Andras Libal, who earned his Ph.D. in Physics at Notre Dame in 2007 and won the department’s Best Thesis Award, has published a book with the material. “Simulation Studies of non-equilibrium collective phenomena in colloids” is a synthesis of four papers Libal wrote on the subject. His adviser was Boldizsar Janko.
Colloidal systems are micron-sized solid particles suspended in liquid. Recently-developed optical tweezers open new opportunity to study the material. Libal’s investigation involved using tweezers to guide the motion in a way that permits separating of different materials; creating a colloidal particle model for “spin ice” with advantages over the magnetic model system; testing defects in nanofabrication with colloidal crystal templates; and mixing particles that typically resist mixing.
After postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University and at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, Libal returned to his native Romania in 2009. He is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at the Babes-Bolyai University, where he earned his undergraduate degree.