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Physics and Chemistry of Solids

Experimental study of dynamic behaviour at short timescales

Our research group is primarily funded by industry to solve real-world problems arising from an incomplete physical understanding of the response of materials to dynamic stimuli. We have a wide range of interests including both reactive (explosive) and inert materials; materials which may be brittle (diamond), plastic (metals) or visoelastic (polymers); materials that are solids or fluids, or in-between (granular beds). We are interested in the processes that occur when materials are subjected to extreme conditions (pressure, temperature) and are taken beyond the limits of their endurance (yield, fracture, decohesion).

Typically the materials and conditions we wish to study are not readily accessible using off-the-shelf equipment. A large fraction of our effort is devoted to developing novel instrumentation and diagnostic techniques to elucidate the physics of the subjects described above

Contact us

The Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue
United Kingdom


Latest news

Physics at Work 2023

25 September 2023

Each year, the Cavendish Lab hosts around 2,000 14-16 year old students across three days in September, introducing them to a variety of Physics-related careers via a series of talks given by departmental research groups, local companies and others with links to the department. Our research group has been on the presenting...

Summer conference season 2023

12 August 2023

It's the summer vacation. Undergraduate life in Cambridge may be quieter for a few months - giving us a bit more time to get on with our actual research - but it's also the season for conferences We have close links with a number of international researchers; and attending conferences is a great way to present our own work...