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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory

Theoretical Physics has played an essential and distinguished role in the success of the Laboratory's programme. Theoretical activity supporting the work in astrophysics, cosmology and high energy physics is described in the respective research themes. Originally under Bragg and Mott, theory played a major role in supporting the many initiatives in condensed matter physics led by pioneers such as Hartree, Ziman, Heine, Anderson, Josephson and many others. Their successors tackle a huge range of frontier research programmes in condensed matter physics. These include correlated quantum systems both in the solid state and in atomic gases, computational electronic structure, liquid crystals, complex networks and the statistical physics of emergent behaviour in cell biological systems. The principal themes of current research illustrate the cross-disciplinary nature of much of this research.

Research areas:

  • Using first principles molecular dynamics to study solids and liquids
  • Thermodynamics and equilibration properties¬†
  • Topological states of matter
  • Mesoscopic and ultra-cold physics
  • Quantum Monte Carlo calculations and Density Functional Theory (DFT)
  • First principles total energy calculations
  • Coherence phenomena
  • Genome, epigenome and transcriptome of single cells
  • Soft matter physics

Further theoretical and computational work, independent of the activities just described, is embedded in the following research themes: 

  • High Energy Physics
  • Astrophysics