CASUS Institute Seminar, Timothy Callow, PhD, postdoc at the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding CASUS, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR)

Timothy received his PhD in physics at Durham University before joining CASUS as postdoctoral researcher in 2020. His research is focussed on the application of density-functional theory to materials under a range of pressures and temperatures. In particular, he is working on the theoretical development and numerical implementation of average-atom models.

Abstract of the talk // Under warm-dense matter (WDM) conditions, materials are exposed to temperatures and pressures beyond standard atmospheric conditions, leading to many interesting scientific and technological phenomena. For example, WDM conditions are found in the earth’s core and various astrophysical objects such as white dwarf stars. Of particular importance is inertial confinement fusion (ICF), which presents an opportunity for clean and (in some sense) unlimited energy. ICF experiments are guided by models which require various inputs, such as pressure or the electron ionization degree.

In this talk, Timothy will first introduce the concept of average-atom models: these models reduce highly-complex systems of interacting electrons and nuclei to an effective single atom. These models are therefore very computationally efficient, but this comes at the cost of various approximations and assumptions which limit their accuracy.

In the second part of his talk, Timothy will compare results between average-atom models and higher-fidelity simulations. This comparison will indicate that, under the right conditions, and with suitably chosen approximations, average-atom models yield results of comparable accuracy to far more computationally-expensive simulations.

Timothy will be talking live in Görlitz. However, as the event is organized in a hybrid format that includes a videoconferencing tool by Zoom Inc., people interested in the topic have the chance to also join the talk remotely. Please ask for the login details via