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Thanks for visiting my homepage. I have now completed my Ph.D. at the University of Exeter, in the school of Physics. I investigated the properties of brown colouration in diamond using first-principles modelling techniques.
A pdf version of my thesis is available here. It is 7.3 MB in size.
I originally studied in Exeter for my BSc in Physics which I gained in 2002. I was awarded my Ph.D. at the summer ceremony 2007, and have now moved to Bristol so my wife can undertake her Ph.D. studies.
The group I worked in is headed by Professor R. Jones, who is Professor in Computational Physics at Exeter. The members of our group use Density-Functional-Theory to investigate the properties of clusters of atoms, specifically semiconductors such as Silicon and Diamond. Investigations are conducted using AIMPRO - the Ab Initio Modelling PROgram. There's a link to a good introduction to DFT on the left panel, if you want the general ideas without too much heavy maths!
The specific area I researched wass the brown colouration of Diamonds, and its removal by High-Pressure, High-Temperature treatment. Recently companies have started selling naturally brown diamonds that have been treated to render them colourless, and while the process is well known, the actual internal changes that are occurring are still under speculation. I investigated the mechanism by which the colour of the diamonds is changed using the theoretical techniques above. I was funded by the EPRSC and a CASE award from DTC.
Outside of my PhD studies I find time to play cricket for the Nomads C.C. which mainly consists of University Staff and Postgrads. We play evening games in the summer and a few of us try to keep in form with indoor nets in winter. The games are 20 overs each team and I tend to bowl if possible. I also try to watch/listen whenever England are playing.
I also like to keep active by running or cycling. I have run the Great West Run, a half-marathon in Exeter, twice. It was rather hard work but I managed to reduce my time to two hours last year. This was about 10 minutes quicker than 2005.
I am a member of CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale, and have a growing interest in wine and wine-tasting. This is thanks to a course I attended at Exeter College, which I can really recommend.
School of Physics
University of Exeter
Exeter EX4 4QL
This is no longer my contact address, but the address of the group I worked in.<--!>
Copyright 2007 Luke Hounsome - Last updated 22/10/2007