spin atom in a trap. The solid red surface shows the strength of pairing and the excess up spin density by the blue net.

An electron gas with contact repulsive interactions is a deceptively simple interacting system, yet it displays a remarkably rich range of phenomena. At mean-field level the electron gas was predicted by Stoner to undergo a mean-field transition into an itinerant ferromagnet. This phase has never been cleanly observed in the solid state, however we studied the first experimental exploration of its properties in an ultracold atomic gas. Moreover, quantum fluctuations mean that a variety of other inhomogeneous magnetic states are energetically favorable, with our suggestion of a spin spiral state being first observed in CeFePO in 2012. My principal publications are:

  1. A repulsive atomic gas in a harmonic trap on the border of itinerant ferromagnetism (pdf © APS)
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 200403 (2009)

  2. Inhomogeneous phase formation on the border of itinerant ferromagnetism (pdf © APS)
    Editors' Suggestion in Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 207201 (2009)
    Spotlighted with accompanying Viewpoint commentary in Physics 2, 93 (2009)

A few-fermion ultracold atom system presents an alternative arena to study strongly interacting fermions. The system allows strong correlations to be probed and explained within an exactly solvable and experimentally measurable system, which when mastered will allow the intuition and understanding to be built up for a many-body system. Our study of the consequences of repulsive and attractive interactions in this system was followed by the experimental realization and characterization of a few-atom Fermi sea. My key articles are:

  1. Inhomogeneous state of few-fermion superfluids (pdf © APS)
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 045301 (2013)

  2. Ferromagnetic spin correlations in a few-fermion system (pdf © APS)
    Phys. Rev. A 87, 060502(R) (2013)

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