[an error occurred while processing this directive] School of Electrical Engineering - PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATÓLICA DE VALPARÍSO
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School of Electrical Engineering

Nanoparticle Systems and Quantum Physics Topics

Nanotechnology is an area of science, in particular of Physics that has been developed in the last 20 years. It is related to the control and manipulation of matter, in dimensions of magnitude comparable with those corresponding to molecules and atoms.

Quantum theory must be applied to study systems composed of particles of these dimensions (called nanoparticles), in which the behavior of these objects at a certain instant cannot be determined in the way that it would be done with objects of macroscopic dimensions. The description should be made considering a basic principle called "Uncertainty Principle", which states that variables such as position and speed cannot be determined with absolute precision and simultaneously. If one of these variables is known accurately, the other is totally undetermined. In addition to this scale of dimensions, quantities such as energy cannot take any value within a continuous range, but only discrete values determined by Quantum Physics are possible (the latter is called "Quantization of Energy").

In particular, the line of research is related to the control of the movement of a nanoparticle system by means of light, specifically how forces of great magnitude can me produced through the induced electromagnetic interaction, and the corresponding movement that occurs, which may have applications in mining or biological processes; for example, for the control of the agglomeration or dissociation of nanoparticles.

Another line of research related to the applications of quantum physics is the study of the propagation of light, through means in which there is no linear relationship between the frequency of electromagnetic excitation and the wavelength (these are called dispersives). In the corpuscular description of light, through the concept of photons, they behave as if they acquired a mass, unlike what happens when light propagates in free space.


Automatic control

The control systems study the methodology, procedures and tools for the mechanization and automation of processes, replacing the need for human intervention by an artificial operator. The concepts and theories underlying automatic control apply, today, to a wide variety of engineering applications. Among the research topics covered by this line of research are: Modeling, Control and Simulation of Dynamic Systems, Analysis and Design of Controllers, Predictive Control, Robust Control, Distributed Control and Multiagent Systems.


Signal Processing and Instrumentation

It is based on a rigorous analysis of signals, which includes the study of the frequency components of these signals, as well as the processing, data collection and recognition of some of their patterns. Through this work, improvements in these studied signals and in the analysis of their frecuencies are obtained.


Analysis and Design of Communication Networks

This line of research analyzes and evaluates the performance of telecommunications networks, in order to design them optimally.


Electrical power systems

This line of research is concerned with the processes of generating electric power, transmission from the source of generation to consumption centers, and finally the mechanisms of distribution of electrical energy.

The topics related to the studies of stability and dynamics of the systems, the incorporation of renewable energy sources and the systems of control and management of these energy sources are of special interest in the field of electric power generation.

 In the area of ​​energy transmission and distribution systems, research has focused on the planning, design and operation of this type of electrical networks, through the development of optimization mechanisms, incorporation of new technology for the operation, development of tools to increase the security and quality of the electricity supply.

In recent years, emphasis has been placed on the development of smart networks, with issues associated with distributed generation, service restoration and intelligent equipment development.


Power Electronics

It is related to all electronic energy processing, such as quality of service, converters applied to the processing of non-conventional renewable energies (NCRE), and applications to the processing of electrical power systems. Another important application is in the speed control of low and medium voltage motors.