Feature · Research

Seeing Into The Quantum Heart of Matter

When I moved to St Andrews as a long-haired, clean-shaven 17-year-old, it wasn’t to embark on a career as a quantum theorist – my degree was originally to be in astrophysics. For two years, I was an astrophysics student, before eventually ditching space in favour of quantum physics. There were two main reasons for this.… Continue reading Seeing Into The Quantum Heart of Matter

Feature · Research

My Current Research Topic: Many Body Localisation

It’s always exciting in science when a surprise comes along and something you thought you knew turns out to be wrong. In the last decade, spurred on by recent experimental advances, condensed matter theorists have turned back to an old problem with renewed enthusiasm, and have discovered an enigmatic phase of matter that behaves unlike… Continue reading My Current Research Topic: Many Body Localisation

Feature · Research

The Role of Disorder: Under the Microscope

One of the biggest problems with researching quantum mechanics is that it’s often hard to visualise what we’re dealing with. Are we talking particles, or are we talking waves? Or are we talking about abstract excitations of a quantum field, somewhere between neither and both? For the most part, we focus on calculating properties that… Continue reading The Role of Disorder: Under the Microscope

Feature · Research

The Rise of the Quantum

[This post originally appeared on 21stcentury.co.uk] You might not realise it, but we are currently in the midst of what some are calling the second quantum revolution. From quantum computers to spintronics, from exotic superconductors to unbreakable encryption, we’re moving from the age of passively understanding and using quantum mechanics to the age of actively… Continue reading The Rise of the Quantum

Feature

100 Years of General Relativity

[This feature-length article was originally written for Popular Astronomy and appears in their November/December 2015 issue.] The early twentieth century was something of a golden age for physics. It was a time of upheaval, of bold new ideas overturning long-established concepts and the beginning of the quantum revolution. For many, one particular breakthrough from that… Continue reading 100 Years of General Relativity