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This work is concerned with, for the first time, the derivation of analytic expressions for the second virial coefficient of bounded Mie potentials. The convergence properties of the series expansions were also considered, as well as considerations of parameters that give rise to thermodynamic stability.

BSc Physics Thesis

Classification: First Class - 82%

My research efforts were focused on a “bounded potential model” commonly used to describe the interaction between particles in colloid and polymer systems. I successfully derived the solution to the second virial coefficient of this bounded potential as a series expansion in terms of orthogonal polynomials, which was the primary goal of the project.

I have received excellent feedback from my supervisor and the project markers regarding my performance, enthusiasm, and initiative. Maybe more importantly, this project has allowed me to make my first original contribution to science. The work done on this thesis was expanded on a collaboration with Professor David M Heyes, and the results published in The Journal of Chemical Physics.

Official written-comments from the thesis supervisor and markers:

  • “His overall performance was in the excellent category.”
  • “Tomas observed and brought out […] a number of very interesting results, of a caliber which would reflect well on a researcher of many more years experience.”
  • “The series expansion and MD modeling aspects of the project were definite steps forward in our understanding of the behavior of this system.”
  • “[Tomas] derived single-handedly a series expansion in terms of orthogonal polynomials, which is a new approach as far as I am aware.”