prof anthony harker
- London Centre for Nanotechnology
- Gower Street
- WC1E 6BT
- Emeritus Professor of Physics
- Dept of Physics & Astronomy
- Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
Research SummaryMy research interests have spanned quite a wide range of materials science, ranging from quantum mechanical calculations to work in classical elasticity. The unifying thread has been attempting to predict or explain experimental results by means of appropriate theories, often with technological applications in view. Among the topics in about 100 published papers have been the electronic structure of atomic defects in solids; stress and strain in semiconductor layer systems; effective medium models of transport and elastic properties of cracked porous materials; flux movement in grain boundaries of high temperature superconductors; numerical models of uniform corrosion; numerical models of elastic wave propagation and scattering in isotropic and anisotropic materials, using analytic, finite difference and finite element methods; wave propagation and attenuation in particles suspended in fluids; numerical models of effects of temperature and geometry on gas sensors; calculations of medium energy ion scattering as a surface analytical tool. I have written one book, Elastic Waves in Solids, on the use of sound waves for detecting defects in materials.
After undergraduate studies at Cambridge University (1967-1970) leading to a BA in Theoretical Physics I moved to Oxford University (1970-1973) to take a DPhil, again in Theoretical Physics. In 1974 I was a Royal Society European Programme Fellow at the Technische Hochschule, Stuttgart, whence I returned in late 1974 to a Research Fellowship at the Harwell Laboratory of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). At Harwell I later joined the permanent staff, and after several reorganisations of the laboratory on the road to privatisation of part of UKAEA I was promoted to lead the Theoretical Studies Section of the Materials Services Department. I left Harwell in 1995 when the move towards privatisation saw the demise of the Theoretical Studies Section, and joined UCL shortly afterwards.