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Professor Michael Allen


Computer Simulation of Liquids

Michael P. Allen and Dominic J. Tildesley

Second Edition, 640pp

Oxford University Press (June 2017)

Paperback ISBN: 9780198803201Link opens in a new window

Hardback ISBN: 9780198803195Link opens in a new window

Companion websiteLink opens in a new window

I retired in September 2014, and am now an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Bristol University, Department of Physics, while also holding an Emeritus Professor position here at Warwick.

In 2015 I was awarded the Lennard-Jones Prize and Lectureship by the Royal Society of Chemistry Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Group. The Lecture was delivered at the Thermodynamics 2015 Conference in Copenhagen, 15-18 September 2015.

From mid-March to mid-June 2017 I was a visiting professor at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, where I gave a postgraduate course on Computer Simulation of Complex Fluids.

I was a lecturer at the CCP5 Summer School in Durham in 2019 and online in 2021, and will be lecturing again in Durham in July 2022.

Research Interests

I am still research active, even in retirement! My interests lie in computer simulations of condensed matter systems at the molecular level, with most activity focused on liquids and liquid crystals. Here is a videolectureLink opens in a new window taken at a conference in 2010 describing some of this work.

Recent research, with my student Anja Humpert, has looked at the time dependence of nematic liquid crystal director fluctuations at small wave-vector k. We show that the director bend fluctuation is a propagating mode, under suitable conditions. This is in contrast to the generally-accepted picture, which has been around for 40 years, in which the director modes are always believed to be overdamped. This work has appeared in Physical Review Letters and is also available in the WRAP archive. A sketch of the bend mode, and the velocity field to which it couples, is shown below.


Teaching Activities

I have been an external examiner for Physics undergraduate programmes at the Universities of Leeds (2006 – 2010) and Bath (2011 – 2015). Over the years I taught several modules in Physics, some of which are listed below, as well as supervising final year BSc and MPhys projects and holding tutorials for first- and second-year students.

  • PX148 Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity
  • PX261 Mathematical Methods for Physicists II
  • PX366 Statistical Physics
  • PX407 Quantum Physics II
  • PX425 High Performance Computing in Physics
  • PX428 MPhys Laboratory (simulation experiments)
  • Mathematical Methods 404
  • Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics (a postgraduate module)
  • Computer simulation of complex fluids (a postgraduate module)

In the last few years, I employed a new delivery method for my lectures using the Livescribe Pulse Pen, which records what I say and what I write, for later playback by students. The intention was to improve the student experience in mathematically-heavy modules, especially when they come to revise the material. Student feedback was very positive.

Other Activities

I was a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College for 20 years (1994-2000 as a member of the Physics College, 2000-2014 as a member of the consolidated College), but I resigned and am unavailable to referee proposals in the future. I have been a frequent journal article referee for the American Physical Society (Physical Review E, Physical Review Letters etc), the American Institute of Physics (Journal of Chemical Physics) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (Soft Matter, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics), but I am slowly winding down my refereeing activities.

M P Allen photo

Contact Details:

m dot p dot allen at warwick dot ac dot uk

m dot p dot allen at bristol dot ac dot uk 0000-0003-0158-0046


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