Master Thesis Topics
Topics for Master Thesis, "Diplomarbeiten" and "Staatsexamenarbeiten" are in the subject areas of Statistical Physics, Simulation and Theory of Biological and Soft Matter, Theory and Simulation of Porous Media and Fractional Calculus. The following people can supervise theses in the following subject areas. If you are interested in a theses in any of these areas, contact the corresponding scientists!
Christian Holm: Theory and Simulation of Electrostatics and Hydrodynamics in Soft Matter
Rudolf Hilfer: Theory and Simulation of Porous Media and Fractional Calculus
Axel Arnold: Computing on Graphic cards, Rare Events and Toy Models
If you like to get to know the dirty, hardware-aware side of high performance computing, computing on Graphics cards (GPUs) is probably what you are looking for. Even if you only have basic programming skills! Here, the goal is not so much as to port our basic work horse, Molecular Dynamics (MD), but rather exploit GPUs to make it possible to couple our MD particles to continuum models of fluids or salts. This enables us to simulate large systems with many particles at the frontier of computational physics.
Rare event sampling deals with events, where an energy barrier has to be overcome just by spontaneous fluctuations. This happens only rarely, but can have drastic effects and is quite common in nature. Examples range from the formation of crystals or gas bubbles to earth quakes and stock market crashs. Computationally, it is simply impossible to wait for the "right" fluctuations, therefore one has to employ special sampling techniques to be able to study such phase transitions. I am in particular interested in the crystallization of charged macromolecules and questions of polymer dynamics.
On the application side, my research is mostly theoretical, in the sense that I am trying to reproduce experiments, but rather theoretical models, whose implications often cannot be derived analytically. This is a very successful approach in soft matter research, since the properties of systems often depend on effective parameters rather than the actual underlying chemistry. For example, many aspects of polymers can be described just by their persistence length, i.e. their bending rigidity. And colloidal particles are well described as hard spheres for most applications.
Jens Smiatek: Solvent effects on (Bio)Macromolecules
Maria Fyta: Biomolecules, Materials, and Biomaterials
A number of different simulation methodologies ranging from quantum mechanical to Molecular Dynamics and coarse-grained schemes are used to model different systems, which range from biomolecules, to materials, and biomaterials. The properties of interest are separately the conformational dynamics of biomolecules, and the optoelectronic and mechanical properties of doped carbon nanostructures. Focus is currently also given on the interaction of biomolacules, such as DNA nucleobases with materials, and the assembly of these different units. Applications involve biolabeling, biosensing, ultra-fast DNA sequencing, to name a few. Bachelor/Diplom/Master theses are directed along the above lines.
If you are interested in the software and programming side of Computational Physics, Olaf might be the right person to contact. Master theses supervised by Olaf will typically involve one of the following tasks: