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Physics and Chemistry of Solids

Experimental study of dynamic behaviour at short timescales

Each year. Stephen Walley and James Perry offer a number of "Research Review" projects to third year (Part II) undergraduates.

We also welcome several fourth year undergraduate/Masters students to join us for a few months and undertake experimental "Part III" Research Projects, supervised by David Williamson, James Perry and Chris Braithwaite.

Part III projects tend to either directly complement - or be closely linked to - existing research projects within the group. Literature review topics vary more broadly: some are aligned with our groups' research interests; others are slightly more tangential (but nonetheless fascinating!)

Some examples of recent or current projects are given below; for full details of this year's projects, please see the relevant departmental resources.

Current Cambridge undergraduates in Physics, Materials Science and related disciplines: Please feel free to get in touch if you are interested in any of our undergraduate projects - or have an idea of your own to propose!


Part II Research Reviews

Damage and failure of fibre composites at high strain rate
A high-speed Newton's Cradle: New developments in the Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar

Additive manufacturing of metals
What happens during the machining of materials?
Experimental studies of energy dissipation in sand
Why are seashells so strong?
How to build a crystal
The phase diagram of water
Shocking ice
Why are some materials harder than others? What is hardness anyway?
Liquids have no right to exist


Part III Experimental Projects

Dynamic tensile properties of fibre composites
Designing a dynamic 3-point bend test
Understanding frequency and dispersion in high strain rate testing
Homemade armour and the ballistic properties of wood
Modifying penetration in sand
Comissioning and using a photonic Doppler velocimeter

Measuring mechanical energy dissipation in polymers
Frequency domain Hopkinson Bar analysis