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UOA 19 - Physics

University of Cambridge

RA5a: Research environment and esteem


University of Cambridge UoA19 – RA5(a)


Introduction to the Departments

The Cavendish Laboratory and the Institute of Astronomy are separate University Departments within the School of the Physical Sciences with their own management structures but increasingly linked research and teaching programmes. The Departments’ research agenda is focussed on enabling staff and students to deliver innovative research at the forefront of science and technology. The overall management of the Cavendish is through an Executive Board, chaired by the Head of Department. Services are provided at the group level and centrally for workshops, cryogens, high performance computing, administration, and library, etc. The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) is run through a Departmental Staff Committee chaired by the Director.


Strategic Directions and New Investment

Our primary goal is to promote the quality of our academic and research staff, both as individuals and as members of dynamic research groups, reported here in 9 groupings1. Physics and Astronomy in Cambridge is a large enterprise that is broadly distributed from fundamental research to technology. Our variety and scale presents us the opportunity to invest powerfully and pre-emptively in new areas, and gives us the responsibility to lead the evolution of interdisciplinary science and technology in the University. In the last six years, we have invested in Atomic and Optical Physics and in Particle Physics to support two fundamental pillars of physics. Concurrently, we have exploited strengths in soft matter physics, nanoscience and the bio-medical sciences to develop a translational thrust in Physics of Medicine with several appointments and the construction of a major interdisciplinary centre underway. We have a strategy for Astrophysics and Astronomy that will lead to a single astrophysical research institute on the IoA site, while maintaining a commitment to pursue theory, observation, and experiment to a high international level. We have made targeted support to allow evolution in areas of established strength including Theory of Condensed Matter, Semiconductor Physics, Optoelectronics, andQuantum Matter. We have also exploited opportunities to rationalise our programmes within changing structures, as in Microelectronics, and to support Materials research in collaboration with colleagues in Chemistry, Materials Science, and Earth Science.


The trend toward interdisciplinary working is supported through a range of frameworks: major interdisciplinary centres (Nanoscience Centre, Physics of Medicine); shared facilities (High Performance Computing, e-Science, Electron Microscopy Suite); fabrication facilities with a national footprint (high resolution e-beam, III-V Molecular Beam Epitaxy, terahertz). 


The University has given high priority to new laboratory space and equipment, allocating JREI, JIF, SRIF-2 and SRIF-3 funding of £8.6M, which together with support of £310K from the Wolfson foundation, a £1.4M Corfield donation, and other University funds of £2.2M has totalled over £12.5M (not including high-performance and grid computing, or nanoscience). Research grant expenditure not including in-kind income has risen from £12.9M in 2000-1 to £18.6M in 2006-7 (almost entirely pre-FEC). Just outside this RAE window, commitments of £10M (SRIF-3) and £2.5M (Wolfson) to the Physics of Medicine building, and a £4M University donation to build a Kavli Institute for Cosmology (see below) are firm and imminent.


As part of our long-term development plan, we will integrate Astrophysics on one site (the Institute of Astronomy grounds), catalysed by the hosting (starting in 2008) of the only Kavli astrophysics institute in Europe.  £4M of Cambridge funding will provide a new building, adjacent to IoA, housing over 50 staff and graduate students from both IoA and Cavendish. Kavli donation funds will support several senior research fellows. We have completed a major refurbishment and expansion of the Wolfson building of the IoA, and refurbished a building to house the Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit (CASU) staff. A £3M enhancement of the Detector Laboratory facilities has been completed. Following complete refurbishment of the Observatory building in the 1990s, and construction of the Sackler Lecture Theatre (1999) this completes modernization of those buildings which will survive our co-location of astrophysics. Our commitment to experiment is underlined by the planned appointment of an established chair in Experimental Astrophysics.


The recruitment of James Stirling as the Jacksonian Professor (from 2008) solidifies our commitment to particle phenomenology and will further interactions between theorists in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) and the HEP group in the Cavendish.


The Nanoscience Centre is an 1800m² research facility completed in January 2003 adjacent to the Department of Physics. The Centre provides open access to over 300 researchers from a variety of University Departments to the nanofabrication and characterisation facilities housed in a combination of clean rooms and low noise laboratories.  Much of the activity is from Physics, and further interactions with the centre will be promoted by Jeremy Baumberg, Professor of Experimental Physics from Nov 2007. Ullrich Steiner joined the Laboratory in September 2004 as Humphrey Plummer Professor of Physics of Materials and has developed a group investigating the physics of polymer-surface interactions, with strong links to soft matter research and the Nanoscience Centre.  The third new chair in this broad area is Henning Sirringhaus, appointed Hitachi Professor of Device Physics in 2004, leading the Microelectronics Research Centre. Over the period, the University has invested over £1.6M in new laboratory space for Opto- and Micro-electronics, with support from SRIF-2 SRIF-3 and the Wolfson foundation.


While having a strong tradition in quantum matter and quantum nanoscience, and in the relevant theory, the Cavendish had failed to follow the experimental breakthroughs of the 1990’s in ultracold atoms.  Three young researchers have now been recruited to start a new research group in Atomic, Mesoscopic and Optical Physics, underwritten by over £3.5M in University support. Their activities link to quantum systems research in the Department, and through an EPSRC Science and Innovation Award with Oxford and Imperial will help build the UK science base. 


The planned evolution of our research programme in soft matter towards biological and medical physics began in 2002 with the establishment of a Biological Physics Research group and is being carried through with four new appointments in biological and medical physics made in 2006/7, and a major new building for the Physics of Medicine. This 2500m2 interdisciplinary centre will house interdisciplinary research activities across the physical, biological and medical sciences. The first phase of laboratory construction will be complete by autumn 2008, supported by £10M from SRIF3 and £2.5M from the Wolfson foundation. Two chairs of medical physics, one based in physics and one in clinical medicine, will be appointed.


Physics and Astronomy are major beneficiaries of a 2340-node High Performance Computer cluster yielding a sustained 18TFlop (Linpack) achieved from a £2.2M SRIF3 investment and fully operating as a self-sustaining cost centre. This is the fastest and most cost-efficient machine in the UK, and lies alongside our £450K investment in e-Grid to underpin a wide range of research and teaching in computational science. We are using this resource to focus a Centre for Scientific Computing, managed by the Cavendish. The research programmes range from astrophysical simulation, computation of quantum materials, analysis of large and complex datasets, computational biology, to the environmental sciences. We also make use of the COSMOS (a 148 core Altix 4700) and UKAFF high performance computing facilities.


Other infrastructure investments include a suite of eight electron microscopes for use by the laboratory and throughout Cambridge. New clean rooms and fabrication facilities for teraHertz technology are part of a major joint initiative between the Astrophysics and Semiconductor Physics Groups. The Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI) is a next generation cosmology facility at Lord’s Bridge Radio Observatory. The COAST optical interferometer, developed at Lord’s Bridge, established Cambridge’s position as international leader in the Magdalena Ridge Optical Interferometer in New Mexico. 


The Cavendish library maintains a large collection of advanced texts and journals, supplemented by extensive electronic subscriptions, as well as historical collections. The IoA library is of international quality, and is being maintained at that level.


Staff Movements and Staff Development

We have made over 20 new academic appointments since 2001, half recruited from outside the UK.


2001-4            Ostriker, Plumian Professor, IoA

2004               Steiner, Humphrey Plummer Professor of Physics of Materials

2004               Sirringhaus, Hitachi Professor of Electron Device Physics

2005               Kennicutt, Plumian Professor, IoA

2007 (Nov)    Baumberg, Professor of Experimental Physics

2008               Stirling, Jacksonian Professor 


2007               Chapman IoA

Grosche, Quantum Matter

Köhl, Ultracold Atoms


2001               Haehnelt, IoA

2002               Evans. IoA

2002-6            MacPhee, Biological Physics

2002-7            Duke, Biological Physics

2006               Cicuta, Guck, Medical Physics

Lester, Particle Physics 

Richer, Astrophysics

2007               Atature, Quantum Optics

Barnes, Semiconductor Physics

Challinor, IoA-DAMTP

Eiser, Soft Matter

Hadzibabic, Ultracold Atoms

Keyser, Biological Physics 

Wyatt, IoA


Especially for junior appointees, we provide start-up guarantees to propel their research careers, helping us attract the very best in an international competition for talent. For those hired in 2006/7 alone, we have underwritten equipment purchases to a total of £3.5M, more than £600K of PDRA support, as well as £750K of laboratory refurbishment costs. 


Over half our academic staff has received promotion to full professor. The standing of our staff is illustrated by the many who take up distinguished positions at other universities. To chairs alone: from the IoA, Ostriker, whose list of distinctions includes the US National Medal of Science and the RAS Gold Medal during his Cambridge tenure, moved to Princeton; Lahav, to the Perrin Chair, UCL; Madau to UC Santa Cruz; Eggleton to LLNL Berkeley; Blain to Caltech. From the Cavendish: Duke (BSS) moved to UCL; Paul (SP) to the Watt chair at Glasgow; Linfield and Davies (SP) to Leeds; Julian (QM) to Toronto; and Silva (OE) to Montreal.


Career development is important, whether or not our fellows stay in academic research. The School of the physical sciences has a career advisor for our postdoctoral staff; the Department appoints mentors for research fellows and new faculty; an appraisal system gives all staff regular career guidance. In addition the Colleges provide a separate layer of support – almost all faculty and research fellows have college associations. The highly competitive College Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) are another aspect of the University’s investment in early career researchers. The University offers generous maternity/paternity leave and graduated return to work arrangements, and operates an equity share house-purchase scheme. Academic staff are entitled to one term in seven paid research leave. 


Our success in attracting research fellows and the subsequent appointments of many of these fellows to academic positions in Cambridge or elsewhere is evidence of the attractiveness and health of our research environment. The table below lists competitively awarded fellowships by grouping. Over the period 34 research fellows moved from Cambridge to permanent academic posts elsewhere. 



The IoA has a long-standing STFC-funded senior visitor program, to bring to the UK senior scientists who are encouraged to visit other UK institutes. This is supplemented by specific Sackler Visitors and Sackler Lecturers [Blandford (Caltech), Blitz (Berkeley), Huchra (Harvard), Krolik (Johns Kopkins), Lin (UC Lick), Padmanabhan (IUCAA), Speigel (Columbia), Wolfe (UCSD)]. Major international conferences are hosted at least annually, with more specific workshops equally often.  Total visitor numbers, averaged over time, are equivalent to 6FTE. The Cavendish hosts the annual Scott Lectures [Sunyaev (MPI), Chu (Stanford), Leggett (Illinois), Zewail (Caltech), Wilczek (MIT), Phillips (NIST)], there is a fortnightly Colloquium, and all research groups host weekly seminars, and many long-term visitors. Several collaborations (EARA, ICAM, ESF-COST, other EU programmes) have visiting student and researcher programmes.


Industrial Interactions

We have a history of partnership with industry, both with large companies, and also spin-outs. These include Cambridge Display Technology, Plastic Logic, Teraview, Cambridge Positioning Systems, Cambridge Magnetic Refrigeration, Cavendish Kinetics and Dryogenics. We have close partnerships involving exchange of staff with Hitachi (the Hitachi Cambridge Research Laboratory is co-located on the Cavendish site), with Toshiba (through their Cambridge Laboratory), and with Accelrys, and research with substantial support from many other companies, as well as with government laboratories including NPL and AWE. 



Outreach is a substantial activity for most of our staff, postdocs and students. We employ an outreach officer in the Cavendish, and 0.5 in IoA, supporting events ranging from weekly astronomy open evenings, regular open days, with up to several thousand visitors during Science Week, around 2000 school students touring the Department over 3 days in “Physics at Work”, specialist one-day, 3-day and 5-day courses for school pupils at all levels, skills days and on-line resources for teacher training, and an active ART@IoA program, crossing traditional science access boundaries.



Individual staff esteem is listed by research grouping. Early career researchers are marked with an asterisk*. Talks/seminars listed as “invited” (abbreviated as it) are at international meetings. As a broad aid to comparison and to evaluate trends, the table below collects some figures for research activity by group. 













Cat A











Cat B











Cat C











Cat D






















Tech/ ITSupport*@











Other Support*@











Res. Students**











Research grant income £k

2000/1 (partial)













































































Publications and Invited Talks+

Major talks











Refereed papers











Research Fellowships+

Roy Soc URF











Research Council 
























*Average annual numbers.  +Total number. 

** Average new students *** 2007 only

† Group formed in 2007, previously under OE&ME

@ In addition there is central Department support  (c33 Technical /IT  and 23 other)

 & Not including College Junior Research Fellowships.



Research Activities and Plans



Cambridge Astrophysics includes the Institute of Astronomy, Cavendish Astrophysics and Detector physics. The IoA has a joint position with the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) (Challinor, reported through UoA21), and DAMTP has strong research groups in both Astrophysics (9 staff) and in Relativity and Cosmology (15 staff). Much DAMTP research overlaps in interest and is done in collaboration with IoA and Cavendish staff, building on extensive shared teaching, but is reported separately for this RAE through UoA 21. 


We report here under labels which correspond approximately to our several STFC Rolling Grants and primary research fields, for convenience, but much collaborative research crossing these labels takes place. A substantial part of all Cambridge research involves international teams. 

Cambridge astronomers develop and exploit an extensive range of  astronomical facilities, instruments and techniques, and sustain a diverse theoretical astrophysics research programme. We are active members of many international projects, including  the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer, the Sloan  Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II), the RAVE collaboration, the SuperNova Cosmology projects, microlensing projects, planet-finding photometric projects, UKIDSS, VISTA surveys, major HST, Spitzer, Suzaku, and Galex Key Projects, JCMT instrumentation development, especially HARP,  a particularly strong involvement in several CMB experiments, especially VSA, AMI, CLOVER and  Planck,  and also leading involvement in Gaia, and the Virtual Observatory. We will be major users of ALMA, to the development and definition of which Cambridge astronomers have contributed substantially. We are investigating involvement in LOFAR, with a station located in Cambridge. We are active in future projects planning the European Extremely Large Telescope, Herschel, the SKA, XEUS and other future X-ray missions.

A strength of the IoA programme in particular is a vigorous throughput of research fellows: of the 40 research fellows in the period, 10 moved directly to faculty positions up to full professor level worldwide. Research fellowships will be at the core of the new Kavli programme.

A challenge facing Cambridge in 2000 was integration and long-term sustainability of the Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit (CASU), transferred to IoA from the closed RGO. CASU is now a stable group with a world class reputation. It is leading UK data-processing involvement in the current UKIDSS and forthcoming ESO VISTA survey projects, and has received  long-term STFC support to act as  the European lead centre for photometric and image data processing, and real-time Target of Opportunity science discovery alerts, for the ESA Gaia mission, due for launch in late 2011.


General Theoretical astronomy (Aarseth, Clarke, Efstathiou, Evans, Fabian, Gough, Haehnelt, Hobson, Houdek, King, Lasenby, Lewis, Lynden-Bell, Peiris, Pringle, Rees, Sijacki, Smith, Stancliffe, Tout)

Major theory interests include gravitational dynamical modeling (Aarseth); star formation and accretion disks (Clarke, Pringle); planetary system formation (Wyatt); asteroseismology (Gough, Houdek); galaxy and structure formation (Haehnelt, Sijacki); gamma ray bursts and high energy astrophysics (Fabian, Rees);  stellar evolution (Stancliffe, Tout); theoretical cosmology (Efstathiou, King, Lewis, Peiris, Rees, Sijacki, Smith, Lasenby, Hobson); gravitational waves and gravitational field theory (Gair, Lynden-Bell, Lasenby, Hobson). Theoretical research in astronomy is closely linked to the experimental and observational programmes led by Cambridge astronomers. The breadth of interests leads to considerable cross fertilisation of ideas between different research areas (for example the collaboration between Bate and Bromm led to a series of ground-breaking simulations of star cluster formation). Examples of the links between theoretical and observational programmes include recent work by Gair on the emission of gravitational radiation during the inspiral of compact objects into supermassive black holes, with a view to their ultimate detection through space interferometry missions, and by Wyatt who applied dynamical models of the capture of dust into planetary resonances as a tool to deduce the presence of planets in debris discs around young stars.


Innovative numerical codes and algorithms are often developed and applied in-house. Examples include: Monte-Carlo sampling techniques to analyse cosmological parameters from large datasets (see below); the development of algorithms to incorporate feedback from ionising radiation in hydrodynamical star formation simulations; the creation of Monte Carlo dynamical codes which are specifically tuned to the situation of ultra-dense galactic nuclei. A striking example of successful collaborations is provided in the fields of coupled stellar and cluster evolution calculations (Tout, Aarseth) so that it is now possible to study the interplay between stellar evolution and dynamical effects on the scale of globular clusters.  One of the science highlights of the last decade has been the development by Rees and Meszaros of the widely accepted relativistic fireball model of gamma-ray bursts. Understanding gamma-ray bursts, their progenitors, and their use as cosmological probes has continued to be a major area of research, with much recent work directed at interpreting observations made with the Swift satellite.


Our theory programme has also given rise to initiatives as diverse as information theory and error-correcting codes, innovative position location systems, the physical applications of geometric algebra and inferential science.


CMB cosmology – theory and modelling (Efstathiou, Gull, Haehnelt, Hobson, Lasenby, Lewis, Peiris, Smith); A major area of research is the fundamental investigation of the origin and evolution of the universe and of the largest structures within it, via measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB). As one example, in a strong collaboration between code development, theory and data analysis, the Monte Carlo Markov Chain code of Lewis and collaborators has been used to set constraints on the scalar fluctuation spectrum using CMB, quasar Ly-ά and 2dF galaxy survey data. A large effort is under way to prepare the tools for the scientific analysis of Planck data, since Cambridge is expecting to lead significant parts of Planck's science analysis. These activities are supported by theoretical studies which involve work on CMB theory/experiment interface, statistical methods, parameter fitting and model selection, as well as theoretical work in early Universe cosmology. A complementary effort, led by Haehnelt, exploits the information on the matter power spectrum on small scales that is contained in Ly-ά forest data. The first 5-year Kavli program will include research on the Cosmic Microwave Background as a major theme, uniting the considerable expertise available currently on dispersed sites in Cambridge. 


Observational and experimental astronomy of galaxy and cluster formation and evolution (Alexander, Belokurov, Carswell, Chapman, Evans, Gilmore, Green, Haehnelt, Hewett, Hodgkin, Irwin, Kennicutt, Longair, Mackay, McMahon, Parry, Pettini,  Riley, Trentham, van Leeuwen, Walton)

The common theme of this research is galaxy formation and evolution, across redshifts and across wavelength, including active galaxies, star-forming galaxies, clusters, etc, with complementary highly detailed analyses of the Local Universe and more exploratory studies at high redshift. Use of new facilities and development of new techniques and instruments are essential for this research. Our research programmes involve almost every major space and ground based observational facility world-wide. 

Important areas of study include clusters of galaxies and feedback mechanisms involving radio source activity in the ISM and ICM. Alexander and Longair have elucidated the  important role played by radio galaxies in the evolution of the intracluster medium, including its chemical enrichment, the nature of the alignment effect, and the origin and properties of  galactic and intergalactic magnetic fields. 

Our research  includes study of galaxies and the intergalactic medium at the highest redshift  (Carswell, Haehnelt, Hewett, McMahon, Pettini), with locally-built instrumentation (Parry), through multi-wavelength studies of galaxy evolution (Chapman, Kennicutt, Longair, Trentham, Riley), to detailed studies at low redshifts, particularly exploiting surveys to discover both new faint galaxies and planets (Evans, Gilmore Hodgkin, Irwin) to dynamics and Galaxy formation (Evans, Gilmore), astrometry (van Leeuven), high-resolution imaging (Mackay) and the Virtual Observatory (Walton).  Recognizing that most of those named work on several themes, particular note may be made of the Spitzer Key projects led by Kennicutt, which are quantifying the rate and role of star formation in galaxy evolution at intermediate redshifts. A highlight of the last few years has been our work using SDSS imaging, which has doubled the number of known Local Group satellites. Extensive dynamical studies of these and other dwarf galaxies are providing new limits on the nature of Dark Matter, and defining the distinction between a galaxy and a star cluster. The ‘Field of streams’ analysis of sub-structure in the Milky Way halo is providing new constraints on late accretion in galaxy evolution that challenge formation models. At high redshifts Lyman Break galaxies, through a Caltech/Keck collaboration with Pettini, are providing new limits on early galaxy formation rates and IGM enrichment physics, while the IGM is analysed directly as QSO absorption lines, providing both structural and chemical tracers of the early Universe. The highest redshift objects are being discovered through the special purpose DAZLE instrument, built at the IoA, and the first major visitor instrument to be used on the VLT. Virtual Observatory tools and techniques will be critical for analysis of the next large astronomical surveys: their development in Cambridge is led by Walton. There is growing activity in planet-finding, especially through light-curve eclipse analysis. ALMA, VISTA and Gaia, and other deep surveys, are expected to be the dominant new data sources and facilities over the next decade, and we work to be prepared and to be active leaders in these new opportunities.


High-Energy Astrophysics (Ardavan, Crawford, Fabian, Pringle, Rees)

Our research includes observational and theoretical study of high-energy phenomena in general, including accretion discs and AGN (Fabian, Pringle, Rees), optical follow-up (Crawford), and theory of pulsar emission mechanisms (Ardavan), A major activity in the last few years has been X-ray astronomy using data from Chandra, XMM-Newton and Suzaku, with significant results obtained on clusters of galaxies and on accreting black holes. Deep X-ray observations have been made of the Perseus cluster of galaxies revealing ‘ripples’ – sound waves – in the intracluster medium produced by bubbles of hot plasma generated by the central radio source. The sound waves distribute much of the power of the central black hole into the surrounding intracluster gas, thereby balancing radiative cooling which would otherwise lead to large mass cooling rates

Observations of the spectra of AGN have led to the discovery of periodically-modulated iron-line emission in one object and of strong relativistically blurred X-ray reflection in several others. Such strong blurring occurs only in the immediate vicinity of the black hole and offers a means to measure the spin of the black hole. Models for the spectral features expected in X-ray reflection (iron lines, Compton hump and soft excess) have been refined and the role of strong relativistic light-bending demonstrated. Pringle has led an extensive theoretical analysis of warping, viscosity, magnetic fields and  time-variability of accretion discs. A stacking analysis of faint X-ray sources has revealed a missing component of the X-ray Background above 6 keV, likely due to highly absorbed AGN at redshift one.  


Major Projects

CMB: Ground-based Experiments (Grainge  Hobson, Lasenby, Saunders). 

(a) VSA (Very Small Array), in Tenerife, for observations of primordial anisotropies of the CMB. The CMB power spectrum from this telescope probes much smaller angular scales than WMAP and so has become one of the key standard data sets used in cosmological parameter analyses. The VSA is currently investigating an apparent excess in fluctuation power at small angular scales, the origin of which is not understood. 

(b) AMI (Arcminute Microkelvin Imager), a Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) array at Lord’s Bridge, for imaging the diminutions of the CMB as it passes through the hot gas in galaxy clusters. A key strength of this instrument is the ability to determine the evolution of clusters however early they form in the Universe.

(c) CLOVER - an experiment to detect the ‘B-mode’ of CMB polarisation, which is a direct tracer of gravity waves in the early universe. This is a collaboration with Cardiff, Oxford and Manchester, to be sited in Chile. Cambridge is developing the detectors and leading the data analysis and science exploitation.

CMB: Planck (Efstathiou, Hobson, Lasenby, Lewis) The ESA Planck Surveyor Satellite will map the Cosmic Microwave Background in 10 wavebands with unprecedented angular resolution and sensitivity after launch in 2008.  The Cambridge Planck Analysis Centre is responsible for key parts of the analysis including identification of point sources, separation of components, and power spectrum estimation and error analysis. 


Detector Physics (Withington), is a distinct research group, started in 2003 following a £3M Joint Infrastructure Fund award to establish a facility for developing high performance THz imaging arrays and detectors for astronomy. Oxford Instruments donated its superconducting devices Thin Films Division comprising £1.5M of state-of-the-art device processing equipment together with a research IP licensing agreement. The Group has international collaborations in far-infrared and submillimetre-wave detectors, optics, and low-noise THz instruments, including simulation of the optical behaviour of the telescopes and instruments (100GHz-1THz) for ALMA; is contributing to the optical design of the HIFI payload on ESA's Herschel mission; and is responsible for the development of the superconducting polarimetric imaging arrays for 100-300GHz on the CLOVER CMB instrument


Gaia (Gilmore, Evans, van Leeuwen, Walton) is an ESA mission scheduled for launch in late 2011. It will provide a multi-colour, multi-epoch sky survey of some one billion sources complete to 20th magnitude. The high spatial and astrometric precision will quantify the stellar population history of the Milky Way, quantify the distribution of dark matter, identify tens of thousands of planets, any potential Earth-destroying asteroids, and make major advances in fundamental physics and cosmology. CASU is European lead on photometric data processing for Gaia, and on real-time discovery analysis. 


Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer (MROI) (Buscher, Haniff) This long-baseline optical/near-IR imaging array is being constructed in partnership with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Haniff and Buscher lead the design. MROI will exceed the capabilities of all existing optical arrays for imaging faint astronomical sources enabling studies of the inner regions of nearby AGN, and star- and planetary-formation.  The team is developing the vacuum delay lines and correlator for the array. Cambridge are also partnering with other European institutes in the Phase-A design study for a next-generation spectro-imager for the VLT Interferometer. Recent results include the first true image of a Be star envelope, and the development of fringe-tacking algorithms and image reconstruction tools, leading to winning the international imaging contest sponsored by the IAU working group on interferometry twice in succession.

SKA and LOFAR (Alexander, Duffett-Smith, Green, Longair, Riley) Cambridge lead one of the main design studies within the overall European SKA Design Study (SKADS). The SKA is planned to be the next generation radio interferometer designed to make fundamental advances in cosmology, gravitational physics and astrophysics. The Cambridge work concentrates on telescope design, data handling, phased array development and science simulations. The publication, led by Cambridge, of the first fully costed detailed system design for the SKA is a significant step. Involvement in the development of SKA pathfinder telescopes is also planned, as well as a LOFAR station at Lord’s Bridge. 

Sub-mm instrumentation(Hills, Richer) Cambridge has recently delivered the HARP spectral line array receiver for the JCMT, the pre-eminent receiver of its type in the world. Its observational use (led by Richer and Hills) has now begun, with studies of large-scale structure in molecular clouds revealing complex structures in the Orion molecular cloud, suggesting radiative and outflow feedback dominate the cloud dynamics. Design and prototyping work on the Water Vapour Radiometers for the ALMA array in Chile, for which Richer is currently the UK Project Scientist, has also been completed, the first stage of continuing involvement in phase correction techniques for ALMA. 

VISTA/UKIDSS/VST/AstroGrid (Irwin, McMahon, Walton) VISTA is the new UK-provided survey telescope at ESO. UKIDSS is a current precursor survey, underway on UKIRT. VST is an optical survey telescope to be located at ESO Paranal. The survey data reduction pipelines for both VISTA and UKIDSS have been developed at IoA/CASU, and will be operated to support the major surveys for at least 5 years. The data will be Virtual-Observatory-accessible, and much AstroGrid development work is underway, led by Walton.




Aarseth (C):  Regular invitee at N-Body confs; N-body school lead organizer; supports wide-use N-body code 


Alexander: 12it; leader SKADS DS3; member 3 SKA teams


Ardavan: founded `Oxbridge Pulsar Sources’ Ltd, awarded BNSC contracts


Ashdown: Deputy coordinator Planck HFI map making; Manager Planck HFI Data Processing Centre (2006-)


Buscher: 3it; UK rep European Interferometer initiative; SOC SPIE Biennial meeting (2006); 2 further conference SOC’s; 3 international planning groups.


Carswell: 2it; ESO spectrograph advisory body; Deputy managing Editor, MNRAS


Chapman13it; HST and NRAO TAC; Science advisory committee Caltech; 7 further international science/facility committees


Clarke: 19it; Philip Leverhulme Prize (2001-2003); lead, 2 EC Marie Curie networks; PI PPARC Rolling Grant


Crawford: 3it, Royal Society URF; Conf SOC, Chandra TAC (2004, 2006, 2007); Royal Society Soiree and Aventis Prize committees;  Womens’ SET forum leadership


Duffett-Smith: Chief technical Officer, Cambridge Positioning Systems; Chief Scientific Officer, 16 patent applications, 12 grants, 30MGBP private equity investment.


Efstathiou FRS:~20it, Moore Fellow, Caltech, Sackler Lecturer, CITA; AAS Heineman Prize (2005); PPARC Council ; Planck Science Team


Evans:10it, Royal Society URF (-2003); Gaia WG chair


Fabian FRS: 42it; AAS Rossi prize 2001; OBE 2006; Royal Society Research Professor (since 1982); Editor in Chief of MNRAS; TAC Chair for XMM, Chandra  and HST


Gilmore: 43it; Niels Bohr lecturer; Argelander Lecturer; UNESCO Einstein lecturer; UK rep, ESO Council; Chair European ELT Steering Comm; lead science case presenter and UK PI Gaia; 26 further boards; 50 SOCs.


Goldie:Selection, design and fabrication of the superconducting detectors and the readout for CLOVER


Gough FRS: 31it; Eddington Medal, Royal Astronomy Society (2002); Mousquetaire d'Armagnac,  Visiting Prof at Stanford,  Fellow Adjoint JILA (Colorado), Visiting Fellow South African Astronomical Observatory,  Hon. Prof at Queen Mary London.


Grainge: 3it; Project manager, VSA and AMI


Green: 1it; Planck WG; COSPAR SOC; 4 international TAC


Gull:3it; Director, Maximum Entropy Data Consultants Ltd, Non-Cooperative Target Recognition Ltd and 4 others.


Haehnelt:  23it; PI Marie Curie RTN; ESO-ELT Science WG; ESO-ESA strategic review in Fundamental Physics, 8 SOC


Haniff:  11it, including NAM (2006); MROI System Architect; 4 international advisory boards, 6 SOC.


Hewett:  3it; PPARC grants committee; Co-PI UKIDSS, AGAPE.


Hills: 5it; ALMA International project scientist (2007-); PPARC Science Committee; ESO STC, ALMA ESAC, Planck Telescope WG, ESA Planck Telescope Scientist, ESA Herschel Tiger Team, 10 other major international boards including 3 chairs


Hobson:24it; visiting professor, College de France; NESTA Innovation and Invention Award; NESTA Fellowship; PI, VSA Consortium; 3 patents; 3 company directorships


Hodgkin*: Co-PI MONITOR, a 20-partner planet-discovery project; Co-PI wfcam transit survey 


Irwin: 12it; Gruber prize (2007); ESO OPC member. 


Kennicutt:  35it; AAS Heineman Prize (2007); American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001); US National Academy of Sciences (2006);Editor-in-Chief, Astrophysical Journal (-2006);


Lasenby: 30it, including SIGGRAPH (2003) and 5 further plenary; scientific review committee APC, Paris (2007-); PI on major grants, member international appointments committees; 


Longair:22it; ForMem  L’Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti (2007); FRS (2004)  Trustee Lloyds' Tercentenary Foundation (1996-); Scottish Universities’ Physics Alliance (2003-); 6 other boards (4 as chair)


Lynden-Bell (C) FRS, CBE:15it, including Russell Lecturer AAS (2001); Honorary member US Astronomical Society (2004); Visiting Fellow, IAS Princeton (2003) and 3 further honorary fellowships; 2 named lectures 


Mackay: 12it including MOD lecture; EPSRC Basic Technology SAC; Technical Director Digital Healthcare Ltd (-2006); “Most original Idea” award, Scientific Detectors Workshop (2005); one of “100 inventions of the year”, Time Magazine 2007


McMahon: 19it; Gruber prize (2007); PI VISTA Hemisphere Survey (100 members); Co-PI UK Virtual Observatory project, VOTECH; Gemini TAC


Parry: Chair AAO Users Comm, 8 international technical review panels (US, UK, Japan, Europe); PI DAZLE, PI CIRSI 


Pettini: 19 it, including keynote "A Century of Cosmology", Venice (2007), "Stellar Evolution", Tartu (2005), FUSE, Canada (2004), IAU Symposium 212, (2002); Visiting Professor UCL;  MUSE ESO Instrument Science Team (2006-);  23 conference SOC, chairing two


Pooley:  MERLIN TAC; MERLIN Steering Committee and project management committee


Pringle:  12it; JILA Distinguished Visitor Boulder (2006); UKAFF Director; member DFG and UK evaluation panels, US, UK and India appointments panels, visiting positions several institutes UK, US, India.


Lord ReesFRS, PRS:  ~150it; Crafoord Prize (Royal Swedish Academy, 2005), Faraday award (2004); Niels Bohr Medal (2005); Life Peerage (2005); President, Royal Society (2005-); OM(2007)


Riley:Coordinator international monitoring programme 9C galaxies. 


Richer: 2it; Royal Society University Research Fellow (–2003); UK Project Scientist ALMA (2000-);ALMA ASAC, ESAC and sub-groups, JCMT Board (2006–)


Saunders:  5it; Project Scientist for VSA, AMI


Tout: 17 it; Editor, Exotic stars as challenges to evolution


van Leeuwen:6it; ESA Gaia Science team (2003-2007); PM UK Gaia data processing (10 institutes); ESA Gaia DPAC


Walton: 9it; Gruber Prize (2007); UK Project scientist, AstroGrid project. Co-PI on several Virtual Observatory-related grants projects (UK and EC); Gaia science team; 11 further boards


Withington:4it; SPIE session organizer and editor.


Wyatt;17it; Royal Society URF (2005-); JCMT TAC; Co-PI, Disk Dynamics workshop, Isaac Newton Institute,




Belokurov*: 2it, including Ringberg (2005); PPARC PDF


Brown*: 2it, PPARC PDF (2003-2006)


Gair*: 2it; Royal Society URF (2007-)


Houdek*: 6it; Wolfson College JRF; Co-editor “Future of Astroseismology”


King*: 16it; DFG Fellow (2002-2003); Royal Society URF (2003-) 


Lewis*: 22it; STFC Advanced Fellow (2007-); successful software entrepreneur


McEwen*: 1it; consultant Geomerics.


Peiris*: 10it; Halliday Prize (2007) [top scientist selected for PPARC Advanced Fellowship]; Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellowship (2002); Enrico Fermi Postdoctoral Fellowship (Chicago, 2004); 2 WMAP group achievement awards.


Sijacki*: 1it; Marie Curie Fellowship; PPARC Fellowship (2007)


Smith K *: 3it, PPARC Fellowship


Stancliffe*:3it; Churchill College JRF; Editor Unsolved problems in Stellar Physics


Trentham: (see sect RA5b); PPARC Advanced Fellow (2003-)



Research into both experimental and theoretical particle physics is carried out in the Cavendish.  Both activities are strengthened by the excellent working contact and are well positioned to exploit and lead new physics at the LHC over the coming decade.


Theoretical particle physics research (Black, Webber) in the Cavendish holds an international reputation in two main areas: quantum chromodynamics (QCD) and beyond-Standard-Model (BSM) phenomenology. Since 2001 work in QCD has concerned the structure functions of the proton, the resummation of enhanced terms to all orders in perturbation theory, and the matching to fixed-order results.  In BSM physics we have been working on black hole production in theories with extra spatial dimensions and on developing good discriminators between different BSM scenarios.  In all this we work closely with experimentalists, especially the Cavendish ATLAS team. The appointment of Stirling (2008) as the new Jacksonian Professor will strengthen the theory effort and further our links to DAMTP.


Experimental particle physics research over the period has covered seven major areas; the CERN-based ATLAS, LHCb, OPAL and NA48  experiments, the US-based MINOS experiment, R&D for the International Linear Collider and eScience activities. The dominant group activity in the next period will be LHC physics, with breadth being added to the programme through the completion of MINOS and designs for an ILC detector.  Local infrastructure includes electronics laboratories, a well equipped clean room for silicon detector research and a Grid-aware cluster. 


ATLAS at the LHC (Batley, Carter, Lester, Parker, Robinson, CP Ward) is the largest particle physics project in the UK.  The experiment has been in the R&D and build phase throughout the period, with first physics data-taking expected in 2008. Detector activities centre on the Semiconductor Tracker (SCT), using our expertise in the design, development and exploitation of silicon microstrip systems. The group leads the international (40 institutes) SCT programmes for the silicon sensors, the irradiation measurements, the off-detector readout and data acquisition, and the off-line software.  We also provide the elected UK (11 institutes) SCT project leader, and have done so throughout the construction phase, now successfully completed. In preparation for physics, we are studying signatures for supersymmetry and BSM physics in ATLAS, in collaboration with the theory group. We are also investigating precision tests of the SM and indirect searches for new physics via measurements of electroweak couplings in diboson events.  We provided the UK ATLAS Physics co-ordinator for part of the period and the chair of the ATLAS publications committee.  An approved and funded programme of R&D towards a tracker for an upgraded LHC (the SLHC) is starting.


LHCb (Gibson, Wotton) is a special purpose detector, designed to search for and identify new physics in the heavy flavour sector, through precision measurements of CP-violation and the search for very rare decays. A unique aspect of LHCb is the particle identification utilizing ring imaging Cherenkov (RICH) detectors.  We have overall coordinating responsibility for the RICH data acquisition and monitoring systems and the global particle identification for the experiment. We have successfully designed, developed and delivered the off-detector electronics for the LHCb RICH detectors. We continue to develop triggering techniques and offline software as the experiment moves into the exploitation phase.  In preparation for the first physics data, we are developing methods to measure the CP-violating weak decay phase to high precision and to search for rare B meson decays highly sensitive to new physics.  We provide the elected (8 institutes) UK LHCb Principal Investigator.


MINOS (Thomson, Ward, Ward): the study of neutrino oscillations in a 735 km long-baseline accelerator experiment. We provide real-time software to control the data-acquisition system of the experiment and have developed novel reconstruction and data analysis techniques. We lead the atmospheric neutrino analysis, the subject of the first MINOS publication, and have made major contributions to the analysis of the neutrino beam data.  We have also developed a novel pattern recognition approach to searching for sub-dominant muon to electron neutrino oscillations.  We provide a member of the MINOS executive committee, the UK MINOS spokesperson and the chair of the MINOS publications committee.


International Linear Collider R&D (Thomson, D.R. Ward).  We are members of the CALICE, LC-ABD and EuroTeV collaborations.  In CALICE we are working on global detector designs and R&D for a calorimeter system.  We have taken the lead in the development of particle flow calorimetry for the ILC.  In LC-ABD/EuroTeV we are pursuing R&D on r.f. cavity beam position monitors suitable for a beam energy spectrometer. We provide the CALICE physics and analysis software coordinator and the chair of the speakers’ bureau.  We provide a member of the LCUK Steering Board, the software convenor for the ECFA and LCWS workshop series and the convenor for the ECFA-DESY detector performance working group.  In the context of the developing ILC detector collaboration, we provide the European GLD contact, a member of the GLD executive board, the GLDC UK contact person and the co-chair of the GLDC detector optimisation study.


