Professor Bill Spence
Professor of Theoretical Physics
Email: w.j.spence@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: 020 7882 3420
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 615
Profile
Brief History
20132019: VicePrincipal (Research), Queen Mary, University of London
20152018: Director, Life Sciences at QMUL
20092012: Head of Department of Physics (from 2011: School of Physics and Astronomy)
20062008: Deputy Head of Department of Physics
20032008: Head of Theory Group/ founding Director of the Centre for Research in String Theory
2005: Professor of Theoretical Physics
2000: Reader in Theoretical Physics
1999: Lectureship, Queen Mary, University of London
19941999: Fiveyear Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Advanced Research Fellowship, Queen Mary, University of London
19921994: Fiveyear Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship, School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Australia (moved to UK post after two years)
19911993: Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) Postdoctoral research associate, Imperial College London (took up QEII offer in 1992)
19871991: SERC Postdoctoral research associate, Queen Mary, University of London, UK.
19851987: SERC Postdoctoral research associate, Southampton University, UK
Academic Qualifications
1985: PhD, Department of Mathematics, Kings College, University of London. Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 studentship.
1981: B. Sc., First Class Honours, Australian National University.
Recent Roles
VicePrincipal (Research) January 2013January 2019
My role as Vice Principal since January 2013 gave me responsibility for all research and innovation across QMUL – an institution with a breadth of research across 20 Schools and Institutes within three large Faculties, an annual turnover of over £400M, and an annual research income of over £120M. I sat on the Senior Executive, meeting weekly, and was centrally involved in all major decisions on the operation of the institution. QMUL continues to grow rapidly and continued success in a highly competitive environment requires continuous innovation and investment and an institution that attracts and fosters outstanding staff. A focus on these essentials is the basic element of our research strategy. This includes broad commitments to fostering outstanding research and innovation, and quantitative Indicators of Progress with which to measure success.
Research Excellence Framework
Our last submission to the national Research Excellence Framework was made in late 2013.. The outcome was that QMUL was placed 9th amongst multiFaculty UK universities in the 2014 overall GPA tables, which included a ranking of 8th for 4* (worldleading) outputs and 5th for 3*/4* (world leading or internationally excellent) outputs  exceptional results that confirmed our place amongst the very top cohort of researchintensive universities in the country.
Life Sciences
As part of an ambitious programme of growth, QMUL has committed to the establishment of a new Life Sciences campus over the next few years, based on development of land in central London at Whitechapel, exploiting the tremendous opportunities provided by the confluence of the strength of our medical and dental schools there, the new Royal London hospital  the largest newbuild hospital in Europe, Queen Mary BioInnovation  the largest purposebuilt bioinnovation space in London, a large local population with significant health needs, imminent rapid national and international transport links with the new £16bn Crossrail project, and proximity to central London and the City.
From 2015 to 2018 I held a leadership role in our Life Sciences initiative, with responsibility for growing research, education, doctoral training, public and patient engagement, researcher development and equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives. This has involved setting up new Life Sciences research centres in genomics, bioengineering, mind in society and computational biology, and seven new themes of joint clinicalacademic work with Barts Health Trust, the largest in the UK. Further work includes building a physical infrastructure for the initiative, securing increased investment and the establishment of new governance and management structures, masterplanning of land and building options, leadership of project working groups, and ongoing work building partnerships with higher education institutions, companies, and health and local authorities. I led a successful bid to the Wellcome Trust for a new Institutional Strategic Support Fund award, matched by QMUL investment, to a total of over £1.5m, which provided early core resources for these developments.
Research Council appointments
20122015: STFC Particle Physics Advisory Panel: consulation with UK research community and preparation of Roadmap for PPAN/STFC Council on future UK particle physics investment of ~£110M p.a.. Preparation of UK input to the CERN Council Strategy Group for the updated European Particle Physics Strategy.
20072009: STFC Particle Physics Grants Panel (Theory) (Chair 20089). Recommendations on the distribution of Rolling Grant funding for 20082013 totalling £27M.
2008: STFC Particle Physics Consultation Panel, 2008. Advice to the Research Council on the ranking of experimental physics programmes with funding totalling £110M.
1990s: EPSRC Peer Review College.
Other appointments
2018current: REF2021 Panel Member, UoA10 Mathematics
Philosophy
 Philosophy 1:
"Si tu veux construire un bateau ... Ne rassemble pas des hommes pour aller chercher du bois, préparer des outils, répartir les tâches, alléger le travail… mais enseigne aux gens la nostalgie de l’infini de la mer" [Antoine de SaintExupery]
 Philosophy 2:
When the going gets tough.....well, just keep going
Research
Research Interests:
Research Interests
My research interests are in Mtheory and string theory and their applications in physics and mathematics. Particular past areas of interest have been the geometry of branes in M theory, topological field theories, and manifolds of exceptional holonomy. Since 2004 I have mainly been working on applications originally inspired by twistor string theory. This research area has unearthed powerful new approaches to quantum field theory, gravity and string theory, ranging from twistor theory formulations to novel techniques to calculate scattering amplitudes relevant to the Large Hadron Collider.
My research publications can be found using Stanford's search engine or at the Los Alamos eprint archive.
Funding
Research Grants
Wellcome Trust (PI), 20152016, ISSF Award: Life Sciences Initiative, £1,280,000 (£640,000 from WT, matched by QMUL).
(Grants below are collaborative with CRST/Theory Group colleagues; as PI where stated.)
 Marie SklodowskaCurie Innovative Training Network grant of the European Commission "SAGEX: Scattering Amplitudes: from Geometry to Experiment” 20182022, €3,983,215.68.
 Science and Technology Facilities Council, String Theory Gauge Theory and Duality, (20142017), £726,605.
 Science and Technology Facilities Council, String Theory Gauge Theory and Duality, (20112015), £632,432.
 Support from the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, for the workshop Recent advances in scattering amplitudes April 24 2012.
 Leverhulme Foundation, personal Research Fellowship (20092010), £44,975.
 EPSRC, STFC and Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (Durham), Joint grant funding for the workshop Amplitudes 2010, May 2010 Queen Mary, £13,500.
 Science and Technology Facilities Council, String theory, gauge theory and duality (20082013) (PI), £1,431,413.
 PPARC 20062010, String theory, gauge theory and gravity (PI), £249,800.
 PPARC SPG, 20052007, Gauge theory, string theory and twistor space techniques (PI), £134,010.
 INFN, Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nuclear. Workshop: Advancing Collider Physics Galileo Galilei Institute, Florence 2007, €125,000.
 EPSRC Workshop Grant, M Theory in the City 2007 £11,300.
 Engineering and Physics Sciences Research Council, Workshop, 2006, £4,700.
 PPARC Grant 20032005, M Theory, string theory and duality (PI), £157,276.
 EU, Framework 6, Marie Curie Training, Mobility of Researchers, €259,980.
 PPARC Rolling Grant, 19982003, £277,892.
 EPSRC Responsive Mode Grant 20002003, £131,738.
 PPARC Special Programme Grant, 19982003, £84,514.
 EU Framework 5, Training, Mobility of Researchers Grant, €178,000.
 EPSRC Standard Grant, 19982001, £69,838.
 EPSRC/PPARC Joint Standard Grant, 19951998, £129,624.
Publications
Later publications
1. A. Brandhuber, E. Hughes, R. Panerai, B. Spence and G. Travaglini, The Connected Prescription for Form Factors in Twistor Space 16pp. arXiv:1608.03277 [hepth]. Journal of High Energy Physics 1611: 143, 2016.
2. A. Brandhuber, E. Hughes, B. Spence and G. Travaglini, OneLoop Soft Theorems via Dual Superconformal Symmetry, 41pp. arXiv:1511.06716 [hepth]. Journal of High Energy Physics 1603:084, 2016.
3. B. Penante, B. Spence, G. Travaglini and C. Wen, On super form factors of halfBPS operators in N=4 super YangMills, QMULPH1401, 28pp. arXiv:1402.1300 [hepth]. Journal of High Energy Physics 1404:083, 2014.
4. A. Brandhuber, B. Spence and G. Travaglini, TreeLevel Formalism, QMULPH1018, 39pp. arXiv:1103.3477 [hepth]. Journal of Physics A 44:454002, 2011.
5. A. Brandhuber, B. Spence, G. Travaglini and G. Yang, Form Factors in N=4 Super YangMills and Periodic Wilson Loops, QMUL1018, 25pp. arXiv: 1011.1899 [hepth]. Journal of High Energy Physics 1101:134, 2011.
6. A. Brandhuber, B. Spence, G. Travaglini and G. Yang, A Note on Dual MHV Diagrams in N=4 SYM , QMULPH1015, 16pp. arXiv: 1010.1498 [hepth]. Journal of High Energy Physics 1012:087, 2010.
