2019-2020 Final Year Project Titles

Prof. Lei-han Tang

SCT720, lhtang@hkbu.edu.hk, ext:7031

Research field: Statistical physics and biophysics


Statistical Physics:

Simulation study of spin models in two-dimensions (6 units)

In this project the student will perform Monte Carlo simulation of two-dimensional lattice spin models with advanced techniques such as entropic sampling. There is also opportunity to do analytical work to understand the origin of weak first order transitions and the effect of vacancies on the nature of the phase transition.

Energy efficiency of the F1 biomolecular motor (3/6 units)

The F1/F0 ATP synthase is a reversal molecular motor which can either synthesize ATP or use ATP to perform mechanical work. The motor has been used as a model system to test and explore principles of nonequilibrium thermodynamics at the nanometer scale. In this project, the student will study and perform computer simulations of a stochastic model for the rotary motor, and investigate its energy conversion efficiency from chemical to mechanical form.

Interdisciplinary topic:

Bacterial chemotaxis (3/6 units)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6QMU3KD7zw (short with music)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioA1yuIA-t8&t=9s (for the serious)
Bacteria perform swim-and-tumble motion to sense their chemical environment and drift towards region of higher nutrient concentration and away from harmful chemicals. This phenomenon can be studied at various levels, from the sensing of individual molecules to the processing of the information inside the cell and onto the control of the cell motility machinery. In addition, communication channels between bacteria can be established and it is possible to modify the chemotaxis circuit to generate other types of group bahavior. In this project the student will learn about the chemotaxis system at various levels of detail and perform simulations of the system using appropriate models.