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. demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the fundamental laws of classical and modern physics
1.3. demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the most important physics theories (logical and mathematical structure, experimental support, described physical phenomena
1.5. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic experimental methods, instruments and methods of experimental data processing in physics and chemistry
2. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
2.1. identify and describe important aspects of a particular physical phenomenon or problem
2.4. recognize and follow the logic of arguments, evaluate the adequacy of arguments and construct well supported arguments
2.5. use mathematical methods to solve standard physics problems
3. MAKING JUDGMENTS
3.1. develop a critical scientific attitude towards research in general, and in particular by learning to critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
4.2. present complex ideas clearly and concisely
4.3. present their own research results at education or scientific meetings
5. LEARNING SKILLS
5.1. search for and use professional literature as well as any other sources of relevant information
5.2. remain informed of new developments and methods in physics,chemistry and education
5.3. develop a personal sense of responsibility for their professional advancement and development.
LEARNING OUTCOMES SPECIFIC FOR THE COURSE:
By successfully completing the course Physics of Disordered Systems, student will be able:
1. to explain qualitatively the phenomena of order/disorder in different physical systems ;
2. to explain fractal geometry and its application in describing different phenomena;
3. to explain percolation theory and give several examples of its application in different areas;
4. to describe glasses;
5. 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.
Seminar papers on modern investigations in selected disordered systems.
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.