MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Modeling Electrostatic Double-Layer Capacitors

Friday, Feb. 1 | 3-3:50 p.m. | Hagen Hall 325

Modeling Electrostatic Double-Layer Capacitors
Presented by: Sylvio May From the Department of Physics at North Dakota State University

This talk is about fancy capacitors that are formed by inserting a charged electrode into an electrolyte. The resulting electric double layer has a capacitance that reflects both chemical and physical properties of the system. Focusing on the physical properties, I will address a few questions such as: In what way is an electric double layer different from the layer of gas that forms the atmosphere of Earth? How to develop a theoretical model for an electric double layer? What kind of mathematics is needed? Why is it so much more difficult (and interesting) to model concentrated as compared to dilute electrolytes? My goal is to provide a basic and accessible introduction to mean-field modeling methods with something interesting for every attendant of this physics seminar.