Dr Brian Cunningham, Research Fellow in our group, was awarded the 2022 QUB Postdoctoral Development Centre Research Prize, for his role in developing our EXCITON+ code and positron-binding work [Nature 606, 688 (2022)], on which Brian was joint-first author. Brian was presented with a plaque. Photo coming soon!
Our many-body approach to positron binding in polyatomic molecules has been published in Nature [J. Hofierka, B. Cunningham, C. M. Rawlins, C. H. Patterson and D. G. Green, Nature 606, 688 (2022)]. (Jaroslav and Brian were joint-first authors.)
As well as providing the first accurate description of over two decades of measurements made by the pioneering group of Prof Cliff Surko at University of California San Diego, our ab initio method provides fundamental insight and predictive capability.
The approach is implemented in our state-of-the-art software EXCITON+, developed at QUB by heavily adapting the EXCITON all-electron many-body theory code of Charles Patterson (Trinity College Dublin).
The work was funded by Dermot’s ERC grant “ANTI-ATOM”.
Stay tuned for more developments!
June 2022: PhD student and group member Jaroslav Hofierka gave a talk on our positron-many-body theory work at the 11th International Meeting on Atomic and Molecular Physics and Chemistry, Prague, Czech Republic.
Update: Jaro was awarded the prize for the best hot-topic presentation! Congratulations to Jaro!
Having worked remotely since ~ March 2022, more than 2 years later the group finally met in person! We climbed Cavehill (see the photos below with “Napoleon’s Nose” in the background, and of Brian scaling the wall to enter one of the caves. Unfortunately Sarah couldn’t make the walk, but everyone got together before on campus (bottom photo).
Dermot spoke in the “Focus Session: Few Body Problems and Long Range Interactions: Memorial for Richard Drachman”.about the group’ current work, highlighting the complexities of positron-molecule interactions, and referencing Drachman’s paper “Why positron physics is fun”.
Research Fellow Charlie Rawlins has taken up a new Research Fellow post at Queen’s focussing on developing molecular dynamics funded by US-Ireland programme. Charlie was a very welcome addition to the group: coming from Perth, Australia, he joined the group (as the second Research Fellow) winter 2019, not long before UK lockdown, and worked on developing our EXCITON+ positron-many-body code, in particular leading calculations of positron scattering on H2, N2 and CH4 (to be submitted). We wish him the best in his new role, and now he’s staying at Queen’s we’ll actually get to meet him in person!
Here’s a photo of Charlie showing my daughter a kitten that he’d rescued (one of a number).
Dermot has been appointed as a Specialist Editor (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics) of the international journal Computer Physics Communications
Dermot presented the group’s work and latest developments in positron-molecule many-body theory at the 74th International Gaseous Electronics Conference (GEC2021).