Department of Physics

Dr Stephen Clark


Office: 3W2.2a
Tel: +44(0)1225 38 4539


Dr Stephen Clark

Biographical information

  • Lecturer in Physics, University of Bath,  September 2015 -
  • Visiting Research Scientist, Max Planck Research Department for Structural Dynamics, University of Hamburg, Germany, February 2014–
  • Senior Scientist, Atomic and Laser Physics Department, University of Oxford, March 2014 - September 2015
  • Career Development Fellow, Keble College, University of Oxford, October 2013 - September 2015
  • Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore, January 2013 - March 2014
  • Research Fellow and Tutor, Keble College University of Oxford, October 2009 - October 2013
  • Research Fellow, Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore, April 2009 - March 2014
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Atomic and Laser Physics Department, University of Oxford, October 2007 - April 2009
  • PGDipLATHE (Oxford) 2011
  • DPhil (Oxford) 2007
  • MASt (Cambridge) 2003
  • MPhys (Bristol) 2002

Research interests

My research interests are pretty much anything with the word 'quantum' attached to it, like quantum computation, quantum materials, quantum simulation, and so on. While I have been known to flirt with foundational issues on occasion, my main focus is increasingly grounded in trying to exploit various quantum phenomena in technology.

Tensor network theory

A major research theme of mine is understanding the nature of entanglement, correlations and quantum mutual information in ground states and thermal states of commonly encountered many-body systems with striking and deep connections to their classical simulability. This has mainly involved exploiting and further developing sophisticated tensor network theory (TNT) techniques for efficiently simulating many-body quantum systems.

Currently this most prominently includes the density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) method and its generalization to time-dependent phenomena via the time-evolving block decimation (TEBD) algorithm applicable to 1D systems. A major long-term effort to extend the success of these methods to 2D quantum lattice systems is underway. Other goals are to eventually connecting tensor network theory to other extremely successful techniques in condensed matter physics such as density functional theory (DFT) and dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT).

Driven condensed matter systems

The second major theme of my research is the application of the above numerical methods to driven condensed matter systems. Strong periodic driving of a system has been long known to dramatically alter the behaviour of a system.

The classic example is the Kaptiza pendulum where vertically shaking the pivot point of a pendulum very fast can make the inverted position a dynamically stable configuration. Can we do the same for strongly-correlated electron systems? If we drive molecular or lattice distortions strongly can we stabilise desired forms of order in a material or even cause new phases of matter to emerge which are not possible in equilibrium? If we can then this may permit the controlled manipulation of material properties giving quantum enhanced functionality.


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