Mitchell Fund Project Published

Whereas the majority of students are well into their graduate studies by the time they publish their first professional academic paper, research undertaken by Jack Fraser, whilst an undergraduate, has recently been published in Acta Crystallographica – one of the major journals of the International Union of Crystallography.  

Jack’s research, which he undertook in collaboration with Professor Justin Wark, Fellow and Tutor in Physics, over the summer vacation of 2017, investigated and critiqued a recently proposed theory (published in the same journal) of how x-rays scatter from crystals.  Jack’s careful analysis identified significant errors in the new scattering theory, and identified their origin. A full write up of the work was accepted for publication by the IUCR journal, and formally published in September 2018.

The research project was supported financially from Trinity’s Mitchell Fund, which provides grants to undergraduates in their third year to enable them to get a taste for research.  The fund was endowed by a legacy from an Old Member, Professor John Mitchell, FRS (1935).

Professor Wark said following the paper’s publication: The work performed by Jack Fraser is directly relevant to several of the experiments we perform in my research group where we use the most powerful x-ray source on the planet to diagnose matter at extremes of pressure similar to conditions found towards the centre of planets.  Although publishing a first author paper whilst still an undergraduate is not completely unknown, it is sufficiently rare to merit mention.  We are very grateful to the Mitchell Fund that enabled Jack to carry out this work.

Figure 12 reproduced from the paper: The intensity distribution for a two-axis rotation in the Bragg–Brentano geometry is shown for a cubic crystal of dimension 0.8 microns. Four Bragg peaks can be observed, as well as a series of arcs connecting them.

The paper has been published under the open-access scheme.

Since completing the paper, Jack has obtained a First Class MPhys degree in Physics, and starts his DPhil studies in Michaelmas term 2018.

Published: 19 September 2018

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