I am a Condensed Matter theorist at Oxford university, supported by a post-doctoral research fellowship through All Souls college. (My College web-page is here). My main area of interest is in strongly correlated systems, and in particular, in the role that quantum mechanics plays in determining the behavior of systems with large numbers of interacting particles. I am also currently co-ordinating the Forum and Informal Condensed matter seminar here at Oxford.
Condensed matter physicists spend a lot of time thinking about
order: we like to classify phases of matter based on what type
of order they have. (For example, ice is a crystal, so its
molecules are ordered in a particular way in space, which is
what makes it different from water). Some kinds of order -- such as crystallization --
have to do with objects picking a particular position or
orientation in space. These orders are intrinsically
classical, since they are things that you could do with (for
example) the balls and sticks in a molecule-building kit.
Nature also has orders that are inherently quantum-mechanical, however.
(Two striking examples of this are superfluidity and superconductivity). Much of my research is
focused, in some way or another, around studying systems that
order in an intrinsically quantum-mechanical way.