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Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180-3590 USA

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(518) 276-6310
Fax: (518) 276-6680
E-mail: physics@rpi.edu

Alex Buck
Undergraduate Research:
Tom O’Connor

I am a senior undergraduate student in physics. My interests lie primarily in the computational and theoretical study of complex, messy systems. I have an active interest in developing metrics to identify and describe domains of order and their dynamics in molecular scale domains where elegant theory and precise experimental observation are a challenge. I have found computational methods, especially molecular dynamics, to be a versatile and well suited tool for exploring these noisy frontiers.

I perform heavily applied research with Prof. Toh-Ming Lu, focusing on the application discrete Monte Carlo deposition models to supplement experimental findings of oblique angle thin film growth. We also work to develop new discrete models of the surface diffusion of atoms so that more sophisticated growth phenomena may be explored computationally.

With Prof. Vincent Muenier I utilize the CCNI and other large computers on campus to perform large scale computational investigations of the clustering behavior of aromatic polymers. When cooled the aromatic rings of such polymers align and stack on each other due to Pi-Pi interactions. I simulate this phenomena and develop metrics to characterize and observe the evolution of this stacking behavior.

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