7. A. Brandhuber, P. Heslop, P. Katsaroumpas, D. Nguyen, B. Spence, M. Spradlin and G. Travaglini, A Surprise in the Amplitude/Wilson Loop Duality, arXiv: 1004.2855 [hepth]. Journal of High Energy Physics 1007:080, 2010.
8. P. Katsaroumpas, B. Spence, G. Travaglini, Oneloop N=8 supergravity coefficients from N=4 super YangMills, QMULPH0912, 39pp. arXiv: 0906.0521 [hepth]. Journal of High Energy Physics 0908:096, 2009.
9. C. Anastasiou, A. Brandhuber, P. Heslop, V. V. Khoze, B. Spence, G. Travaglini, TwoLoop Polygon Wilson Loops in N=4 SYM, 55pp. Journal of High Energy Physics 0905:115,2009. ePrint: 0902.2245 [hepth].
10. A. Brandhuber, P.J. Heslop, A. Nasti, B. Spence and G. Travaglini, Fourpoint Amplitudes in N=8 Supergravity and Wilson Loops 31pp, arXiv:0805.2763 [hepth]. Nuclear Physics B807, 290314, 2009.
A selection of most popular earlier papers
1. TwoLoop Polygon Wilson Loops in N=4 SYM, Charalampos Anastasiou, Andreas Brandhuber, Paul Heslop, Valentin V. Khoze, Bill Spence and Gabriele Travaglini. Journal of High Energy Physics 0905:115,2009. arXiv:hepth/0902.2245.
2. From trees to loops and back, Andreas Brandhuber, Bill Spence and Gabriele Travaglini. Journal of High Energy Physics 0601:142,2006. arXiv:hepth/0510253.
3. Loop Amplitudes in Pure YangMills from Generalised Unitarity Andreas Brandhuber, Simon McNamara, Bill Spence, Gabriele Travaglini 35 pages, Journal of High Energy Physics 0510 (2005) 011. arXiv: hepth/0506068.
4. A recursion relation for gravity amplitudes James Bedford, Andreas Brandhuber, Bill Spence, Gabriele Travaglini 17 pages, Nuclear Physics B721 (2005) 98110. arXiv:hepth/0502146.
5. NonSupersymmetric Loop Amplitudes and MHV Vertices James Bedford, Andreas Brandhuber, Bill Spence, Gabriele Travaglini 31 pages, Nuclear Physics B712 (2005) 5985. arXiv: hepth/0412108.
6. A Twistor Approach to OneLoop Amplitudes in N=1 Supersymmetric YangMills Theory James Bedford, Andreas Brandhuber, Bill Spence, Gabriele Travaglini 31 pages, Nuclear Physics B706 (2005) 100126. arXiv: hepth/0410180.
7. OneLoop Gauge Theory Amplitudes in N=4 Super YangMills from MHV Vertices Andreas Brandhuber, Bill Spence, Gabriele Travaglini 35 pages, Nuclear Physics B706 (2005) 150180. arXiv: hepth/0407214.
8. Flux, Supersymmetry and M Theory on seven manifolds, Bobby S. Acharya, Bill J. Spence, QMWPH0008 (Jul 2000) 15p. arXiv: hepth/0007213.
9. Branes at conical singularities and holography, Bobby S. Acharya, J.M. FigueroaO'Farrill, C.M. Hull, Bill J. Spence, Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics2:12491286,1999. arXiv: hepth/9808014.
10. Euclidean Dbranes and higherdimensional gauge theory, Bobby S. Acharya, J.M. FigueroaO'Farrill, Bill J. Spence, M. O'Loughlin, Nuclear Physics B514:583602,1998. arXiv: hepth/9707118.
11. Higher dimensional analogues of DonaldsonWitten Theory, Bobby S. Acharya, M. O'Loughlin, Bill J. Spence, Nuclear Physics B503:657674,1997. arXiv: hepth/9705138.
12. The Geometry of the gauged sigma model with WessZumino term, C.M. Hull, Bill J. Spence, Nuclear Physics B353:379426,1991.
