Ian Ford's home page


I am a theorist in the Condensed Matter and Materials Physics group (CMMP) in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCL, and a Principal Investigator in the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN). I work on the statistical physics of soft condensed matter, particularly the process of nucleation of molecular clusters. Applications are to be found in the area of aerosol physics (the study of small particles suspended in a gas), and in colloids, which are particles suspended in a liquid phase host, and I have also looked at the conformational and thermodynamic behaviour of complex biological molecules and structures. I have interests in the fundamental nature of entropy production in nonequilibrium processes, including thermal conduction, particle diffusion and dissipative systems in general, both classical and quantum mechanical. In addition, I have worked on topics as diverse as quantum chromodynamics, nuclear reactor safety and financial asset pricing.

I maintain a number of official webpages describing my roles at UCL:

London Centre for Nanotechnology

I have produced an undergraduate textbook, published by Wiley:

Statistical Physics: an Entropic Approach

For supplementary information on this book: click on the entropy hazard warning sign!

Summary of research career

Brief details are to be found here.

Current and former members of my research group:

Hanna Vehkamaki (former Postdoctoral Fellow: Monte Carlo simulations of clusters, development of nucleation theorems)

Michael Knott  (former PhD student: phases of charged colloids)

Jayesh Bhatt (former PhD student: formation and surface chemistry of interstellar dust)

Shahid Hussain (former PhD student: electromagnetic properties of colloids)

Sarah Harris (former Postdoctoral Fellow: molecular dynamics simulations of liquid clusters; protein aggregation)

Sukina Natarajan (former PhD student: freezing processes in the atmosphere)

Sascha Khakshouri (former PhD student: density functional methods in statistical mechanics)

Hoi Yu Tang (former PhD student: stability of molecular clusters)

Christiane Losert-Valiente-Kroon (former PhD student: stochastic description of nucleation processes and chemical reactions)

Richard Spinney (former PhD student: irreversible processes in stochastic dynamics and fluctuation relations)

Hemant Tailor (former PhD student: molecular thermodynamics of DNA and collagen)

Jake Stinson (former PhD student: dynamics and thermodynamics of sulphuric acid/water molecular clusters)

Dino Osmanovic (former PhD student: statistical physics of the nuclear pore complex)

Joel Posthuma de Boer (PhD student based at Imperial College: nucleation and growth of graphene sheets)

Gabriel Lau (PhD student (PhD student based at Imperial College: thermodynamics of droplets)

Peter Bebbington (PhD student: dynamics of price formation in markets)

Claudia Clarke (PhD student: entropy production in a quantum setting)

Daniel Matos (PhD student based at Kings College: entropy production associated with quantum measurement)

Sophia Walls (PhD student: quantum state diffusion and interpretation of quantum mechanics)


I have taught Solid State Physics; liquid state theory; fluid mechanics; stochastic dynamics; and statistical thermodynamics.

I recently taught a fourth year (masters) module: PHAS0061 Advanced Topics in Statistical Mechanics


Downloadable listings