John Venables' Current Projects
This file contains an informal list of what John Venables is
up to, professionally that is. The people mentioned by name have had a
copy of this document.
Latest update 4th November 2010.
- My most important current project is to be Program Director for the new Professional
Science Masters (PSM) in Nanoscience degree program at ASU. This program can be explored
via the Physics Department's PSM homepage,
or via my FAQ pages on this site. These sites are currently being
transferred to the new Nanoscience homepage. Currently, we
have 4 graduates and 16 students on course in the 2010-11 Academic year; this is a satisfying increase from 2
students in 2008-09, the first time the degree program was offered. It has already received considerable outside recognition, and I enjoyed attending the National PSM conference in November 2009. Publicity is of course, and ongoing issue, so if any of you out there are interested, or know of
potential students, do get in touch..! PSM programs are well-known to spread by word of mouth.
- I have been teaching Surfaces and Thin Films
as a web-based course at ASU, over the past several years most recently in Spring 2010.
This course is now being further developed in the context of the PSM in Nanoscience, with
the involvement of several "guest" lecturers. My graduate teaching text
Introduction to Surface and Thin Film Processes was developed primarily from
these lectures. This book
is open to the web, both via an appendix containing
Web based resources and section by section updates.
Both resources can be used with this text and/or the
- Over several years I have taught a one-semester graduate
Quantum Physics class
at ASU, which also has a web-based component, though optional in this case. This course is
now being given by Dmitry Matyushov, but the pages are being kept up as a resource, since
Google says they are widely used. My Sussex course on
Quantum Mechanical Models of Solids,
was developed in collaboration with Edward Hernández and Malcolm Heggie. It has been given
several times, with help from Malcolm's post-docs and senior students, most recently Irene
Suarez-Martinez. This material is being kept up on my ASU site as a
resource that I (and maybe others)
refer to in their current courses.
- I am contributing to some collaborations involving nucleation and
growth studies, based on the models developed over the years.
These are built around (relatively simple) programs which enable island
densities, etc to be interpreted. Most recently, I have been exploring the use of
efficient Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and Master Equation Discretization (MED)
techniques for solving 2-dimensional diffusion equations, in visual models of
epitaxial growth that complement rate equations.
- I am pleased to have been welcomed into the London Centre for Nanotechnology at University College
London (LCN-UCL) as an honorary Visiting Professor, and collaborations on the above
topics are developing. A list of recent papers, which include this and other collaborations, is given
- There is still a lot of work to do on these nucleation and growth models,
and I am currently seeing how they can be extended to situations relevant to the
hot topics of pattern formation and nanofabrication. In parallel, I have learned some 'newer'
programming languages, and have got hooked on MatLab! The idea is to get
some material which is more user-friendly, amenable to student projects, and in
some cases more compatible with web-based presentation of results.
- The Gordon Research Conference on
Thin Film and Crystal Growth Mechanisms was last held from June 12-17, 2009 at
Colby Sawyer College, New London, New Hampshire. I am currently maintaining the historical
web pages, which you
can consult for further details. The next conference will be held from July 17-22, 2011; see the GRC web site for the latest details.