13. The gauged nonlinear sigma model with WessZumino term, C.M. Hull, Bill J. Spence, Physics Letters B232:204,1989.

Brandhuber A, Hughes E, Panerai R et al. (2016). The connected prescription for form factors in twistor space. nameOfConference
Citations: 0 
Brandhuber A, Hughes E, Spence B et al. (2016). Oneloop soft theorems via dual superconformal symmetry. nameOfConference
Citations: 0 
Penante B, Spence B, Travaglini G et al. (2014). On super form factors of halfBPS operators in N=4 super YangMills. nameOfConference
Citations: 28 
Brandhuber A, Spence B, Travaglini G (2011). Treelevel formalism. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 20 
Brandhuber A, Spence B, Travaglini G et al. (2011). Form factors in N=4 super YangMills and periodic Wilson loops. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 2 
Brandhuber A, Spence B, Travaglini G et al. (2010). A note on dual MHV diagrams in N=4 SYM. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 0 
Brandhuber A, Heslop P, Katsaroumpas P et al. (2010). A Surprise in the Amplitude/Wilson Loop Duality. nameOfConference
Citations: 0 
Katsaroumpas P, Spence B, Travaglini G (2009). Oneloop N=8 supergravity coefficients from N=4 super YangMills. nameOfConference
Citations: 0 
Anastasiou C, Brandhuber A, Heslop P et al. (2009). Twoloop polygon Wilson loops in N=4 SYM. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 0 
Brandhuber A, Heslop P, Nasti A et al. (2009). Fourpoint amplitudes in N=8 supergravity and Wilson loops. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 0 
Brandhuber A, Spence B, Travaglini G et al. (2007). Oneloop MHV rules and pure yangmills. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 13 
Brandhuber A, Spence B, Travaglini G (2007). Twistor inspired methods in gauge theory and gravity. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 0 
Brandhuber A, McNamara S, Spence B et al. (2007). Recursion relations for oneloop gravity amplitudes. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 8 
Brandhuber A, Spence B, Travaglini G (2007). Amplitudes in pure YangMills and MHV diagrams. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 12 
McNamara S, Papageorgakis C, Ramgoolam S et al. (2006). Finite N effects on the collapse of fuzzy spheres. nameOfConference
Citations: 7 
Brandhuber A, Spence B, Travaglini G (2006). From trees to loops and back. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 24 
Brandhuber A, McNamara S, Spence B et al. (2005). Loop amplitudes in pure YangMills from generalised unitarity. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 49 
Bedford J, Brandhuber A, Spence B et al. (2005). A recursion relation for gravity amplitudes. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 76 
Bedford J, Brandhuber A, Spence B et al. (2005). Nonsupersymmetric loop amplitudes and MHV vertices. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 78 
Bedford J, Brandhuber A, Spence B et al. (2005). A twistor approach to oneloop amplitudes in N=1 supersymmetric YangMills theory. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 80 
Brandhuber A, Spence B, Travaglini G (2005). Oneloop gauge theory amplitudes in N=4 super YangMills from MHV vertices. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 131 
Spence WJ, BRANDHUBER A, Travaglini G et al. (2005). A Twistor Approach to OneLoop Amplitudes in N=1 Supersymmetric YangMills Theory. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 0 
Spence WJ, TRAVAGLINI G, Brandhuber A et al. (2005). A recursion relation for gravity amplitudes. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 0 
Spence WJ, TRAVAGLINI G, Brandhuber A (2005). Oneloop gauge theory amplitudes in N=4 super YangMills from MHV vertices. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 0 
Ramgoolam S, Spence B, Thomas S (2004). Resolving brane collapse with 1/N corrections in nonAbelian DBI. nameOfConference
Citations: 15 
de Medeiros P, Spence B (2003). Fourdimensional topological EinsteinMaxwell gravity. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 4 
de Medeiros P, Hull C, Spence B et al. (2002). Conformal topological YangMills theory and de Sitter holography. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 4 
Hull CM, Papadopoulos G, Spence B (1991). Gauge symmetries for (p, q) supersymmetric sigma models. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 36 
Hull CM, Spence B (1991). The geometry of the gauged sigmamodel with wesszumino term. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 67 
Hull CM, Spence B, VázquezBello JL (1991). The geometry of quantum gauge theories: A superspace formulation of BRST symmetry. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 30 
Hull CM, Spence B (1990). The (2, 0) supersymmetric WessZuminoWitten model. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 20 
Hull CM, Spence B (1990). N = 2 current algebra and coset models. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 33 
Hull CM, Spence B (1989). The gauged nonlinear sigma model with WessZumino term. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 105 
Spence B, Thomas S (1987). Consistency and componentfield structure of gaugeinvariant free open superstrings. nameOfConference
QMRO: qmroHref
Citations: 1
Supervision
Project Title 

Scattering amplitudes and novel approaches to field theory and string theory. 