Theory of Condensed Matter (TCM)
Upcoming event - TCM at Sixty:
Symposium for Alumni
Theoretical Condensed Matter physics is about building models of
physical processes, often driven by experimental data, generalising
the solutions of those models to make experimental predictions, and
transferring the concepts gained into other areas of research. Theory
plays an important role in understanding known phenomena and in
predicting new ones.
Starting at the first principles microscopic level - with the
Schrödinger equation - many properties of materials can now be
calculated with a high degree of accuracy. We work on refining and
developing new calculational tools and applying them to problems in
physics, chemistry, materials science and biology.
Solids often show unusual collective behaviour resulting from
cooperative quantum or classical phenomena. For this type of physics a
more model-based approach is appropriate, and we are using such
methods to attack problems in magnetism, superconductivity, nonlinear
optics, mesoscopic systems, polymers, and colloids.
Collective behaviour comes even more to the fore in systems on a
larger scale. As examples, we work on self-organising structures in
"soft" condensed matter systems, non-linear dynamics of interacting
systems, the observer in quantum mechanics, and models of biophysical
processes, from the molecular scale up to neural systems.