In a recently published Nature Reviews Chemistry article, titled “Surface premelting of water ice”, Ben Slater and Angelos review the current understanding of the quasi-liquid layer (QLL) that forms on the surface of ice. The review describes how advances in experimental and computational techniques furthered our understanding in the years since Faraday first postulated the existence of a QLL in the 1850s, while highlighting topics that still pose open questions, such as the QLL thickness.
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Angelos will be running this year’s London Marathon with the aim of setting a new world record for the “fastest marathon dressed as a scientist (male)”. He is running in support of WaterAid, an international charity working to provide clean water and decent toilets to people all over the world. To find out more and support his cause see:
The London Marathon will take place on Sunday 28 April.
For his contribution “A Machine Learning Potential for Carbon”, Patrick was awarded a Best Poster prize at this year’s TYC Student Day! He was one of the four winners chosen from more than 30 poster presentations, which highlighted the excellent research conducted within the Thomas Young Centre. Patrick had also won the Best Poster prize at last year’s TYC Student Day.
We are happy to welcome some new people who joined the group over the last few weeks. Tai is doing a postdoc in a joint UCL – BP project. Fabian is sharing his PhD time between UCL and Imperial College. Michael already did his Master project in our group and is now continuing his work as a PhD student. Last but not least, Irene and Joseph will be doing their Master projects in the ICE group.
Welcome and have an ice time!
Congratulations to Martin, who finished his viva last week! His work focused on ice nucleation, in particular on finding descriptors that indicate good ice nucleating agents and the role of dynamical heterogeneity in homogeneous ice nucleation.
Yesterday morning’s adverse weather conditions (to put it mildly) made the triathlon even more challenging. The swimmers had to cope with very cold water, the hilly bike track was dangerously slippery and the running track was mostly covered in mud. Undeterred, both teams completed the triathlon – soaking wet (even the ones that didn’t swim!) and/or muddy but (mostly) unharmed. Well done!
The great support for our WaterAid fundraising campaign undoubtedly provided a large motivational boost. Every donation helps to provide clean water for everyone – many thanks for contributing!
The ICE group is happy to welcome Sam Azadi and Piero Gasparotto, who joined us last month. The weather appeared eager to welcome them warmly as well, and we hope their time here will be as enjoyable and successful as the first month promised it to be.
Michael won a prize for the Best Final Year MSci presentation in the Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (CMMP) group for his project on ice nucleation titled “Achieving Cubic Ice”. Congratulations!
The ICE group won prizes at this year’s Thomas Young Centre student day! With his presentation entitled “Role of Structure and Dynamics in Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation: A Tale of Two Brothers?” Martin won the prize for the best talk given amongst 12 shortlisted final-year PhD students in the TYC. For his contribution “A Machine Learning Potential for Graphene” in the exhibition of more than 30 posters Patrick was awarded the prize for the best poster. They were judged by a panel of experts including Andrea Taroni, editor in chief of Nature Physics, Royal Society Fellow Sally Price and TYC representatives Dario Alfè, Michail Stamatakis, Arash Mostofi and Alston Misquitta. Congratulations!
Patrick’s paper has been published in Physical Review B. In collaboration with Gábor Csányi at the University of Cambridge, Patrick developed a Gaussian approximation potential to simulate graphene to the same accuracy as density functional theory but at a computational cost smaller by magnitudes.
The paper is available on the PRB website and our own.