Prof. David S Berman

Professor in Theoretical Physics at Queen Mary College, University of London

Prof. David S Berman

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

E-mail: d.s.berman (at)
Telephone: +44 (0)207 882 5796
Fax: +44 (0)208 981 9465
Office: Physics 230

About me

I am a Professor in Theoretical Physics at Queen Mary University of London. After completing a MPhys. from Manchester and the premier licence at the the Universite Libre de Brussels, I obtained a PhD. from Durham (with a years sejourn at CERN) after which I completed post-doctoral work in Utrecht, Groningen, Jerusalem and Cambridge (I am a member of Clare Hall College). For five years (2002-2007) I was an EPSRC advanced fellow working on the project "Aspects of M-theory Interactions".

My main Queen Mary webpage can be found here.

Research Interests

My main research interests are in M-theory, the nonperturbative version of string theory. The extended objects in M-theory are membranes and five-branes. They are related to strings and D-branes in string theory via dimensional reduction. Over the last few years my research has been devoted to understanding the interactions of these branes. Mainly this is through the studying how membranes end on fivebranes.

My other interests over the years have been varied and include: Holography and the AdS/CFT coresspondence; noncommutative geometry; and S-duality in gauge theories. Recently I have been interested in backgrounds to string theory that are intrinsically stringy in origin and not just solutions to supergravity; these go by the name of T-folds.


I currently teach the third year course Spacetime and Gravity which covers the basics of general relativity for all physics 3rd years.

PhD Studies

If are interested in being a PhD student at Queen Mary in the research areas described above then please feel free to send me an email..


I was organiser of the Isaac Netwon Institute 6 month programme in 2012 "Mathematics and Applications of Branes in String and M-theory".

I was director of the Queen Mary hosted workshop on M-theory and its applications in 2006. This workshop explored new emerging ideas in M-theory.

I am joint organiser of the annual UK meeting on fundamental physics. The website for the 2009 meeting can be found here.

Details for previous meetings can be found for the 2007 event and the 2008 event.

Physics, Art and Media

Wired magazine October 2009

I have over a period of years built up a portfolio of activities, built around the interface of art and physics.

I am director for cultural outreach for the physics department, a website about our projects at the art physics interface is available here.

In 2009, I worked with artist Jordan Wolfson on the Cartier award winning prize piece at the London Frieze Art Fair. This major international award allowed the production an art work placing string theorists in the London Art Fair.

Media relating to the Cartier award is available: Plus, a web based magazine for schools; Wired magazine interview, November Issue 2009 and a report in the Guardian.

I was co-organiser for the physics department's contribution to the bigdraw project. I was also an invited contributor to the Royal Academy 2004 exhibition and have lectured at the Royal College of art as part of the "Again for Tomorrow" exhibition and also at the ICA. In 2008, I curated an exhibition at Clare Hall in Cambridge on "Images in Physics".

Book: An introduction to Branes and M-theory

Book cover

I am under contract with Cambridge University Press to produce a book on Branes and M-theory. This book should be out in 2018.

It will cover all the basics of brane physics from both world volume and spacetime perspectives. The approach will be top down starting with M-theory and making contact to branes in perturbative string theory. Various advanced topics will be included such as recent developments in multiple branes and the use of the fivebrane in deriving results in field theory.