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Details for Dr Simon Hanna

Personal details
Name Dr Simon Hanna
Job title Reader in Physics
Department School of Physics University of Bristol
Contact details This expert can be contacted via the University of Bristol Public Relations Office.

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work+44 (0)117 331 8092
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Qualifications MA, PhD(Cantab)
Professional details
Membership of professional bodies M. Inst. P.
C. Phys.
Keywords computer simulation
physics of holographic optical tweezers
molecular nanophysics
molecular nanostructures
soft matter
Areas of expertise My primary research interest is the physics of holographic optical tweezers and their applications in nanoscience.

My group has developed techniques for computing forces and torques on microscopic particles in optical traps. Different methods are suited to different types of problem: the T-matrix approach is fast, but best suited to highly symmetrical systems; FDTD is very versatile but slow; DDA offers a reasonable compromise in terms of speed and accuracy. We also study the thermal motion of trapped structures in multiple optical traps, by solving the Langevin equation for the system.

The aims of the work are two-fold - to build and optimize nanotools or nanoprobes for analyzing biological systems (an example of biophotonics), and to build photonic structures with bespoke defects.

I am also interested in molecular nanophysics and I study self-assembling molecular nanostructures through molecular modeling techniques including Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations.