Skip to main content
School of Physics and Astronomy


The primordial goo created by the Big Bang may have flowed like water.
3 June 2021

“We do not fully understand the origin of this striking similarity yet but we think it could be related to the fundamental physical constants which set both the universal lower limit of viscosity for both ordinary liquids and quark-gluon plasma,” Kostya Trachenko, a physics professor at Queen Mary University of London and author of the recent paper, said in the statement.

Delivering Battery Revolution: Reducing The Drivers of Climate Change in Indonesia
22 April 2021

National Battery Research Institute (NBRI) in Indonesia and QMUL, in collaboration with the British Council, are pleased to invite you to participate in a Climate Challenge Workshop on to be held 12-14th July 2021.

Computational Collaboration Project No 5 ImageCCP% Prof Kostya Trachenko awarded prestigious EPSRC-CCP Physics Prize
24 September 2020

Congratulations to Prof. Kostya Trachenko for receiving the EPSRC-CCP Physics Prize this year.

European Commission H2020 Funding Opportunity Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (2020 Call) Calls for Expressions of Interest
29 May 2020

European Fellowships

The Centre for Condensed Mater and Material Physics, part of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), welcomes Expressions of Interest for researchers to apply jointly with a QMUL host supervisor, to the European Commission’s 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual European Fellowship Scheme.

Lei Tan selected to present at the ‘STEM for Britain’ exhibition
21 May 2020

Lei Tan has been selected to present a poster at the ‘STEM for Britain’ exhibition held in UK parliament on 9th March 2020.

First-Principles Many-Body Nonadditive Polarization Energies from Monomer and Dimer Calculations Only: A Case Study on Water
21 May 2020

First-Principles Many-Body Nonadditive Polarization Energies from Monomer and Dimer Calculations Only: A Case Study on Water
Rory A. J. Gilmore, Martin T. Dove, and Alston J. Misquitta

J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2020, 16, 224−242

In this paper from Rory's research work we have demonstrated how accurate many-body non-additive interaction models can be constructed for water in a general way that is applicable to other many-body molecular systems. Using the CamCASP code ( and the iterated stockholder atoms algorithm and recent developments in SAPT(DFT) made here at QMUL, we have shown how these physics-based models can be constructed using a tiny fraction of the data normally used. We are now using these same ideas to make many-body models for larger, more complex systems together with Prof Sally Price from UCL in a collaboration funded by AWE.

Universal Effect of Excitation Dispersion on the Heat Capacity and Gapped States in Fluids Nikita P. Kryuchkov, Lukiya A. Mistryukova, Andrei V. Sapelkin, Vadim V. Brazhkin, and Stanislav O. Yurchenko Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 125501 – Published 14 September 2020
21 May 2020

The article dealing with collective excitations (or "molecular dances") marks a successful collaboration between the Centre for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics and the Bauman Moscow State Technical University and Institute for High Pressure Physics RAS, also in Moscow.




Scientists discover just how runny a liquid can be
24 April 2020

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London and the Russian Academy of Sciences have found a limit to how runny a liquid can be.

Viscosity, the measure of how runny a fluid is, is a property that we experience daily when we fill a kettle, take a shower, pour cooking oil or move through air.

We know that liquids get thicker when cooled and runnier when heated, but how runny can a liquid ever get if we keep heating it?

CCMMP Research Highlights in Nature - part 2
14 April 2020

How a chameleon gemstone changes from red to green

The rare jewel alexandrite outwits the human eye’s colour-correction system.

The gemstone alexandrite has the remarkable ability to change colour under different lighting. Now, scientists have found that this trick is an optical illusion that hinges on how humans perceive colour.

Alexandrite stones appear to be a brilliant emerald green in daylight, but a rich ruby red under candlelight. By measuring the light that the stones transmit, David Dunstan at Queen Mary University of London and his colleagues found that alexandrite’s chromium atoms absorb both yellow and blue light, leaving green and red light to reach a viewer’s eye. That helps to explain the gem’s green tones when illuminated by sunshine, which is dominated by green wavelengths.

STFC Highlights QMUL Research: Investigating hard carbons for battery materials
2 April 2020


Using the Materials Characterisation Lab, EMU, and computational modelling, two recent publications give an insight into the behaviour of ions inside hard carbons, when used for battery materials.

Using the specialised X-ray diffraction equipment at the Materials Characterisation Lab at ISIS (MCL), a collaboration involving scientists from the University of Surrey and three London universities has been able to investigate the effect of the different structures in hard carbons on ionic diffusion. Expanding on this with muon spectroscopy on EMU, they have also been able to test the materials after acting as an anode in a sodium-ion battery, explaining why these materials exhibit poor performance in practical testing



CCMMP Research Highlights in Nature - part 1
13 January 2020


An iconic structure in London moonlights as a scientific tool

Researchers enlist the seventeenth-century memorial called the Monument to study physical deformation.

Physicists have made the most precise measurements ever of deformations in the shape of a wire. They did the experiment inside the 60-metre-tall column in central London known as the Monument — built in the 1670s to commemorate the city’s great fire of 1666.

