Web address: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~jmjk/
Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 463121
My resesarch focuses on coupled matter-light systems, and on non-equilibrium phase transitions in those systems. Strong coupling between matter and light can be acheived by placing matter in optical cavities, concentrating the electromagnetic field strength and thus the coupling to matter. Examples of this include microcavity polaritons, where photons in a microcavity couple to electronic excitations of solid state systems. This can involve both excitons (bound electron hole pairs) in standard semiconductors, as well as electronic excitations in organic materials. Other examples involve ultracold atoms in optical cavities, or superconducting circuites in microwave resonators.
In all these systems, it is possible to couple together large numbers of interacting systems, and thus to potentially see collective behaviour, such as phase transitions. However, no real physical system can perfectly contain light, and so this collective behaviour is of a new class, phase transitions in open quantum systems, where loss has to be balanced by some form of external pumping.
My current research interest has three main strands:
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