TCM
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Theory of Condensed Matter

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.

With over seventy members, the TCM Group is one of the largest research Groups in the Cavendish Laboratory, and the largest university Condensed Matter Theory group in the country. Able to trace its history back for over sixty years, it has been home to many leading theoreticians.

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.

David MacKay

Prof. Sir David MacKay
1967-2016

With sadness we pass on the news that Prof. Sir David MacKay, FRS, Regius Professor of Engineering, visitor to TCM from 2013, has passed away after a battle with cancer. His enthusiasm, broad interest in science, and genius for communication made him a pleasure to know.


We congratulate Gunnar Möller on his appointment to a Lectureship at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

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  • Solvent Effects on Electronic Excitations of an Organic Chromophore. TJ Zuehlsdorff et al., J. Chem. Theory Comput. 12 1853 - 1861 (2016)
  • Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system I Errea et al., Nature 532 81 - + (2016)
  • 2D and 3D Stem Cell Models of Primate Cortical Development Identify Species-Specific Differences in Progenitor Behavior Contributing to Brain Size. T Otani et al., Cell Stem Cell 18 467 - 480 (2016)
  • Proximate Kitaev quantum spin liquid behaviour in a honeycomb magnet. A Banerjee et al., Nat. Mater. (2016)
  • Multipurpose Black-Phosphorus/hBN Heterostructures GC Constantinescu and NDM Hine, Nano Lett. (2016)
  • Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system. I Errea et al., Nature (2016)
  • Ab initio calculation of the shock Hugoniot of bulk silicon O Strickson and E Artacho, Phys. Rev. B 93 094107 (2016)
  • Correlation effects on electron-phonon coupling in semiconductors: Many-body theory along thermal lines B Monserrat, Phys. Rev. B 100301(R) (2016)
  • Programming Light-Harvesting Efficiency Using DNA Origami. EA Hemmig et al., Nano Lett. (2016)
  • Genetic Correlations Greatly Increase Mutational Robustness and Can Both Reduce and Enhance Evolvability. SF Greenbury et al., PLOS Comp. Bio. 12 e1004773 (2016)
  • Marginal and irrelevant disorder in Einstein-Maxwell backgrounds AM García-García and B Loureiro, Phys. Rev. D 93 065025 (2016)
  • The ciliary marginal zone of the zebrafish retina: clonal and time-lapse analysis of a continuously growing tissue. Y Wan et al., Development (2016)
  • Reply to Martincorena et al.: Evidence for constrained positive selection of cancer mutations in normal skin is lacking. BD Simons, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2016)
  • Tracking Sodium-Antimonide Phase Transformations in Sodium-Ion Anodes: Insights from Operando Pair Distribution Function Analysis and Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy. PK Allan et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2016)
  • Scattering of universal fermionic clusters in the resonating group method P Naidon, S Endo and AM Garcia-Garcia, J. Phys. B - At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 49 034002 (2016)
  • Persistence, period and precision of autonomous cellular oscillators from the zebrafish segmentation clock AB Webb et al., Elife 5 e08438 (2016)
  • Pseudopotentials for an ultracold dipolar gas TM Whitehead and GJ Conduit, Phys. Rev. A 93 022706 (2016)
  • A one-dimensional statistical mechanics model for nucleosome positioning on genomic DNA S Tesoro et al., Phys. Biol. 13 (2016)
  • Phase-dependent exciton transport and energy harvesting from thermal environments S Oviedo-Casado et al., Phys. Rev. A 93 020102 (2016)
  • Simulating open quantum dynamics with time-dependent variational matrix product states: Towards microscopic correlation of environment dynamics and reduced system evolution FAYN Schroeder and AW Chin, Phys. Rev. B 93 075105 (2016)
All publications

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.

With over seventy members, the TCM Group is one of the largest research Groups in the Cavendish Laboratory, and the largest university Condensed Matter Theory group in the country. Able to trace its history back for over sixty years, it has been home to many leading theoreticians.

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.

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David MacKay

Prof. Sir David MacKay
1967-2016

With sadness we pass on the news that Prof. Sir David MacKay, FRS, Regius Professor of Engineering, visitor to TCM from 2013, has passed away after a battle with cancer. His enthusiasm, broad interest in science, and genius for communication made him a pleasure to know.


We congratulate Gunnar Möller on his appointment to a Lectureship at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

News archive

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Recent Publications

  • Solvent Effects on Electronic Excitations of an Organic Chromophore. TJ Zuehlsdorff et al., J. Chem. Theory Comput. 12 1853 - 1861 (2016)
  • Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system I Errea et al., Nature 532 81 - + (2016)
  • 2D and 3D Stem Cell Models of Primate Cortical Development Identify Species-Specific Differences in Progenitor Behavior Contributing to Brain Size. T Otani et al., Cell Stem Cell 18 467 - 480 (2016)
  • Proximate Kitaev quantum spin liquid behaviour in a honeycomb magnet. A Banerjee et al., Nat. Mater. (2016)
  • Multipurpose Black-Phosphorus/hBN Heterostructures GC Constantinescu and NDM Hine, Nano Lett. (2016)
  • Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system. I Errea et al., Nature (2016)
  • Ab initio calculation of the shock Hugoniot of bulk silicon O Strickson and E Artacho, Phys. Rev. B 93 094107 (2016)
  • Correlation effects on electron-phonon coupling in semiconductors: Many-body theory along thermal lines B Monserrat, Phys. Rev. B 100301(R) (2016)
  • Programming Light-Harvesting Efficiency Using DNA Origami. EA Hemmig et al., Nano Lett. (2016)
  • Genetic Correlations Greatly Increase Mutational Robustness and Can Both Reduce and Enhance Evolvability. SF Greenbury et al., PLOS Comp. Bio. 12 e1004773 (2016)
  • Marginal and irrelevant disorder in Einstein-Maxwell backgrounds AM García-García and B Loureiro, Phys. Rev. D 93 065025 (2016)
  • The ciliary marginal zone of the zebrafish retina: clonal and time-lapse analysis of a continuously growing tissue. Y Wan et al., Development (2016)
  • Reply to Martincorena et al.: Evidence for constrained positive selection of cancer mutations in normal skin is lacking. BD Simons, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2016)
  • Tracking Sodium-Antimonide Phase Transformations in Sodium-Ion Anodes: Insights from Operando Pair Distribution Function Analysis and Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy. PK Allan et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2016)
  • Scattering of universal fermionic clusters in the resonating group method P Naidon, S Endo and AM Garcia-Garcia, J. Phys. B - At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 49 034002 (2016)
  • Persistence, period and precision of autonomous cellular oscillators from the zebrafish segmentation clock AB Webb et al., Elife 5 e08438 (2016)
  • Pseudopotentials for an ultracold dipolar gas TM Whitehead and GJ Conduit, Phys. Rev. A 93 022706 (2016)
  • A one-dimensional statistical mechanics model for nucleosome positioning on genomic DNA S Tesoro et al., Phys. Biol. 13 (2016)
  • Phase-dependent exciton transport and energy harvesting from thermal environments S Oviedo-Casado et al., Phys. Rev. A 93 020102 (2016)
  • Simulating open quantum dynamics with time-dependent variational matrix product states: Towards microscopic correlation of environment dynamics and reduced system evolution FAYN Schroeder and AW Chin, Phys. Rev. B 93 075105 (2016)
All publications