My research is in theoretical condensed matter physics. Condensed matter physics involves using well-established physical laws – mainly quantum mechanics, electromagnetism and statistical mechanics – to understand the behaviour of solids and fluids under the range of conditions that can be produced in the laboratory – for example, by varying temperature, pressure or magnetic field strength. More specifically, two separate areas that I am particularly involved in at present are geometrically frustrated magnets and quantum systems far from equilibrium. Two other subjects on which I have worked extensively are the quantum Hall effect and disordered conductors.
Some of my earlier research contributions include: work on Anderson localisation and the integer quantum Hall effect, in particular the formulation of the network model for the plateau transition; work on stripe and bubble phases in high Landau levels; identification of the chiral metal in multilayer quantum Hall systems; and studies of the Heisenberg model on the kagome and pyrochlore lattices.
I am a Professor in the Physics Department at Oxford University and a Tutorial Fellow at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. I received my BA in Physics and Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University in 1978 and my DPhil in Theoretical Physics from Oxford University in 1981. I held a SERC/NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship at Heidelberg University from 1981 to 1983 before becoming a Lecturer in Physics at Southampton University from 1983 to 1991. I have been a member of academic staff at Oxford University since 1991. I was the Institute of Physics Mott Lecturer in 2000 and was awarded a Research Prize by the A. von Humboldt Foundation in 2000, and the Rayleigh Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics in 2008.