Prof Steve Thomas

Prof Steve Thomas

Professor of Theoretical Physics
School of Physics and Astronomy
Queen Mary, University of London
327 Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Telephone: 020 7882 5767
Room: G O Jones 611


I am a member of the Centre for Research in String Theory. My main research interests are in the field of string theory in particular to models of string/particle phenomenology and cosmology. My recent work has included topics such as non-abelian Dirac-Born-Infeld (DBI) theories of coincident D-branes and their application in models of inflationary cosmology; tachyon condensation in multiple unstable D-brane systems and defect formation; particle physics models based on ISS type metastable supersymmetry breaking.


In  the current 2013/14 academic year I am teaching the year 3 B.Sc. module  Quantum Mechanics and Symmetry. In the past I have taught various modules including Mathematical Techniques 1, Mathematical Techniques 3, From Newton to Einstein, Electric and Magnetic Fields and Quantum Mechanics B and Electromagnetic Theory.


1. Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council: Berman, Brandhuber, Ramgoolam, Spence, Thomas. Rolling grant String theory, gauge theory and gravity (2006-2010), £249,800. 
2. European Union, Framework 6, Marie Curie Training and Mobility of Researchers Grant, Superstrings, Theory Group, Department of Physics, Queen Mary, (2004-2008), €259,980 £162,000.


During the summer of 2013 I supervised two internship students who worked on string theory related projects.  One student, Nicola Abrahams from the Univesity of Kent, Canterbury studying for an Astrophysics, was funded by the SEPnet Internship Scheme. The other student, Jon Cheyne, who is currently studying for an MSci in Theoretical Physics in the SPA, was funded by an SPA internship award.

SEPnet internship students presented posters at the annual SEPnet Student Expo, held at the Royal Institution on the 20th November. Over 50 students presented posters covering a wide variety of physics related topics.  Prizes were given for the best posters one of which was awarded to Nicola.  Prizes were presented by the well known writer and broadcaster  Prof. Jim Al-Khalili OBE who also gave a keynote speech.



                                                                                                                                       reproduced by kind permission of Paul Stead Photography                             

Here is pdf of Nicola's poster  entitled 'Elementary Investigations into properties of Strings and D-Branes' 

Here are just a few example of animations produced by Nicola as part of her project. The first shows the motion of a single open string attached to a D-brane. The animation was produced by solving the equations of motion of the string attached to the D-brane, using the MATLAB  software package.  Click on the image to run the animation.


In another animation we see the motion of an open string with its endpoints attached to two different D-branes parallel to one another


In this animation, a closed string is moving vertically upwards as time passes. The animation keeps a 'memory' of the string positions as it moves in time. This allows us to visualise the shape of the surface the string sweeps out during its motion.



This is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.


Most popular publications

Gaugino condensation, moduli potential and supersymmetry breaking in M theory models
Lalak, Zygmunt et al.

DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(97)00784-0

A Three Generation Orbifold Compactified Superstring Model With Realistic Gauge Group
Bailin, David et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B194, page 385-389. Publication year: 1987

DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(87)91069-0

Domain walls in five-dimensional supergravity with nontrivial hypermultiplets
Behrndt, Klaus et al.
JHEP, Volume 0101, page 011. Publication year: 2001

DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2001/01/011

Beyond the standard embedding in M theory on S**1 / Z(2)
Lalak, Zygmunt et al.

DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(99)00136-4

String loop threshold corrections for Z(N) Coxeter orbifolds
Bailin, D. et al.
Mod.Phys.Lett., Volume A9, page 67-80. Publication year: 1994

DOI: 10.1142/S0217732394000083