School of Physics and Astronomy

Professor Steve Thomas


Professor of Theoretical Physics

Telephone: 020 7882 5767
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 611



During the summer of 2013 I supervised two internship students who worked on string theory related projects.  One student, Nicola Abrahams from the Univesity of Kent, Canterbury studying for an Astrophysics, was funded by the SEPnet Internship Scheme. The other student, Jon Cheyne, who is currently studying for an MSci in Theoretical Physics in the SPA, was funded by an SPA internship award.

SEPnet internship students presented posters at the annual SEPnet Student Expo, held at the Royal Institution on the 20th November. Over 50 students presented posters covering a wide variety of physics related topics.  Prizes were given for the best posters one of which was awarded to Nicola.  Prizes were presented by the well known writer and broadcaster  Prof. Jim Al-Khalili OBE who also gave a keynote speech.


Reproduced by kind permission of Paul Stead Photography                             

Here is pdf of Nicola's poster  entitled 'Elementary Investigations into properties of Strings and D-Branes' 

Here are just a few example of animations produced by Nicola as part of her project. The first shows the motion of a single open string attached to a D-brane. The animation was produced by solving the equations of motion of the string attached to the D-brane, using the MATLAB  software package.  Click on the image to run the animation.


In another animation we see the motion of an open string with its endpoints attached to two different D-branes parallel to one another


In this animation, a closed string is moving vertically upwards as time passes. The animation keeps a 'memory' of the string positions as it moves in time. This allows us to visualise the shape of the surface the string sweeps out during its motion.




In  the current 2013/14 academic year I am teaching the year 3 B.Sc. module  Quantum Mechanics and Symmetry. In the past I have taught various modules including Mathematical Techniques 1, Mathematical Techniques 3, From Newton to Einstein, Electric and Magnetic Fields and Quantum Mechanics B and Electromagnetic Theory.


Research Interests:

I am a member of the Centre for Research in String Theory. My main research interests are in the field of string theory in particular to models of string/particle phenomenology and cosmology. My recent work has included topics such as non-abelian Dirac-Born-Infeld (DBI) theories of coincident D-branes and their application in models of inflationary cosmology; tachyon condensation in multiple unstable D-brane systems and defect formation; particle physics models based on ISS type metastable supersymmetry breaking.

Examples of research funding:

  1. Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council: Berman, Brandhuber, Ramgoolam, Spence, Thomas. Rolling grant String theory, gauge theory and gravity (2006-2010), £249,800
  2. European Union, Framework 6, Marie Curie Training and Mobility of Researchers Grant, Superstrings, Theory Group, Department of Physics, Queen Mary, (2004-2008), €259,980 £162,000.



D-brane Potentials in the Warped Resolved Conifold and Natural Inflation
Kenton, Zachary et al.
JHEP, Volume 1502, page 127. Publication year: 2015

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP02(2015)127


Direct Mediation and Metastable Supersymmetry Breaking for SO(10)
Koschade, Daniel et al.
JHEP, Volume 1002, page 100. Publication year: 2010

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP02(2010)100


Near-Infrared Photometry of the Type IIn SN 2005ip: The Case for Dust Condensation
Fox, Ori et al.
Astrophys.J., Volume 691, page 650-660. Publication year: 2009

DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/691/1/650


Metastable SUSY Breaking and Supergravity at Finite Temperature
Anguelova, Lilia et al.
Phys.Rev., Volume D77, page 025036. Publication year: 2008

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.77.025036

Gravitational Wave Constraints on Multi-Brane Inflation
Huston, Ian et al.
JCAP, Volume 0805, page 016. Publication year: 2008

DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2008/05/016


IR inflation from multiple branes
Thomas, Steven et al.
Phys.Rev., Volume D76, page 023509. Publication year: 2007

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.76.023509


Non-Abelian (p,q) Strings in the Warped Deformed Conifold
Thomas, Steven et al.
JHEP, Volume 0612, page 057. Publication year: 2006

DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2006/12/057


Inflation from geometrical tachyons
Thomas, Steven et al.
Phys.Rev., Volume D72, page 083519. Publication year: 2005

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.72.083519

D-brane dynamics and NS5 rings
Thomas, Steven et al.
JHEP, Volume 0502, page 015. Publication year: 2005

DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2005/02/015

Geometrical tachyon kinks and NS5 branes
Thomas, Steven et al.
JHEP, Volume 0510, page 098. Publication year: 2005

DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2005/10/098

D-brane dynamics near compactified NS5-branes
Thomas, Steven et al.
JHEP, Volume 0506, page 062. Publication year: 2005

DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2005/06/062


Resolving brane collapse with 1/N corrections in non-Abelian DBI
Ramgoolam, S. et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B703, page 236-276. Publication year: 2004

DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2004.10.012


Domain walls in five-dimensional supergravity with nontrivial hypermultiplets
Behrndt, Klaus et al.
JHEP, Volume 0101, page 011. Publication year: 2001

DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2001/01/011


Modular symmetries, threshold corrections and moduli for Z(2) x Z(2) orbifolds
Bailin, D. et al.
Mod.Phys.Lett., Volume A10, page 337-346. Publication year: 1995

DOI: 10.1142/S0217732395000375


String loop threshold corrections for Z(N) Coxeter orbifolds
Bailin, D. et al.
Mod.Phys.Lett., Volume A9, page 67-80. Publication year: 1994

DOI: 10.1142/S0217732394000083

Duality symmetries of threshold corrections in orbifold models
Bailin, D. et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B320, page 21-28. Publication year: 1994

DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(94)90818-4

Anisotropic solutions for orbifold moduli from duality invariant gaugino condensates
Bailin, D. et al.
Mod.Phys.Lett., Volume A9, page 2543-2555. Publication year: 1994

DOI: 10.1142/S0217732394002409


Orbifold Compactified Superstring Models With Tetrahedral and Octahedral Point Groups
Bailin, David et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B298, page 75-91. Publication year: 1988

DOI: 10.1016/0550-3213(88)90304-5


A Three Generation Orbifold Compactified Superstring Model With Realistic Gauge Group
Bailin, David et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B194, page 385-389. Publication year: 1987

DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(87)91069-0

Gauge Symmetry Breaking in Orbifold Compactified Superstring Theories
Bailin, David et al.
Nucl.Phys., Volume B288, page 431-443. Publication year: 1987

DOI: 10.1016/0550-3213(87)90222-7

Fermion Generations in Orbifold Compactified Superstring Theories
Bailin, David et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B188, page 193-197. Publication year: 1987

DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(87)90005-0

PhD Supervision

This is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.

Project Title

Applications of compactified String Theory to early Universe Cosmology