OPAL at LEP (Batley, Carter, Thomson, Ward, Ward). We have completed and published our leading contributions to LEP physics over the period, including the critically important W-mass measurement.


NA48 (Batley, Parker, Wotton): studies CP-violation in the neutral kaon system and very rare kaon decays at the SPS.  We completed our analysis definitively establishing the existence of direct CP-violation, and led the programme for the investigation of very rare Ks decays. We provided the physics coordinator for all analyses of these rare decays and completed the publication of our NA48 results.




Batley: Invited talk XIV Rencontres de Blois (2002); CERN SPSC Committee Member (2003-6); PPARC Project Peer Review Panel Member (2002-5); Offline Software Coordinator for ATLAS SCT (2005-7)


Carter: Invited talks include XV International workshop on Vertex Detectors (2006); ATLAS UK SCT Project Leader (2001-); Leader of ATLAS detector construction projects: microstrip sensors, SCT irradiations, SCT DAQ and off-detector (1999-2007); Core member of PPARC Particle Physics Grants Panel (2003-6)


Gibson:4it, including Lake Louise Winter Institute (2007);EPS High Energy and Particle Physics Prize (2005); Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Fellowship (2007); LHCb UK Principal Investigator (2004-); 7 further review committees


Lester: 7it, including LHC inverse workshop, Michigan (2006); Invited lecture series at Israeli particle physics winter school (2006-7); PPARC Fellowship (2002-5);


Parker: 4it, including plenary Lake Louise Winter Institute (2007); Member, Microsoft Research ‘2020 Science’ Steering Group (2006); Editorial Board, Journal of Physics G (2001-5); UK eScience Steering Committee (2004-6); STFC GridPP Oversight Committee (2004-)


Robinson: 2it; ATLAS SCT DAQ Commissioning Coordinator and Timing Coordinator (2007-)


Thomson: 6it including Neutrino 2004 (Paris), plenary IoP HEPP (2007); UK MINOS Spokesperson (2006-); Co-leader LDC Optimisation Study (2007-)


Ward C P: Invited talk Hadron Structure (2004); OPAL Long Term Editorial Board (2005-); Offline Software Coordinator for ATLAS SCT (2007-)


Ward D R: Chair, CALICE Speakers’ Bureau (2005-); CALICE Physics/Analysis Coordinator (2006-); Software Convenor for ECFA and LCWS Workshop series (2003-); OPAL Editorial Board (2005-)


Webber: 8it, including SLAC Summer Institute (2005); FRS (2001); IoP Dirac Medal (2007); Scientific Policy Committee, CERN (2001-7); Editor, Journal of High Energy Physics (2001-6); CERN Director General Search Committee 


Wotton: LHCb RICH DAQ Coordinator (2003-); LHCb L0 Electronics Review Panel (2005)




Black*: (see RA5(b)) 4it, including CIPANP (NY 2003); Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow (2006-)



The Quantum Matter Group investigates novel phenomena in interacting electron systems at low temperatures, high magnetic fields and high pressures.  The group’s discoveries are the result of investments in new experimental techniques, preparation of high quality materials, low-noise measurement of electronic and magnetic properties, and examination of appropriate theory. 


Experimental facilities allow specimens to be investigated at temperatures as low as 1 mK, magnetic fields of up to 18 T and pressures of over 100 kbar with detection sensitivities in the picovolt range.  Recent technical developments have included: magnetic refrigerators for continuous temperature sweeps (CMR Ltd, Lonzarich and co-workers), high pressure cells with high homogeneity pressure media and electrical feedthroughs (Pugh, Lonzarich and co-workers) and subminiature cells for pressure measurements of above 100 kbar (Lonzarich and co-workers).


The research benefits from a multidisciplinary approach and international collaborations with Tokyo, Kyoto, UC Irvine, Stanford, UBC, MIT, Bristol, St Andrews and UCL. The group has joint projects with high magnetic field laboratories in Los Alamos, Tallahassee and Toulouse, and with low-temperature and high-pressure laboratories at CEA Grenoble and Edinburgh.  


Recent work that has attracted international attention includes the following:

High precision differential heat capacity measurements have provided unique thermodynamic information about the pseudogap in several cuprate superconductors (Loram, Cooper), where complex charge-spin ordered phases were shown to exist (Panagopoulos). The first observation of quantum oscillations in two new superconductors MgB2 (Cooper) and Ag5Pb2O7 (Sutherland) has improved our understanding of these compounds.  The discovery of a new class of superconducting intercalated graphite materials, YbC6 and CaC6 (Saxena and UCL collaborators) has renewed the search for carbon-based superconductors.  Discovery of anisotropic electron-electron pair states near magnetic quantum critical points in CePd2Si2, CeIn3 and UGe2 (Grosche, Pugh, Saxena, Lonzarich and co-workers) led to many related studies worldwide.  Investigations of Fermi surface properties of the anisotropic superconductors CeIn3 (Sebastian) and Sr2RuO4 (Lonzarich and collaborators) form the basis of microscopic models for the novel pairing states.  Two superconducting domes in the temperature-pressure phase diagram of CeCu2Si2 were predicted and observed, leading to a new understanding of this historically important material (Grosche and collaborators at MPI-Dresden).  Unconventional states of itinerant electrons have been discovered near magnetic quantum phase transitions in ZrZn2, MnSi, CoS2, Ca2RuO4, Sr3Ru2O7 and YbAlB4 that are leading to a re-examination of the standard model for the metallic state (Saxena, Sutherland, Lonzarich).  The discovery of a series of magnetic field-induced plateaus in SrCu2B2O6, and of spin-Bose-Einstein condensation in BaCuSi2O6 (Sebastian), implies novel quantum ground states in these insulating spin-liquid systems.


Progress depends on the preparation of new substances and the tuning of their physical properties, for example with the application of hydrostatic pressure and magnetic field.  With the arrival of Sebastian and Grosche material preparation facilities are now undergoing expansion.  Grosche, Pugh, Saxena and Lonzarich are expanding the high-pressure technology.  This will involve nano-fabrication and manipulation techniques for making and using micro-anvils, the production of large diamond anvils for pressures of up to one Mbar and eventually the development of super-strong anvils for still higher pressures.  A longer-term aim is to set up a user facility for high-pressure research to complement the many existing high magnetic field user facilities around the world.


This research has led to several spin-off companies including Cambridge Magnetic Refrigeration Ltd (CMR), Dryogenics Ltd, Camfridge Ltd, Camcell Ltd and Kameleon Technologies.




Cooper J R:  (see RA5(b)) 8it including APS (2001, 2003). 


Grosche: 7it, including NATO ARW (2003), International Conference Molecular and Oxide Superconductors, Taiwan (2002).


Lonzarich FRS:~ 30it, including ICM (2003), plenary FOM (2005), BCS@50 (2007); IoP Guthrie medal (2007); 4 international advisory panels; conference advisory boards include LT, SCES, ICM. 


Loram:8it, including APS(2007), 4 international seminars.




Panagopoulos: ~40it including 5 public lectures (Japan, UK, and Greece); Royal Society URF (2001-); Visiting Professor, Kyoto (01-02), Beijing (03), Crete (06-07); EURYI award


Pugh: 3it including ICM (2003); Royal Society URF (2001-); New Hall JRF (-2001); Session chair LT24; 


Saxena: ~40it, including APS(2001), LT23(2002), ICM(2006); EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow (2002-6); IUPAP Young Scientist Medal (2006); 4 conference chairs, 5 session chairs; Hon. Secretary, UK Committee for Central and Inner Asia; Consultant, UNESCO, UNIFEM, UNDP for education in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Middle East.


Sebastian*: 10it, including APS (2007); ICAM Postdoctoral Fellow (2007-9); Trinity College JRF (2006-); Lee-Osheroff-Richardson prize (2007)


Smith R P *: 3it, including SCES, Houston (2007); St Catharine’s College JRF (2005-) 


Sutherland*:7it, including APS(2005), Gordon Research Conference (2006); Royal Society URF (2006-); NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (2004-6); Canada-UK Millennium Research Award (2004-6)



The Atomic, Mesoscopic and Optical Physics group was formed in October 2006 embodying our strategy for developing research in quantum coherence, quantum optics and cold atomic gases. Newly appointed academic staff are Köhl, Atatüre and Hadzibabic; Phillips moved from Optoelectronics in order to set up the new group. The new appointments were made possible by generous start-up provision and a £2M S&I award (with Oxford and Imperial) which allowed construction of state-of the art facilities for quantum optical and cold atom studies. 


Mesoscopic optical phenomena have been a central theme in Phillips’s work, and recent highlights are the direct observation of energy transfer and quantum coherent effects in polymeric semiconductors, the first three-dimensional investigation of the g-tensor of a quantum dot spin system, and coupling effects in quantum dot ensembles. Atatüre’s work has included production of production of entangled photons by parametric downconversion, spin cooling in quantum dots by optical pumping, and observation of Faraday rotation by a single electron in a quantum dot. Future targets in quantum and mesoscopic optics include strong coupling of single dots in photonic crystal microcavities, exotic non-equilibrium condensates in cavity-coupled quantum dot systems, and room-temperature single photon sources based on defects in wide-gap materials.


The theme of mesoscopic phenomena carries over to the study of correlation phenomena of cold bosonic and fermionic atoms with tunable interactions. By trapping quantum degenerate gases in externally controllable optical lattices it is possible to explore close analogies between this atomic system and specific states in higher-density condensed matter. Köhl has demonstrated the transition from superfluid to Mott insulator in a degenerate gas in an optical lattice, explored quantum electrodynamic effects in such systems, and produced a wide range of important results relating to single atoms, molecules formed from fermionic atoms and critical behaviour. Hadzibabic has explored the physics of the Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition by slicing a degenerate gas into two-dimensional quantum systems, and has studied the rotation of superfluid quantum degenerate gases. 


