Applied Physics & Engineering Mathematics

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Currently the staff are engaged in research in the areas of Physics Education, Nuclear Structure, Laser/fibre-optics as well as the unlimited optical and other physical properties of Zinc Oxide (in collaboration with the Department of Applied Chemistry), Numerical Methods and Mathematics Education. Nuclear Structure research is aiming to explore one of nature’s most fascinating and unique, quantum system- atomic nucleus. One way to achieve this is by the use of highly energetic beam of particles obtained with the cyclotron accelerator. The research is carried out in collaboration with physicists from iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences in the Western Cape. At present, the researchers are involved in an experimental quest to find answers to some of the intriguing questions such as the existence of possible chirality in atomic nuclei and Octupole Correlations and Collective Couplings in Rare Earth Nuclei using the techniques of gamma-ray spectroscopy. In Laser Optics/Photonics research, we are seeking novel applications of photonic effects. Currently, we are considering a photonics-based indirect fingerprint recognition system.

There are several other potential applications of photonics research such as the fibre-optics telecommunications, the development of sensors, medical diagnosis and therapy which may emerge once the qualification programme is in place. The research in the Numerical Methods area seeks to develop new and highly accurate numerical methods for solving ordinary and partial differential equations by modifying existing methods of solution. Currently the focus is on developing methods that are adapted to solve highly chaotic systems and problems arising from fluid dynamics. In developing the new methods, the spectral method as well as higher order compact finite difference schemes are intended to be utilized. Research is also developing in the area of Integration of Technology in Mathematics Education, Differential Equations, Lie Symmetry Analysis and MATLAB/Mathematica applications.