Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What is DFT?

Dear Diary,

I suppose I should give some details about the group and Professor Burke so we can all get to know each other.

We chatted about the group's focus which is using Density Functional Theory to investigate fundamental physics.  There is also the small concern of how to use DFT accurately.

As an example, there was a new airplane with a cutting edge lithium battery that had to be grounded because the batteries are prone to catching fire.  One of the ways to guess how batteries (and other things) will function (how much charge will be stored, etc.) is to use Density Functional Theory. This happens even before you make it.  Professor Burke makes a living making refining the technique and helping to make more accurate predictions.

Sounds exciting!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Diary: Day 1

Dear Diary,

I met with Professor Kieron Burke today to talk about joining his group.  He immediately was very kind in offering me coffee. However, diary, I only drink tea. This was nearly a deal breaker.

He'll be away for a month, and that gives me some time to get to know his group and what they do in more detail.

I am supposed to keep this diary until otherwise.  Future students might even read it to see how to join Professor Burke's group!  Looks like we'll be best friends, diary, but we better keep it useful for whoever's next.