These new experimental tools and novel physical systems open the prospect of unravelling long-standing problems of condensed matter physics by a new approach. Future work in the group will exploit not only the cold gases but the prospects of engineering their interactions with other, engineered, mesoscopic systems. Such coupling of complex many-body systems of cold atomic gases to external quantum systems may form the basis for advanced future hybrid quantum devices.




Atatüre: 12it, including International Conference on Quantum Foundation and Technology, China (2006), CLEO/QELS (2005); Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow (2002-3)


Hadzibabic*: 10it, including ITAMP (2006), International Symposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids, Trento (2004); Marie Curie Fellowship (2005-), Chateaubriand Fellowship (2003-5)


Köhl*: 19it, including DAMOP (2006), IQEC (2005); Roentgen Prize, University of Giessen (2007)


Phillips: 5it, including Nonlinear Optics and Excitation Kinetics (2003); IoP Quantum Electronics Committee, Chair EQUONT Conference; Editorial Board: Solid State Communications, Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 




Sias*:Herchel Smith Fellow (2007-)


Vamivakas*: invited talk, Rochester 2007; QIP-IRC early stage researcher fellowship, EPSRC (2007-)



The Optoelectronics (OE) and Microelectronics (ME) groups study the electronic properties and device physics of organic (OE) and inorganic (ME) semiconductor nanostructures and share a common research and administrative infrastructure. The close link between the groups established after the appointment of Sirringhaus to the Hitachi chair enables optimum sharing of experimental facilities, scientific exchange of physical models, and realization of novel hybrid organic-inorganic device structures.


The OE group (Friend, Sirringhaus, Greenham, McNeill, Dhoot, Finlayson, Westenhoff) has maintained an internationally leading profile with its research programme on the electronic properties of conjugated polymer and molecular semiconductors. Presently there is a particular focus on understanding at a molecular level the electronic structure of heterointerfaces that govern the performance of polymer electronic devices. The group is active in the interdepartmental Cambridge Nanoscience Centre, retains a strong link with the Melville Laboratory (Huck), and has active collaborations with other groups in the Cavendish (Steiner, Donald – BSS; Philips – AMOP). It has spun-off two companies (Cambridge Display Technology, Plastic Logic), and maintains close collaborations with other industrial partners (Panasonic, Hitachi). The group recently won a national competition for a Photovoltaics Research Accelerator funded with 5M£ by the Carbon Trust. Together with the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics, the Judge Business School and the Centre for Business Research and with substantial EPSRC funding (6.5M£) it has formed the Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre in macromolecular materials to accelerate knowledge transfer from academia to industry. It plays a leading role in a number of international research co-operations (Board member in two FP6 Integrated projects, participation in three ESF Eurocores project, one of which is coordinated by Cambridge). The group has recently moved into new laboratory and cleanroom facilities refurbished with £1.2M support from SRIF-2 and the Wolfson Foundation.


Scientific highlights that have had wide international recognition include the general observation of electron transport in conjugated polymer semiconductors, and the observation of ambipolar transport in polymer light-emitting field-effect transistors. Our research explained the role of torsional relaxation in energy transfer in conjugated polymers. Scanning Kelvin probe microscopy has been developed for studying nanoscale charge transport in polymer semiconductors. We found ultra-low percolation thresholds in crystalline-crystalline polymer blends and block copolymers. Exciplex states were identified as a critical intermediate state involved in charge separation across polymer heterointerfaces. We demonstrated the critical role of two-step photoexcitation in exciton dissociation and early time charge generation, and observed for the first time spin-dependent electron-hole capture in organic semiconductor LEDs. The group has pioneered the realization of efficient photovoltaic diodes based on discotic liquid crystals. A major triumph is the realization of all-printed, fully self-aligned field-effect transistors with channel lengths of 50-200 nm.


The core program in organic electronics is complemented by research on inorganic semiconducting nanoparticles, hybrid organic-inorganic heterostructures and carbon nanotubes. Greenham has demonstrated efficient photovoltaic diodes comprising CdSe tetrapod nanoparticles, work now being commercialised. Sirringhaus has studied electrical transport in self-assembled colloidal ZnO nanoparticles and realized high performance field-effect transistors. Talyanskii was first to demonstrate charge pumping in carbon nanotubes. 


The ME group (Sirringhaus, Ferguson, Hasko, Irvine) has gone through major strategic reorientation after the appointment of Sirringhaus to the Hitachi Chair in 2004. Research activities are now refocused on two areas: the study of spin-dependent transport in nanostructured dilute magnetic semiconductors and the realization of solid-state quantum bits in silicon. The group retains a close collaboration with the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory. 


The quantum computing activity has evolved from the historic focus of the group on single electron physics. The group is a partner in the Quantum Computing IRC coordinated by Oxford. Hasko has developed silicon-based quantum bits with 200ns coherence time using silicon double quantum dots. 


The spintronics program has been initiated in collaboration with the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory (Wunderlich, Troup). Irvine and Yazin were responsible for fabrication of samples which enabled observation of the tunnelling anisotropic magnetoresistance and Coulomb blockade anisotropic magnetoresistance in Mn-doped GaAs. Troup observed extraordinary magnetoresistance in silicon-based semiconductor-metal hybrid structures. With the recent appointment of Ferguson to a 5-year senior research fellowship, this activity will grow. The group has strong links with Nottingham (GaMnAs growth), Paris (magnetic metals) and Prague (theory).




Friend FRS: 11 plenary talks; 6 named lectures; Silver Medal of Royal Academy of Engineering; Faraday Medal; FREng (2002); Knight Batchelor (2003); Inaugural Gold Medal of EMRS (2007); International Advisory Board Max Planck Institute Polymer Research; Editor, Oxford University Press ‘Monographs in Physics’; 7 Honorary Doctorates/fellowships; 7 further prizes


Greenham: 16it including MRS Spring 2006, APS 2005; EC Descartes Prize (2003); Editorial Advisory Board Adv. Funct. Materials.


Hasko:2 invited international seminars at University of Maryland / NIST (2007) and Chungbuk National University(2007); Basic Technology project for a mK measurement platform for quantum computing devices (joint with Oxford Instruments, Rutherford and Oxford).




Irvine: (see RA5(b))


Sirringhaus: 37it, 6 plenary, including IEEE-CMP (2003), and Gordon Conference on electronic processes in organic materials (2006),  1 named lecture, Weissberger-Williams lecturer (Kodak); Royal Society Mullard Award (2003); Scientific Advisory Board Dutch Polymer Institute; founder and chief scientist Plastic Logic


Talyanskii:  1 invited talk at International Summer School in Physics, Argonne National Laboratory (2001), 3 invited international seminars  at  Chalmers University of Technology, SE (2005), Niels Bohr Institute, DK (2003), Paul-Drude Institute, D (2002),  coordinator EC FP6 project ACDET II




Dhoot*: 2it; Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (2006-)


McNeill*: 2it; Faculty Award for outstanding postgraduate research, University of Newcastle, Australia; EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship (2007-)


Finlayson*: 1it; Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (2007-)


Ferguson*: 3it, Hitachi Senior Research Fellowship (2007-)


Westenhoff*: 5it; Fitzwilliam College JRF (2006-); 1st Poster prize at ESOPS 16 (Holland)




The Semiconductor Physics group has continued to extend its pioneering work on the development and physical properties of semiconductor nanostructures. Considerable investment has been made to upgrade the group’s Clean Room, install a high resolution electron beam lithography system, new III-V Molecular Beam Epitaxy facilities and extend cryogenic measurement facilities. Extensive national and international collaborations exist, for example in the last 2 years the e-beam facility has made 1950 samples for 108 different users; MBE samples are sent world-wide.


Nanoelectronic phenomena investigated include observation of new spin polarised states in one-dimension and the transition from one-dimension to two (Graham, Pepper, Thomas). Mesoscopic two-dimensional systems yield surprising results in that transitions between ferromagnetic and anti-ferromagnetic behaviour occur as electron concentration varies.  Collaboration with NPL on nanostructure development has led to the development of a new device allowing variable frequency charge pumping in the Gigahertz region. We have developed the first quantum dot cellular-automata in III-V material and investigated many aspects of the electrostatically defined quantum dots which we first introduced.


Other nanoelectronic topics include structures in which electron and hole gases can be induced in sufficiently close proximity that mutual interactions occur, also quantum well structures with a spatially dependent Lande g value. Industrial collaboration exists on aspects of spintronics such as the injection of spin polarized electrons from ferromagnetic contacts into GaAs and observation of emitted circularly polarized light. The group pioneered low temperature scanning probe techniques to ‘draw’ quantum devices with an AFM at 100mk.  Single electron pumping has been observed in carbon nanotubes for the first time (Smith), and nano-mechanical devices have been coupled with nanotubes and quantum dots. A new technique has been demonstrated for pumping fluids in small channels using low AC voltages.  


MBE facilities and internationally acknowledged expertise form the nucleus of many EU and DTI sponsored collaborations (Beere, Farrer, Ritchie). Control of growth of self-assembled quantum dots allowed the design and fabrication of the first single photon LED, followed by the development of structures where the quantum dots are located in optical cavities. The resulting enhanced optical emission makes complex quantum optics experiments possible. In collaboration with Toshiba, improved control has produced sources emitting on-demand pairs of photons with entangled polarizations. This development aroused much interest. MBE growth control resulted in single-photon sources emitting at wavelengths appropriate for optical fibre communications as well as using quantum dots as the active element in single-photon detectors. This industrial collaboration resulted in advances in quantum cryptography. 


