Online Resources

Here is a selection of resources for you to learn more about what quantum materials are, how we do research into them and what quantum materials might mean for you. Explore the links on the left and browse the resources below to find out more.


Here you can find videos from talks given by professors and students in the Quantum Materials group, as well as lectures on related ideas. These come in all shapes and sizes, from bite-size introductions to full-on undergraduate lecture series, so there's something here for everyone!

Check out our YouTube channel for even more quantum materials videos!

Short introductions

These "flash talks" give brief insights into some aspects of quantum materials.

young researcher giving a talk in front of a blackboard with magnets
Superconductivity - alchemy for the 21st Century? - Ben Williams
Superconductivity is a weird property of some materials that has exciting applications both in the lab and outside, in new technologies. The only problem is, we don't quite know what makes superconductivity work! In this talk, you'll see superconductivity in action and find out how, just like modern-day alchemists, physicists are looking to turn the mundane into the magical.

young researcher talking engagingly
Dealing with Frustration - Order in Disorder - Zhiming Darren Tan.
Magnetic particles can get frustrated in their interactions with other particles because of lattice geometry. Lots of new and exciting physics is involved in understanding how they deal with their frustration.

Introductory lectures & talks

What are Quantum Materials? - Prof Andrew Boothroyd
In the 2018 Oxford Physics Quantum Materials Public Lecture, Professor Andrew Boothroyd explores the question of what makes something a 'quantum material'. From the development of quantum mechanics and theories of electron behaviour in solids, to shining a laser pointer through a tea strainer, via skyrmions, fermions and magnetricity, Professor Boothroyd examines the history and future of this fascinating topic.

Magnets Fantastic - Dr Kathryn Boast
A hands-on, fun-filled, action-packed hour unpicking one of science's oldest mysteries: magnetism.

This family-friendly science show was filmed at Oxford Physics in April 2019.

Symmetry Breaking & Magnetism - Prof Stephen Blundell
What is symmetry in physics? How does symmetry give rise to magnetism? Can symmetry save Donald Trump?

In this Oxford University Physics Society talk, Professor Stephen Blundell unpicks what it means for something to be symmetric and shows how symmetry - and broken symmetry - in quantum physics leads to magnetism and more.

Male professor talks in front of blackboard

Superconductors: Miracle Materials - Prof Andrew Boothroyd
An introduction to the fascinating world of superconductors and the many surprising phenomena they exhibit, from zero resistance to quantum levitation.

Young female researcher pours liquid nitrogen at the front of a lecture theatre
Superconductors: why it’s cool to be repulsive - Fran Kirschner
A family-friendly demonstration of superconductors in action. Fran explores the low temperatures we need to make them work, and how we can use superconductors for levitating trains.

Male professor talks at front of lecture theatre
Quantum mechanics on the human scale - Prof Stephen Blundell
Stephen Blundell reviews a theory of superconductivity that was developed in Oxford in the 1930’s by Fritz London.

lecture theatre full of people and colourful slide from a talk
Visualising Quantum Matter - Oxford Physics Colloquium, 28th October 2016, delivered by Professor Séamus Davis


Check out this page for our series of short videos about different kinds of crystals!

Teaching Lectures

thumbnail for oxford solid state basics lectures
If you want to get to grips with some of the nitty physics behind quantum materials, this is a great place to start. These are the undergraduate lectures on solid state physics, and explores a lot of the theory behind what we do.

Other Sources

Sometimes our scientists are featured in videos and shows by other people. Here are some of our favourites.

colourful crystal as part of radio show thumbnail
BBC R4 - In Our Time: Crystallography Emeritus Professor Mike Glazer discusses the study of crystals with host Melvyn Bragg and other guests.

scientist with lab gases venting as part of radio show thumbnail
BBC R4 - In Our Time: Absolute Zero Professor Stephen Blundell discusses the coldest temperature possible with host Melvyn Bragg and other guests.

iron filings stuck to a magnet as part of radio show thumnail
BBC WS The Forum: Magnetism Professor Stephen Blundell discusses how we understand magnetism.

Royal Institution Bragg Lecture: The Wondrous World of Perovskites Emeritus Professor Mike Glazer discusses Perovskites: what they are and how we use them.

How to be a Physicist - with Oxford University Physics Society and Fran Kirschner, formerly a DPhil student in Quantum Materials.

Lab, Camera, Action!

Lab, Camera, Action! is a series of short videos by Dr Andrew Steele (previously a researcher in the group) about physics, explaining basic concepts, some of the work done here in Oxford, and even some experiments to try at home.


Not technically an 'online resource' but if you want to get to grips with some of the details, a book is a very good place to turn!

Very Short Introductions

The popular Oxford University Press series of 'Very Short Introductions' features three books by Quantum Materials academics that tie in closely with the work of the group:
book cover of a very short introduction to crystallography
Crystallography: A Very Short Introduction by A. M. Glazer

  • Introduces the field of crystallography, and explains its basic concepts
  • Gives an outline of the historical development of crystallography, and its key role in the early days of molecular biology
  • Describes recent advances, and the importance of crystallography in the modern world in areas such as genetics and pharmaceuticals

book cover of a very short introduction to magnetism
Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction by Stephen J. Blundell

  • Explains a fundamental scientific topic and its importance in an accessible way
  • Considers early theories of magnetism including the discovery that the Earth itself is a magnet
  • Explores the work of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell in unifying magnetism and electricity
  • Looks at the quantum mechanical aspects of magnetism
  • Considers its importance in modern technology, including magnetic storage in computers and the magnetic fields of planets and stars

book cover of a very short introduction to superconductivity
Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction by Stephen J. Blundell

  • Superconductivity was one of the greatest discoveries of 20th century physics, and the theory that emerged one of the most beautiful and extraordinary achievements in theoretical physics
  • Explains the many strange phenomena observed in superconducting materials
  • Explores the deep implications of superconductivity theory, and its potential to revolutionise the physics and technology of the future
  • Examines the very latest developments in high-temperature superconductivity, and the various and conflicting efforts to understand the phenomenon