Research

I try to understand how Nature works by inventing models which are slightly too difficult to tackle analytically. I mainly work in condensed matter physics, especially materials under extreme conditions, e.g. high pressure, rapid shearing or radiation damage. From 2017, my main focus (read: funding) is a large ERC project "Hecate" on the study of high pressure hydrogen. The alloy work finds application in advanced steels and titanium alloys. I also foray into complex systems, soft condensed matter, economics, ecosystems and the evolution of societies. Publications and more details are on my official University page

Teaching and Recreation

I teach thermodynamics and quantum mechanics, I amuse myself writing poultry-themed or surprising physics problems and am an honorary member of the Edinburgh University orienteering club.

History

I trained in physics & theoretical physics at Oxford University, then took a PhD in Interatomic Potentials and Radiation Damage sponsored by AERE After two years at University of Pennsylvania , I joined the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh in 1990, where I hold a personal chair in Computer Simulation. I became a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in 2001, and FRSE in 2007, and hold a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. I was Head of Condensed Matter Physics until 2014. I currently hold an ERC advanced grant: HECATE - "Hydrogen at exterme conditions, allying theory and Experiment", and am starting a company MacDAC to sell Diamond Anvil Cells.