Our research [link] covers a wide variety of different problems, which
include systems as different as polymers, electrons constrained to
move in two dimensions, exotic magnets, multi-component fluids,
superconductors, and even populations of infectious or economic
agents. We study systems as hard to manufacture as ultraclean
semiconductor `sandwiches', or as commonplace as water ice.
Despite this large variety, there is a common thread to our research:
we seek to understand the collective behaviour of systems which
consist of large numbers of constituent elements. Such collective
behaviour often turns out to be very rich and complex -- here are a
few more words explaining this [link to JLC's explanation].
Equally varied as the research topics are the methods employed to
study them, which range from elaborate quantum field theories to
computer-based studies, for the most intensive of which we have a
dedicated computer cluster.
These methods are not peculiar to condensed matter physics; rather,
they provide the common language of theoretical physics, which enables
us to benefit from exchanges [link to joint seminars] with our
colleagues in the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics [link]
who work in other disciplines, such as high energy or astrophysics.
We are in a good position to maintain strong links to experimental
physics: the Oxford Physics Department also houses a strong
experimental condensed matter theory group in the Clarendon Laboratory
[link] (with a small theory group of its own), with which we also
share a common seminar series [link]. Several/some members of our
group collaborate directly with industrial research partners. We are
also lucky to have the ISIS facility [link] -- a neutron source not
relying on a reactor -- at the RAL, just south of Oxford, attracts a
good fraction of the global neutron scattering and $\mu$SR
At any given time, our group [link to staff] approximately consists
of 10 members of academic staff, at least one long-term fellows, 12 postdocs,
and 14 graduate students, as well as a number of visitors. Its members come
from many different countries, and similarly, we collaborate with other
scientists -- and attend workshops, conferences or summer schools -- all
over the world.
The Group runs several series of seminars, some with visiting speakers
and others showcasing the recent work of its own members. An important
occasion each day, for the group and for the whole subdepartment, is the
coffee half-hour each morning, which gives all the members of the group
an opportunity for informal discussion.
We very much welcome interest in our group! For graduate studies
[link] and postdoctoral positions [link], there is an annual
application round. If you need information you cannot find on these
webpages, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the member of
our group who interests you most [link to list].
The Biological Frontier of Physics
- Rob Phillips and Steve Quake, Physics Today 59, 38 (2006)(pdf)
- Rapid Chiral Assembly of Rigid DNA Building Blocks for Molecular Nanofabrication
- R. P. Goodman, A. T. Schaap, C. F. Tardin, C. M. Erben, R. M. Berry, C. F. Schmidt, A. J. Turberfield,
310, 1661 (2005).