Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics

About Us

Although members of the Rudolf Peierls Centre work on topics that span many branches of physics - from how bacteria swim to the inflationary origin of the Universe, from quantum phase transitions to the chemodynamical evolution of galaxies - we share a common culture and common intellectual tools. Much of the Centre's work involves quantum field theory or perturbation theory, and we make extensive use of numerical simulations. We are very much concerned with modelling experimental data and asking questions such as "what do these data tell us about the structure and dynamics of the system?" and "what are the experimental implications of this theoretical framework?"

Our Particle Theory Group works on particle phenomenology both in and beyond-the-Standard-Model, (lattice) gauge theory and string theory, mathematical physics and quantum gravity, early-Universe cosmology and issues in particle astrophysics e.g. dark matter and high-energy cosmic rays.

The quantum dynamics of many-body systems, phase transitions and
strongly correlated electrons are important themes within our
Condensed-Matter Group. Members of the group also do much work on
soft matter and biological systems, which are characterized by a balance between interactions and fluctuations that leads to rich and diverse self-assembly and dynamics.

The Astrophysics and Plasmas Group works on the structure and formation of galaxies, with particular emphasis on our own Galaxy, on the dynamics of astrophysical plasmas, especially the intergalactic medium, and on laboratory plasmas - we have strong links with the UK Fusion Research Centre at Culham.

General information about how to apply to Oxford is available here, with information specific to Theoretical Physics here and here.

Research themes

Condensed Matter Theory

The theoretical and computational physics of systems with many interacting constituents, from strongly correlated quantum materials to soft and biological matter.

Academics John Chalker, Fabian Essler, Paul Fendley, Ramin Golestanian, Dmitry Kovrizhin, Ard Louis, Adam Nahum, Siddharth Parameswaran, Steve Simon, Julia Yeomans

Particle Theory

We study the fundamental nature of matter and forces in the universe ... seeking to explain why the world is the way it is?

Academics John Wheater, Prateek Agrawal, Fabrizio Caola, Joseph Conlon, Lucian Harland-Lang, Andre Lukas, John March-Russell, Gavin Salam, Subir Sarkar, Andrei Starinets, Lorenzo Tancredi

Theoretical Astrophysics & Plasma Physics

We study systems in which huge numbers of particles interact through long-range forces.

Academics James Binney, Michael Barnes, John Magorrian, Felix Parra Diaz, Alexander Schekochihin, Ralph Schoenrich

Galactic dynamics

James Binney, John Magorrian

Plasma Theory

Steven Balbus, Michael Barnes, Tony Bell, James Binney, Garret Cotter, Paul Dellar, Julien Devriendt, Gianluca Gregori, Peter Norreys, Felix Parra Diaz, Philipp Podsiadlowski, Steven Rose, Subir Sarkar, Alexander Schekochihin, Adrianne Slyz, Caroline Terquem