Condensed Matter Physics

Condensed matter physics is the study of the physics of solids and liquid phases, with a focus on electronic properties and on phenomena that arise from quantum mechanical interactions. It is a search for simplicity and quantitative precision in very complicated systems of ~1023 particles.

In this group, we perform experiments on superconductors, quantum magnets, and other correlated-electron materials.

Studentships: University of Birmingham - Find a PhD

Master's students: We offer a range of year-4 projects, including materials synthesis, in-house measurement, measurement at large facilities, and apparatus design. Get in touch or consult the Y4 projects list if you are interested.

Birmingham has a long history of superconductivity research extending back to the formation of the Condensed Matter Group by Prof. W. F. Vinen, FRS in 1962. Early research was strongly focused on the magnetic, ultrasonic and thermal properties of very clean niobium single crystals. After the discovery of high-temperature superconductors in 1986/7, the group were the first to demonstrate a high-Tc SQUID using granular ceramic material, and the first to demonstrate that electrons are paired in the high-Tc superconductors.

At present, we have four active research groups. The Hicks group specialises in strain-tuning of correlated electron physics, and precision instrumentation generally. The Jeong group researches quantum magnetism, especially through use of nuclear magnetic resonance. The Coak group focusses on tuning 2D magnetic materials with strong electron correlations with extreme pressures. The Marković group studies the electronic structure and its tunability in novel phases of quantum materials.

Group members


Dr Clifford Hicks in labDr Clifford Hicks
Reader in Condensed Matter Physics, Head of Group
Find out more: The Hicks Group
Dr Mingee Chung (Minki Jeong)
Associate Professor
Find out more: The Jeong Group
Matthew CoakDr Matthew Coak
Assistant Professor
Find out more: The Coak Group
Dr Igor MarkovićDr Igor Marković
Assistant Professor in Condensed Matter Physics
Find out more: The Marković Group
ColcloughMarkDr Mark  S. Colclough
Senior Lecturer and Director of Learning and Teaching Laboratory

Postdoctoral research assistants

Aly AbdeldaimAly Abdeldaim
Research Fellow

PhD students

  • Felix Baylis
  • Thomas Brogan
  • Nina Stilkerich (TU Dresden)

Emeritus faculty

Ted ForganProfessor Ted (Edward M.) Forgan
Professor Emeritus
Research: neutron scattering and muon spin rotation
Find out more: Professor Ted Forgan research summary
C GoughProfessor Colin Gough
muirhead-cDr Chris Muirhead
A.I.M. RaeDr A. I. M. Rae