In an EU consortium the group was the first to fabricate quantum cascade lasers in the THz region of the spectrum, a factor of 2.5 lower than previously achieved. This leading position has been extended, increasing the temperature of operation to 90K and power output to 80mW as well as reducing the frequency to below 1.6 THz. With Teraview Ltd and the Home Office Scientific Bureau, a DTI-funded project is developing spectroscopic and imaging applications for these devices. More conventional terahertz emitters have been used in medical and security imaging experiments as well as new applications in industrial process control. 


Pioneering surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) techniques produce coherent single-electron control in quantum devices.  These projects are aimed at demonstrating quantum-information transfer, quantum logic and measurement of electron spin (Barnes, Ford). Results include: the use of pulsed SAWs to add single electrons to or remove single electrons from an electrostatically-defined quantum dot; the observation of coherent charge oscillations of single electrons; and the generation of SAW-driven GHz-modulated light from a lateral n-p junction.


Since the last RAE, the group has participated in 8 EU consortia, and three spin out companies have resulted from the group’s work. 7 research fellows from the group left to positions up to full professor level in the UK and Europe.




Barnes:  Barnes: 16it, including 1st International conference on spintronics and quantum information processing, DARPA, (2001); THINQC ARDA Harpers Ferry (2003); EPSRC advanced fellowship (01-03); Quantum Information IRC management team; International Assessment panel, Australian National Centre for Quantum Computer Technology


Ford: 7it including Nanoelectronics (2003); coordinator EU grant SANEME (2003); coordinator, working group of EU COST action P5 on mesoscopic electronics; advisory committees EP2DS14, Semi-Mag15


Jones: invited talk CMMP 2006; runs e-beam lithography facility supporting design and fabrication for many (>100) partners in universities and industry; organising committee, EU Micro and Nano Engineering conferences.


PepperFRS: 16it incl. Bakerian Lecture (2004); Royal Medal of Royal Society (2006); Knight Batchelor (2006); Director, Toshiba Research Europe; Founding Director, TeraView 


Ritchie: 3it, IoP Fellow (2005) and Tabor Medal (2008); session chair, EP2DS16, ICPS28, MSS-13; member 7 EU consortia; >20 University collaborations; 


Smith: 7it including Solid State Devices and Materials conf, Tokyo (2004), SPIE Symposium – MEMS (2007); chief scientist Cavendish Kinetics (20M VC funding), founder Cambridge Lab on Chip Ltd. 




Beere: 3it, including 13th International Conference on MBE (2004), Physics of Intersubband Semiconductor Emitters, Cortona (2006), ITQW07 (2007); collaborations with universities (Paris, Pisa, Berlin, Bath, Glasgow, Sheffield, Exeter) and other organisations (Toshiba, Teraview, NPL, Home Office Scientific Bureau)


Farrer: design and growth of MBE structures in collaboration with universities (Bath, Exeter, Leeds, Southampton, Royal Holloway, UNSW, Bilkent, Pisa, TU Denmark) and companies (Toshiba, Teraview)


Kataoka: Invited lecture at Spin and Qubit Symposium, Niels Bohr Inst. (2005).


Thomas: 6it, including EP2DS16 (2005), SCEN06 (Pisa); Royal Society URF.



Materials physics links the research groups of Surface Physics, Structural Physics, Thin Film Magnetism, Fracture and Shock Physics, and Materials Physics. The group also manages the Electron Microscopy research facility.


The Surface Physics subgroup (Alexandrowicz, Allison, Ellis, Jardine) is developing new methods of atom-surface scattering to study atomic scale structure and dynamics at solid surfaces.   A unique atom spin-echo spectrometer has been built, measuring dynamical processes on the critical 10-12s to 10-7s time-scale during which surface energy-transfer and atomic motion occur. The work opens up a new field in which atomic forces are determined from the acceleration they produce.  A second major development is of a scanning helium microscope based on a micro-focussed atom beam (EU consortium).  The group also maintains a high resolution helium diffractometer with a world-leading specification, used mainly for surface structural studies, and other surface science instrumentation. 


The Fracture and Shock Physics subgroup (Proud) studies the behaviour of a wide variety of materials, including biological, lunar, geological and nanopowders over a range of pressures to 20 GPa. Several in-house-developed techniques, some the subject of national awards, are applied to systems used in aerospace and other high-technology applications such as satellites and tracking devices. The group has one of the world’s best collections of high speed optical imaging systems, capturing images down to a sub-nanosecond timescale. A range of industrial and academic sponsors attest to a reputation for the variety and quality of the group’s research, pure and applied.


The Structural Physics group (Cole) specialises in structural physics and its relation to physical properties. Her work involves X-ray and neutron diffraction and EXAFS experiments conducted at synchrotron and neutron facilities in the UK, France and the USA. She is heavily involved with instrument design at central facilities. 


The Thin Film Magnetism group (Bland) is investigating spin dependent quantum transport in nanowires, tunnel magnetoresistance in nanoclusters and films, and studies spin torque and spin transmission effects on the nanoscale.  Study of the growth and evolving magnetic properties of atomic scale interfaces in situ aims to develop novel magnetic materials for spintronic applications based on fundamental understanding of the interface properties. Studies of magnetic mesostructures formed from rings and discs explore new spin states and switching processes on very small length scales. With Southampton and Edinburgh, the group runs a Basic Technology project in biomagnetism.


The Materials group (Chaudhri) uses new techniques based on nano-indentation to study structural transitions under high pressure, dislocation nucleation, and strength enhancement. The fragmentation behaviour of small particles is studied using high speed photography. 



Allison: 6it, including SurPhon (USA, 2003), VAS12 (Italy, 2007); Scientific Board member INA EU-project, Review-panel for Austrian Nanoscience Research Network, 2 further International Committees.


Bland: 24it including APS(2001), ICAMD, Korea (2003), ESF (2006); Honorary (Nanyang) Professor, Singapore; Chair ESF(2007), Vice-chair ICMFS (2008); 2 patents


Chaudhri: 8it, including keynote, 10th International Conf on Mechanical Behaviour of Materials, Korea (2007); Guest Editor, special issues of Philosophical Magazine (2002), Journal of Physics D (2007); organized Third International Indentation Workshop (2007).


Edgcombe (C): 2it, including keynote, 19th IVNC/50th IFES conference China (2006); Director, Granta Electronics Ltd., electromagnetic design software


Ellis: ISSC15 Cardiff (2005), ACSIN -9, Tokyo (2007)


Proud: 6it, including MRS (2005), TMS (2007); German Phys. Soc., Hubert Schardin Medal (2004); Chairman East Anglia IoP; Governor DYMAT (France, 2007), International Shock Wave Institute Governor(USA, 2007); AHSPP Board ; 15 prize-winning conference papers 




Alexandrowicz*: Invited talk at 12th Workshop on Surface Dynamics, Modena (2006); Gonville and Caius College JRF (2005-); ECOSS Young Researcher Prize – ECOSS-23, Berlin (2005); research development for TopSpin Medical to develop a miniature MRI probe


Benito*: Marie Curie Fellowship (2007-)


Cole:24it, including ECM21 (2003), ECM 22 (2004); 2007 Royal Society Brian Mercer’s Feasibility Award; 18th Franco-British Science Prize (2006); Royal Society URF (2001-); Vice-Chancellor’s Research Chair, University of New Brunswick (to take up 50:50 Cambridge: Canada from Jan 08).


Jardine: Oppenheimer Fellowship(01-04) Royal Society URF (2005-)





Research in the Theory of Condensed Matter Group is broadly categorised under the headings of first principles quantum mechanical methods (Needs, Payne), collective quantum phenomena (Cooper, Littlewood, Simons) and soft matter (Warner). Since the last RAE all members who were not Professors at that time (Needs, Cooper, Simons) have been promoted to personal chairs. The group received one of the first EPSRC Portfolio Awards (with the Centre for Computational Chemistry) and also receives funding from EU, MRC, and the NSF and DOE. The members of the group have much national and international collaboration with several large scale collaborations such as the UK Car-Parrinello Consortium, the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter and several EU funded networks. There is considerable interaction within the group as demonstrated by the work on superconductivity in intercalated graphite.


The group hosts a stream of research fellows, and since the last RAE 10 of these have moved directly (and a further 8 indirectly) to permanent academic posts, 12 in the UK and 6 abroad. 15 of the group’s students and postdocs won competitive research fellowships.


Needs and co-workers are authors of the internationally disseminated quantum Monte Carlo code CASINO.  Needs and Pickard have predicted crystal structures using first principles quantum mechanical methods, most notably phase III of solid hydrogen.  Payne's CASTEP software has worldwide use.  Newly released is ONETEP - a quantum mechanical code that is as accurate as CASTEP but whose cost scales only linearly with system size.

Cooper has made significant contributions to the understanding of rotating Bose condensates and non-abelian phases. Littlewood and co-workers have carried out a wide range of work including the understanding of magnetic oxides and extensive work on polaritons and excitons in semiconductors, including Bose-Einstein condensation. Their expertise on the latter topic led to invitation to perform the theoretical analysis of recent breakthrough experiments at Grenoble and Lausanne. Simons continues to develop the application of path integral techniques to real world problems involving disorder and correlations, most recently in ultracold atoms, and has also developed new activities in biology.

Warner and Terentjev have created the theoretical research field of liquid crystal elastomers and have written a major research monograph in this field. Terentjev runs an experimental programme alongside his theoretical research and has verified many of the theoretical predictions. Warner and co-workers predicted, and then created, rubber lasers incorporating these materials whose colour can be enormously shifted by straining the material.

MacKay is known internationally for his research in machine learning, communication theory, and human-computer interaction, and heads the Inference Group.  His group's work on sparse-graph codes led the resurgence of interest in low-density parity-check codes, which are now being adopted in several new communication standards. He pioneered the Dasher writing system, a piece of free software which enables efficient communication with any muscle. His textbook, which presents information theory and machine learning as two sides of the same coin, with connections to statistical physics and modern coding theory, has been enthusiastically received. 