Working at night, when the landmark is closed to tourists, Waris Ali at Queen Mary University of London and his colleagues hung a 50-metre-long wire down the shaft of the Monument’s spiral staircase. They then twisted and untwisted the wire from its bottom tip, and allowed it to come to rest again.


Dr Jan Mol begins Future Leaders Fellowship
1 January 2020

Dr Jan Mol begun a Future Leaders fellowship in January 2020, funded by the

"The Future Leaders Fellowships will enable the most promising researchers and innovators to become leaders in their fields, working on subjects as diverse as climate change, dementia and quantum computing."

Dr Mark Baxendale gives plenary lecture "Magnetic carbon nanotubes for biotechnology" at 17th International Symposium on Bioscience and Nanotechnology, Toyo University, Japan, 6 December 2019
1 January 2020

Dr Mark Baxendale gave a plenary lecture "Magnetic carbon nanotubes for biotechnology"  at 17th International Symposium on Bioscience and Nanotechnology, Toyo University, Japan, 6 December 2019

British Council Researcher Links Workshop 2019, SPA, 3-5 September 2019
26 August 2019

On 3-5 September 2019 Dr Andrei Sapelkin will be running the Researcher Links Workshop 2019 sponsored by the British Council. The workshop title is "Collective dynamics and pair correlations in atomic and colloidal systems across coupling regimes". The workshop will bring together top experts in the field of structure and dynamics in complex many-body systems.

The aim of the workshop is to foster links between UK and Russian early carrier scientists (ECS). This workshop is a good opportunity for PhD and ECSs to show off their work, to get to know each other and to start collaborations. Some of the workshop events (mentor sessions, coffee, lunch, dinner) are only opened to the registered participants, but everyone is welcome to come along to the talks and poster sessions. 

Dr Andrei Sapelkin: Researcher Links Workshop grant 2019
30 April 2019

Congratulations to Dr Andrei Sapelkin who has received a Researcher Links Workshop grant of £49,536 from the British Council.  

Dr Alston J. Misquitta
13 February 2019

Congratulations to Dr Alston J. Misquitta who has received an International Exchange Cost Share (with CNRS) grant of £10.8K from the Royal Society. 

Professor Alan Drew
6 January 2019

Congratulations Prof Alan Drew  who has received a £20k Global Challenges Research fund (GCRF).  

Dr Jan Mol
27 October 2018

Dr Jan Mol has joined CCMMP as a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow. 

Dr Kostya Trachenko
2 September 2018

Dr Kostya Trachenko has been awarded an EPSRC innovation acceleration award (£45,600). 

Congratulations to Dr Koji Yokoyama
27 October 2017

Congratulations to Dr Koji Yokoyama, one of our PDRAs working on the MuSES project with Alan Drew, who recently won the poster prize at the international conference on muon spin spectroscopy.

Two postdoctoral research assistant positions
27 October 2017

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has two vacancies for 36 months for a Postdoctoral Research Assistants.

Liquid-like metals under pressurev2 Liquid-like metals under pressure
18 November 2016

There is currently a surge of interest in mechanical behaviour of nanoscale systems with the aim to understand if metastability in a variety of materials can be achieved, explained and indeed exploited.

small_graphical_abstractv2 Local insight into electric ordering
10 November 2016

Hybrid perovskite analogues – materials that combine small organic ions with metals to create a framework structure – have important applications in fields ranging from solar power generation to computing and data storage.

Dr Helen Duncan
27 October 2016

Congratulations to Dr Helen Duncan, who has been awarded her PhD for a thesis entitled Modelling local order in organic and metal-organic ferroic materials using the reverse Monte Carlo method and total neutron scattering, supervised by Dr Anthony Phillips and Prof. Martin Dove.

pyrochlorev2 Functional Materials
6 January 2016

Functional materials have physical and chemical properties that are sensitive to a change in their environment: for instance, they might depend on temperature, pressure, electric field, magnetic field and optical wavelength.

Experiments Exploiting Central Facilities
4 January 2016

The centre makes considerable use of beams of radiation produced at national facilities such as ISIS and Diamond. ISIS generates beams of neutrons and muons, and Diamond is a synchrotron that produces high-intensity beams of electromagnetic radiation of x-ray wavelengths and larger. 

Snailv2 Best way to rid a garden of snails revealed by QMUL scientist
16 May 2014

Gardeners wanting to rid their spring flowerbeds of pesky snails may have to ditch the beer traps and egg shells and revert to developing a strong throwing arm, according to new research co-authored by a physicist at Queen Mary University of London. 

New insights into the glass transition New insights into the glass transition
4 May 2011

What happens to a liquid when you cool it to obtain a glass? Despite the apparent simplicity of this question, understanding glass transition has defied the previous efforts of many theorists, and has become has become one of the "most interesting unsolved problem in solid state theory", according to eminent scientists. This is particularly exciting because we now claim to understand such exotic states of matter such as superfluidity and superconductivity, yet cooling a liquid to obtain glass comes across as conceptually simple.