Simon Banks is the Faculty Tutor and Faculty Graduate Tutor in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. The Faculty Tutor, in collaboration with the Dean, has overall responsibility for ensuring both that appropriate action is taken in relation to students and to learning and teaching matters, in line with UCL policy, and that appropriate contributions are made to strategy and policy development.
Simon’s research focuses on the quantum mechanical description of reactive collisions between small polyatomic molecules. Experimental gas phase reaction dynamics has developed at a great pace in recent years, yet accurate and complete theoretical quantum dynamics is only possible for systems comprising of a small number of atoms (7 atoms represents state of the art). We develop methods by which well controlled approximations may be used to allow for the theoretical description of larger systems with minimal loss of detail regarding the reaction kinetics. Our approach involves the use of “reduced-dimensionality” techniques in which only certain types of atomic motion are given a full quantum dynamical treatment, with the remaining (so-called, spectator) motion treated in a semi-classical manner.