The group’s research led the Department’s experimental appointments in cold atoms, quantum optics and quantum matter. Simons work on stem cells, Ahnert’s application of information theory to biological problems and Payne’s development of large scale quantum simulation techniques align with the Department’s initiative in Medical Physics. Terentjev and Warner’s theoretical work feeds into Terentjev’s experimental programme including work on cavityless rubber lasers (with Friend), nano-optomechanical actuation (with Huck, Chemistry) and micro-opto-mechanical actuation devices (with Phillips, Eindhoven). 



Cooper N R: 20it, including APS(2004), KITP(2007), ICTP(2007); IoP Maxwell Medal (2007); ICAM Senior Fellow, Princeton (2006)


Littlewood: >50it, including IoP Mott Lecture (2007) and 2 further named lectures; FRS (2007); associate editor Reviews of Modern Physics (01-05); Matthias Scholar, Los Alamos (03-04); 10 international review panels


Mackay: Plenary, IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, Adelaide (2006); Gatsby Senior Research Fellow (2002-7); IBM partnership Award (2002); Dasher code included on many linux distributions, supported by Nokia, Samsung, and Microsoft


Needs: 18it, including plenary, 39th European High Pressure Research Group Meeting (2001), Conference on Computational Physics (2007); Head, UK Consortium for Computational Many Body Theory; 10 programme committees


Payne: 2it, 6 review panels, including Chair, Steering Panel, Daresbury Laboratory Computational Science and Engineering Division (2003-); Editorial Board Europhysics Letters; CASTEP marketed by Accelrys; ONETEP now on full commercial release.


Simons: 5it include SCES, Vienna (2005), Frontiers of Condensed Matter, Minneapolis (2006); MRC Discipline Hopping Fellowship (2007)


Warner: ~20it, including keynote, European Liquid Crystal Conference, (2007); Humboldt Research Prize (01-03); Agilent Europhysics Prize (2003); EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship (2007-12)




Adams*: 1851 Fellowship (2005-7); Fitzwilliam College JRF (2005-8)


Ahnert*:  International School on Complexity: Biological networks, Erice, 2006; Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship (2007-); US patent filed; DARPA collaboration, Stowers Institute, Kansas


Bhaseen: Invited talks at field theory workshops in Paris (2002), Brookhaven (2003); Stipendiary Lecturer, Pembroke College Oxford (2001).


Drummond*: 6it, including MRS (2006); CECAM (Lyon, 2007); IoP Computational Physics Group PhD Prize (2004); Jesus College JRF (2005-8)


Hohenadler* (C): Schrodinger Fellowship (2006-)


Huggins*: first paper rated 9.0 by Faculty of 1000 Biology;


Keeling*: it FOPS, USA (2007); Lindemann Fellow, MIT (2005); Pembroke JRF (2006-) 


Kos*:2it; International Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter Junior Fellowship 2005


Moller*:Invited talk at Emergent Properties of Quantum Hall Systems, USA (2007)


Segall:EURESCO conference on Computational Biophysics (2002); 9th European ISSX Meeting (2005); application of ab initio methods to drug design and discovery, with Accelrys, BioFocus, Inpharmatica ltd.


Tahan*(C): 6it’ NSF Distinguished International Postdoctoral Fellow (2005-7); 1 patent


Towler: Invited talks include NIMS (2003), ICTP (2004); Lloyd’s Fellowship (2000-2); Royal Society URF (2002-); Organizer of the "Quantum Monte Carlo in the Apuan Alps" conferences and summer schools.


Trail: Invited talks at CECAM (Lyon, 2002, 2007)


van Wezel*: 2it, including plenary National Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics Conference, The Netherlands (2007); Homerton College JRF (2007-)


Yates*: it CECAM (2007); Marie Curie Fellow, Paris (2001); Corpus Christi College JRF (2002-); NMR-CASTEP developer, marketed by Accelrys


The Biological and Soft Systems (BSS) sector was formed in 2004, uniting the research activities in soft matter (Donald, Terentjev) with a nascent activity in biological physics, in medical imaging (Ansorge), and with Steiner, the newly appointed Plummer Professor of the Physics of Materials, studying the physics of soft interfaces. In the last two years this activity was substantially strengthened by the appointment of four new lecturers (Cicuta, Eiser, Guck and Keyser) and one RCUK fellow (Huppert). BSS is a key part of an expansive strategy in bio-medical physics, and Donald leads the multi-departmental Physics of Medicine initiative.


BSS combines theoretical, computational and experimental work. New labs have been created for the optical methods used by the recent appointees. Other infrastructure includes a range of electron microscopes, a polymer synthesis laboratory, a cell culture laboratory, .and access to the Nanoscience Centre. Accordingly, BSS can perform research across the entire spectrum of soft matter science (physics, chemistry, materials and the life sciences), while being strongly collaborative with other life science activities in Cambridge


Ansorge, in collaboration with the Clinical School, is constructing (operation in 2008) a preclinical instrument that combines a high resolution 48 ring positron emission tomography (PET) scanner with a dedicated 1T split coil magnet. Combined PET–MRI is the next important advance since the launch of combined clinical PET–CT systems in 2000.


Cicuta has developed new experimental methods for studying the dynamics of surface liquid monolayers. These include surface light scattering, video microrheology, video image analysis and mechanical rheometry. Experiments have highlighted the unexpected behaviour of polymers, proteins and dense colloid packings constrained to 2D, and this expertise is now being applied to biological membranes and cells.


Donald has a long-established reputation on the physics of polymers and biopolymers and the development of environmental scanning electron microscopy.  She presently works on protein aggregation, highlighting the generic nature of structures beyond that of the amyloid fibril, which gives rise to the Alzheimer disease. Microrheology via particle tracking is being used to follow the gelation of protein systems in real time to help unravel the true nature of these 'gels' and to explore the local response inside cells as they adhere to surfaces.


Guck explores the optical and mechanical properties of cells and tissues for their fundamental biological functioning. Recent results unveil that glial cells in the retina are living optical fibres, which solves the age-old conundrum of the inverted retina, and that mechanical properties of cells can be used for improved cancer diagnosis and marker-free stem cell sorting for regenerative medicine.


Steiner works on the physics of structure formation at surfaces, interfaces and in thin films. His work on surface instabilities and novel lithographic methods has led to a number of high-profile publications. Novel functionality is obtained by controlling the structure of several components in thin films and at surfaces on 10 nm – 1 µm length scales.  This includes organic photovoltaics, biomimetic surface properties, organic-inorganic hybrid materials, and local surface actuation using polymer brushes.


Terentjev directs an experimental group who are leaders in the field of liquid crystal elastomers, while remaining a practising theoretician. Other directions of his work include photonic bandgap materials, polymer nanocomposites for actuation and artificial muscles, and studies of folding kinetics of proteins and polysaccharides. 


Huppert’s research focuses on structure and dynamics of biologically-relevant nucleic acids. He uses physical techniques in combination with computational analysis, and will lead a new programme in computational biology.


Eiser joined from a faculty position at Amsterdam in 2007. She will use small angle X-ray and dynamic light scattering to understand the self-assembly of polymers and colloids, and in the rheology of granular flows. She will also have a rheology laboratory in the BP Institute, establishing new links. 


Keyser was recruited from Leipzig in 2007. His research utilises nanolithography, optical tweezers, electrical current measurements, nanopores, lipid membranes, and microfluidics to explore biomedical physics at the molecular level and at nanometer length scales.




Ansorge: 7it include second China/UK N+N e-science Workshop in Kunming, China(2003); Integrative Neuroimaging workshop, Newcastle (2006); Organizing Committee 12th IPEM Annual Scientific Conference (2006)


Cicuta*: 10it, including International Symposium on Food Rheology and Structure, 2006; Oppenheimer Fellowship (2004)


DonaldFRS: 23it including plenary, Starch Round Table (2001), Australian Institute of Physics (2006); IoP Mott Prize(2005); Bakerian Lecture (2006); Royal Society Council Member 2004-6; 12 further committees


Edwards (C) FRS: 7it including keynote “Powders and Grains” conference; Honorary degrees (Mainz, Tel Aviv, Cambridge); Royal Medal of Royal Society; Polymer Medal IoP; Dirac Medal ICTP; Foreign member Russian Academy (2006).


Eiser: 9it (05-07), including SoftComp, Palermo (2007); Nucleation, Aggregation and Growth, JNC Bangalore (2007); Science Park Amsterdam New Ideas Competition, 2nd prize (2006)


Guck: 22it, including Symposium "Cancer and Photonics", Heidelberg, Germany (2003), APS (2003); 3rd Asian and Pacific Rim Symposium on Biophotonics, Cairns, Australia (2007); Young Scientist Award in Biomedical Photonics DKFZ (2003); licensed commercial development of 2 patents


Huppert*: Trinity College Research Fellowship (2004), RCUK Fellowship(2007) ; Director and CEO, Cambridge Laboratory Innovations Ltd, awarded DTI 'SMART' award for innovation (2003)


Keyser*: 3it including APS(2007); Emmy Nöther Fellowship, German Science Foundation (2006)


Steiner: ~20it including APS (2005) and RSC Advanced Materials (2007); Raymond and Beverley Sackler Prize in Physical Sciences (2002); FRSC (2004); Chairman, editorial board of “Soft Matter”.


Terentjev: ~20it including MRS (2006), ECLC (2007), ILCEC (2007); 3 International advisory boards, 4 invited reviews; Editor of "Advances in Polymer Science"; member of LEAPFROG consortium (EU textile industry).




1 AA Astronomy and Astrophysics includes Cavendish Astrophysics (AP) and Institute of Astronomy (IoA); HEP High Energy Physics; QM Quantum Matter; AMOP Atomic, Mesoscopic and Optical Physics; OE&ME Optoelectronics and Microelectronics; SP Semiconductor Physics; MP Materials Physics; TCM Theory of Condensed Matter and Inference Group; BSS Biological and Soft Systems