We are a young group funded by the European Research Council, based in the Centre for Light-Matter Interactions (formerly the Centre for Theoretical, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics), School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast. We are a family and diversity friendly group. Join us!
Group leader: Dr Dermot Green
Dermot is a Reader in Theoretical Physics (permanent faculty member) at Queen’s University Belfast, where he holds a European Research Council grant.
He has broad interests in theoretical and computational physics that include:
* Diagrammatic many-body theory
* Theory of positron and positronium interactions with matter
* Theory of atomic and molecular collisions
* Quantum chaos
* Ultra-intense laser plasma interactions/strong-field QED.
Dr Brian Cunningham,
Brian is a lead developer of our EXCITON+ code for positron interactions with molecules and condensed matter. He graduated MSci and PhD from Queen’s University Belfast. He has prior expertise in computational condensed matter physics, notably incorporating vertex corrections in the Questaal code.
PhD student (10/2020 —)
Jack was born and raised in Belfast, graduating 1st class Applied Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s (2020), receiving the William Blair Morton Prize and the Philip Burke Memorial Award. He began his PhD developing theoretical and computational methods for positron-molecule interactions in October 2020. He obtained Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2022.
(PhD student 10/021-)
Sarah graduated 1st-class MSci Theoretical Physics, obtaining the
Raymond Flannery prize (for top student in Applied Mathematics or Theoretical Physics) and the William Blair Morton prize (for best undergraduate research project). She joined the group in Oct 2021. She is a member (PhD representative) of the Institute of Physics Ireland Committee .
Alumni: Research Fellows
Dr Charlie Rawlins
Charlie joined the group following a BSc in nanotechnology and PhD in theoretical physics from Curtin University in Perth, Australia with the theoretical physics group headed by Igor Bray, Alisher Kadyrov and Dmitri Fursa. His thesis concerned positron and positronium scattering on atoms with a focus on anti-hydrogen formation. He has expertise in theoretical atomic physics and positronium. With us he worked on many-body theory for positron-molecule interactions, notably being first-author on a PRL for positron scattering and annihilation in H2, N2 and CH4. He successfully obtained a 4-year position on a US-Ireland project in molecular dynamics at QUB.
Dr Andrew Swann [alumnus / currently a Visting Scholar to the group]
Andrew graduated MSci Mathematics (receiving the Royal Irish Academy “Hamilton Prize” for the best mathematics students in Ireland, in addition to numerous QUB examination prizes) and PhD in Theoretical Atomic Physics from Queen’s. He has expertise in theoretical and computational atomic and molecular physics, including positron and positronium interactions with atoms and molecules. He has made significant contributions to our EXCITON+ code, including developing capability to calculate the Doppler-shifted spectrum of gamma rays emitted during positron annihilation with atomic/molecular electrons (paper in preparation). He also developed our ANTICOOL Monte Carlo code to model positron cooling in the buffer gases N2 and CH4 (used ubiquitously in positron traps) including positron-positron interactions and showing their effect on the positron momentum distribution and cooling dynamics. He is currently undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at QUB to qualify as a Mathematics teacher.
Alumni: PhD graduates
PhD (10/2019 — 12/2024)
Jaroslav obtained a BSc in Physics and Masters degrees in Theoretical physics at the Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. During his PhD he developed ab initio methods for positron-molecule interactions, in particular positron binding to molecules in our EXCITON+ code.
He is now (12/2024-) a postdoc with Prof Lorenz Cederbaum at the University of Heidelberg (Germany).
- Dr David Waide
PhD in Theoretical Physics, graduated 04 July 2023.
Thesis title “Many-body theory of positron interactions with atoms and atomic clusters”. Now a Research Associate in the Electronic Structure Group, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin.
- Dr Chris Emerson: graduated PhD in Pharmacy 2020; primary supervisor Prof. Jonathon Coulter (QUB Pharmacy); second supervisor Dr Dermot Green.
Alumni: MSci Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics students
- 2022/2023: Holly Lavery
- 2022/2023: Martin-Lee Mullan
- 2020/2021: Joshua Morrow
- 2019/2020: Matthew Clark
- 2017/2018: Ryan Duddy
- 2016/2017: Aran O’Hare (Moved to PhD in University College London).
- 2016/2017: Patrick Mullan (Awarded QUB prize for best MSci Physics project, then PhD student at CERN ALPHA/Swansea University in antihydrogen, and now Postdoc at ETH Zurich. Photo of Patrick below from POSMOL 2019, Serbia).
Honorary group members
Radha Green (born 2018)
Oisin Green (born 2019)
Post from 2020: Radha and Oisin are currently developing a theory of everything. Radha has expertise in roaring like lions and dinosaurs. Oisin is conducting numerous thought experiments, and will share his insights when he can talk.
EDIT Summer 2021: Oisin is now speaking! Both are providing much hilarity.
EDIT Summer 2022: Radha and Oisin have a new brother! The hilarity grows!