Teaching statement

Teaching is passing knowledge, but is also one of the keys for inspiration and inquiry. In my philosophy, teachers must provide plans, tools and materials for students to acquire understanding, to discover and explore, to develop independent reasoning, to improve the overall quality and richness of their lives. In my classes the students are involved in active learning with participation in research. We investigate and discover together, in real time, alongside acquiring new knowledge.



“Mineral Physics I” course for the Master M1 curriculum at ENS Lyon starting with 2009/2010. Topics discussed:
* symmetry groups, advanced crystallography
* energy of a lattice, introduction into density-functional theory, planewaves, pseudopotentials;
* electronic properties, atomic charges, electronic band structure, origin of color, magnetism
* tensorial properties, mechanical properties, equations of state, elastic constants, seismic properties, correlation between petrology and mineral physics data and seismic observations
* shock physics, advanced mineral crystallochemistry

* determine the phase transition pressure for a mineral with a simple crystal structure; build a static (0K) phase diagram using the ABINIT software
* compute an equation of state
* compute the variation of the elastic constants tensor as a function of pressure, compute seismic properties
* discuss mechanical stability vs instability

“Mineral Physics II” course for the Master M2 curriculum at ENS Lyon starting with 2009/2010. Topics discussed:
* lattice dynamics, vibrational spectrum, phonon band structure, phonon density of states
* lattice instabilities, second-order phase transitions
* relation between phonon spectrum and thermodynamics
* isotope fractionation
* basics of molecular dynamics; structural, transport, and thermodynamic properties of melts and fluids

* discussion and analysis of Raman spectra of certain minerals
* analysis of the physical and chemical properties of a silicate melt using the UMD software


One module on computational mineralogy in the “Physics of the Earth” class from the Master curriculum at ENS Lyon, in 2007/8 and 2008/2009.

Various classes in Earth Sciences for undergraduate students during 1997-2003 period at the Catholic University of Louvain.

Advisor for BS students, MS students and predoc interns.

Over time I gave several invited and contributed lectures in various schools and tutorials on high pressure mineralogy and spectroscopy.

Copyright Razvan Caracas' Lab 2024
Tech Nerd theme designed by Siteturner