In 2018/19 I will be teaching the following modules.  If you are a student in one of the modules, details can be found on the intranet Blackboard pages linked below.

PH307

ConDENsED MATTER II

PH-M38

MRI and MRS

In the past I taught among other things a module on
Control of Quantum Systems
at the University of Cambridge, part of which I also delivered at the National University of Defense Technology in China in 2011. This material is currently available only on request but watch this space, as I will be delivering a new set of lectures on
robust quantum control
as part of the joint US-UK Institute for Advanced Study on Robust Control.

BSc and MPhys Projects

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                        SMS1 - Experimental

                        Magnetic Resonance      

                        Imaging & Spectroscopy

                           (BSc/MPhys, M38 desirable)

 

Background: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/MRS) rely on the detection of small magnetic moments of atomic nuclei in a magnetic field to generate images and spectra.  It provides information about chemical structure, material composition and is used in medicine for non-invasive in-vivo imaging and spectroscopy, among other applications.  Reusable, tissue-mimicking phantoms are a key tool for quality assurance and the development and testing of new pulse sequences and/or MR hardware.

Project: Using our existing phantoms or making your own, you will perform a series of experiments on a real MRI system to characterize your phantoms in terms of relaxation rates, diffusion, chemical composition etc and evaluate their suitability for a chosen clinical or scientific purpose.  You will have a choice of possible applications including quantification of neurotransmitters in brain tissue, quantification of fat, mapping of nerve or muscle fibre bundles using diffusion MRI and optimizing protocols for T1 and T2 relaxometry for identification of diseased tissue.

Resources:

  1. Wikipedia

  2. Radiopedia

  3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Physical Principles and Sequence Design, ISBN 0-471-35128-8

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                              SMS2 - Experimental

                              Characterization &

                              Calibration using

Fi                           Fieldmapping

                            (BSc/MPhys, M38 desirable)

Background: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/MRS) rely on the detection of small magnetic moments of atomic nuclei in a magnetic field to obtain information about material properties and generate images.  The quality of the images or spectra obtained depends heavily on proper calibration of the scanner hardware.  Spatial inhomogeneity in the static $B_0$ field, gradient non-linearities and inhomogeity in the RF field due to both material susceptibility effects or coil geometry and sensitivity can lead to a variety of artifacts in images and spectra.

Project: You will use special pulse sequences to assess the field homogeneity of our 3T MRI, comparing different methods and techniques.  There are different options for specialization including $B_0$ field mapping, gradient field mapping and RF field mapping, as well as characterization of susceptibility and eddy-current effects in phantom materials.

Resources:

  1. Wikipedia

  2. Radiopedia

  3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Physical Principles and Sequence Design, ISBN 0-471-35128-8

                      SMS3 - Experimental

                      Design & Characterization

                      of RF Coils for MRI

                          (BSc/MPhys, M38 desirable)

 

Background: RF coils are used to wirelessly transmit radiofrequency signals. They are an integral part of NMR and MRI machines, used to both excite protons and detect the RF signals emitted by them.

Project: The project involves designing, building and testing RF coils.  Starting with simple wireless transmission circuits and resonant circuits on a breadboard, you will design and build a surface and volume coil of your choice and characterize the coils using basic tools such as oscilloscopes, signal generators and a network analyzer.

Resources:

  1. Wikipedia

  2. MRI Questions

  3. Vaughan, RF Coils for MRI (Wiley, 2012)

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                      SMS5 - Theory/Experiment

                      Exploring Solid State

                      Physics via Simulation

                          (BSc/MPhys, Pre-req. PH307)

 

Background: The mechanical, elastic and electromagnetic properties of metals and semiconductors are hugely important from a fundamental and technological point of view.  Computational models and simulations are essential to explain observed properties of various materials, gain insight into basic physical phenomena, understand the operation of semiconductor devices and develop new materials and applications.

Project: Using existing solid-state physics simulation tools you will computationally investigate the properties of different materials and compare different theoretical models and their agreement (or lack thereof) with experimental data from the literature. The choice of topics ranges from investigation of x-ray diffraction and crystal structure to lattice dynamics, heat capacity and mechanical properties to classical and quantum models of electron transport and bandstructure, to investigation of carrier densities in semiconductors to magnetism.  Depending on the choice of topic you will have the option of performing some experiments, e.g., investigating the electrical properties of metals or semiconductors, or characterizing semi-conductor devices such as diodes or transitors experimentally.}

Resources:

  1. Simulations for Solid State Physics, Cambridge University  Press (ISBN-0-521-59911-3)

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                        SMS4 - Theoretical

                        Modelling RF Coils for   

                        MRI

                           (BSc/MPhys, M38 desirable)

Background: RF coils are used to wirelessly transmit radiofrequency signals.  They are an integral part of NMR and MRI machines, used to both excite protons and detect the RF signals emitted by them.

Project: The project involves modelling of common RF coils such as birdcage resonators and surface coils using circuit analysis and numerical simulations.  You will use standard circuit modelling tools and write your own code in matlab or python.

Resources:

  1. Wikipedia

  2. MRI Questions

  3. Vaughan, RF Coils for MRI (Wiley, 2012)

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 SMS6 - Theory/Experiment

 Exploring Quantum Control by

 Shaping of the Energy Landscape 

                          (BSc/MPhys, Pre-req. none)

Background: Quantum systems are interesting for many reasons, both from a fundamental physics and a technology perspective. Controlling quantum phenomena is both a prerequiste for technology and quite challenging, both from a theoretical and practical point of view, requiring new paradigms for control.  One of these paradigms is shaping the energy landscape of the system to effect a certain dynamical evolution.

Project: The project involves exploring applications of energy landscape shaping using computer models and simulations and possibly by performing remote-controlled experiments using an experimental setup currently being developed at the University of Aarhus (if the system is operational when projects starts).

Resources:

  1. Design of Feedback Control Laws for Information Transfer in Spintronics Networks, IEEE Trans. Autom. Control,

  2. Do physicists stop searches too early? A remote-science, optimization landscape investigation

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