Dislocation mobility and damping in single-crystal MgO

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In an exciting proposal currently under development we plan to model the energetics of dislocation migration in crystals, and to measure the impact of such stress-induced dislocation migration on viscoelastic behaviour through mechanical testing in torsional forced oscillation. The project will focus on MgO - on account of its structural simplicity and ready availability as large single crystals.

The project will involve a mixture of computer modelling (ab initio/ atomistic simulation of dislocations – through international collaboration with Andrew Walker (University College, London) and Patrick Cordier (University of Lille, France), experimental deformation by dislocation creep, characterisation of defect microstructures by electron microscopy, and the development of improved techniques for mechanical testing though low-amplitude torsional oscillation (Jackson & Fitz Gerald). There is scope for student involvement in both the computer simulation and experimental rock physics aspects of the project.

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