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​Entrance to the building where the Department of Physics is located. ​​​
​Pho​to: Anna-Lena Lundqvist

Physics researchers receive 16 million in grants from the Swedish Research Council

Researchers at the Department of Physics received 16 million SEK from the Swedish Research Council, when the grants for natural sciences and engineering for the years 2021–2025 was recently presented. Here, you can learn more on the projects for which the grants were given.
Mattias Thuvander  investigates traps for hydrogen in steel
Project "Carbides as hydrogen traps in steel", a total granted amount of SEK 4,802,000
What is your project about?
"Carbides in steel can act as traps for hydrogen and thereby make the steel
less susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement. The aim of the projet is to understand this phenomenon by performing atomistic modelling and atom probe tomography experiments. We will try to find out which positions, on the atomic scale, that are most effective in trapping hydrogen atoms, and how this depends on the type carbide."

Why is this research important?
"Hydrogen embrittlement is limiting the use of high-strength steels, which have a great potential for weight-savings and thereby for reduced energy consumption in the transport sector. The understanding of hydrogen in solids is also of general interest, as well as the possibility to study hydrogen both experimentally and by modelling."

What does the funding mean to you?
"The grant is very timely as we are getting a new atom probe during next year, which will have some accessories that will be useful for hydrogen experiments. The grant will also strengthen the cooperation between theory and experiment at the department. The grant is shared between me and Paul Erhart."


Istvan Pusztai – studies the dynamics of magnetic fields and matter in the universe
Project "Data-driven optimal models for kinetic dynamos", total amount granted SEK 3,440,000

What is your project about?
"The project concerns the process, called dynamo, that generates magnetic fields in astrophysical systems. While stellar and planetary dynamos are well studied, our understanding of the dynamo in galaxy clusters is much more limited. The reason is that while the interior of stars can be modeled as a simple conducting fluid, the hot and tenuous plasma of galaxy clusters exhibits a much more complex dynamics. Within this project I will distill this complex behavior into accurate but still numerically tractable plasma models with the help of recent data-driven methods, then utilize these numerical models to study the intertwined dynamics of magnetic fields and matter on the largest scales of the universe."
 
Why is this research important?
"The project will resolve the dynamo process on a micro-physical level with an unprecedented physics fidelity. This will allow a major step towards a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of the largest gravitationally bound systems in the universe. The modeling capabilities developed will also benefit the study of other turbulent magnetized plasma systems, such as our immediate space environment, will help the design and interpretation laboratory dynamo experiments in laser-produced plasmas, and have the potential to provide improved constraints on galaxy and star formation."
 
What does the funding mean to you?
"In this project I bring methods from kinetic plasma physics - where I have my main scientific background - to dynamo research, where I am relatively new. Crossing boundaries between research fields can be difficult, and requires freedom on multiple levels. This research grant gives me the freedom of pursuing an ambitious research idea involving non-standard approaches. That this research proposal got funded is also an encouragement that I greatly appreciate."


Christian Forssén  compares theoretical predictions with experimental observations
Project "Theoretical nuclear physics with precision", a total granted amount of SEK 4,000,000

What is your project about?
"The project "Theoretical nuclear physics with precision" is about developing new statistical methods for studying theoretical uncertainties. Specifically, we will combine effective field theories of the strong interaction with computational methods to solve the quantum many-body problem and make predictions for low-energy nuclear physics observables."

Why is this research important?
"A basis for scientific progress is comparisons of theoretical predictions with experimental observations. To draw conclusions from such a comparison, we must be able to quantify existing uncertainties, both on the experimental and the theoretical side. In this borderland, our research can contribute. Specifically, the project is about testing our theoretical description of subatomic physics and the fundamental forces, but the statistical methodology can be very useful in many areas."

What does the funding mean to you?
"That we can recruit a postdoc and continue to be an active driving research group in our field."


Mats Halvarsson  green electricity in an effective way
Project "High-resolution in-situ study of the effect of reactive elements on alumina formation at high temperatures", total amount granted SEK 4,000,000

What is your project about?
"The purpose of this project is to understand the formation and evolution of 
protective (and non-protective) alumina scales formed on FeCrAl alloys at elevated 
temperatures, by studying the oxidation “live” in microscopes with atomic or nanometre resolution. These alloys have the potential to be used in power plants, reducing problems with high temperature corrosion."

Why is this research important?
"By acquiring dynamic microstructural data, including oxide nuclei growth, interaction with reactive element particles and phase development, we can formulate a model for alumina scale growth, from the first monolayers, via nanolayers, to thicker scales, including its protective character. The 
model can then be used as input to tailor-make materials with desired microstructures that 
give superior high temperature corrosion properties."

What does the funding mean to you?
"This grant from VR means that we can continue to work with our long-term goal, which is to help with the transition to producing green electricity in an effective way."

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Page manager Published: Thu 11 Nov 2021.