Quantum & Soft Matter

Our aim is to find and understand new phenomena of quantum and classical matter. We study soft materials like liquid crystals and colloids, as well as solid matter ranging from superconductors to insulators. We are particularly interested in systems that show a large response to small perturbations. These are often found close to phase transitions and out of equilibrium.

Electron momentum density

Light Furnace for growing crystals at 2100°C

Dodecane microdroplets

Our research contributes insight to many emergent phenomena like superconductivity at the boarder of quantum magnetism and glass formation in colloids. We specialise in the following eight research areas:

Theme Lead

Dr Sven Friedemann

World class research

The theme is world-renowned for its research on high-temperature superconductivity, electrodeposition and glasses and its researchers have won many awards, including the Mott Prize which was won by Professor Stephen Hayden.

Postgraduate opportunities

We have a range of MSc and PhD research projects from high-temperature superconductivity via low-temperature magnetism to complex glasses. To see a list of our projects and for information about funding and how to apply, click here


For over ten years the theme has organised and hosted the Frontiers in Condensed Matter Physics Conference, which brings together 150 researchers from across the UK.


Members of the theme contribute to teaching within the School at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, for instance the third year Solid State Physics unit and the fourth year Magnetism and Superconductivity unit, as well as advanced courses on the Centre for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics.
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