Research topics in theoretical physics

in the Department of Physics at Stellenbosch University

Please contact individual members through the links or information given. Note that for e-mails: "etc."="sun.ac.za".

Solitons in field theory

Configurations with localized energy-densities (solitons) emerge in almost any non-linear field theory. Solitons have particle properties. So we use solitons, for example, to study baryon properties that (so far) evade direct computation from QCD. Also, solitons can induce sizable corrections to energies on the quantum level. We compute these corrections in field theories like the standard model. In particular we ask whether these energy corrections can stabilize solitons that would be unstable classically.
See also: home page
Prof. Herbert Weigel.

Quantum phase transitions and exceptional points

Exceptional points are singularities (usually of the square root type) of spectrum and eigenstates when they are continued into the complex plane of, for instance, a strength parameter. Their proximity to the real axis plays a crucial role in quantum phase transitions as well as in quantum chaos. Another pertinent aspect is the chiral behaviour of the wave functions at an individual EP.
See also: home page
Prof. Dieter Heiss.

Multiparticle correlations, point processes, random multiplicative processes, Bayesian physics

See also: home page
Prof. Hans Eggers.

Condensed Matter Physics

Dr Hannes Kriel.

Soft Condensed Matter Physics and Physics in Biological Systems

We specialise in understanding polymer and filament networks, active systems and physics of structures at cellular and sub-cellular length-scales. A variety of analytical and computational tools are used, and close relationships exist with other experimental groups.
Please see: home page
Prof. Kristian Müller-Nedebock.

At the National Institute for Theoretical Physics

  • Dr Fabio Cinti
  • Prof. Michael Kastner
  • Prof. Frikkie Scholtz
  • Prof. Hugo Touchette

Please see the pages of The National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP) for details of the research of theses theorists working in Stellenbosch.

Theorists or theorists-cum-experimentalists in other groups in the Department

  • Dr Hermann Uys
  • Prof. Brandon van der Ventel
  • Prof. Shaun Wyngaardt

Please see the pages of The Department of Physics for details of these theorists working in Stellenbosch.