Prof. Graeme Ackland

Chair in Computer Simulation
Research Theme:
Condensed Matter and Photonics
Research Group:
Hard Condensed Matter
Email address:
Telephone number:
+44 (0)131 650 5299
School of Physics and Astronomy, James Clerk Maxwell Building, Peter Guthrie Tait Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FD, United Kingdom

Research interests

Computer simulation and Theoretical Physics applied to many interacting objects.

Molecular dynamics of metals.

Interatomic force model for use in molecular dynamics

Density Functional Theory calculations in materials and planetary science, in particular under high pressure.

Simulations of radiation damage in fusion and fission reactors

Theoretical Ecology - foodwebs and daisyworlds. 

Theoretical prehistoric sociology: development/stability of society, cultural hitchhiking, neolithic transition

Algorithmic non-equilibrium economics - poverty, imperfect information and spatial variation. 

Evolutionary Game Theory, evolution of trust in repeated games.


Theoretical physics is the mainstream course at UoE for students who are more interested in theoratical aspects of physics than experimental one.  It essentially offers the option of taking more formal and mathematical courses, at the expense of laboratory work.

I teach the Junior Honours course in thermodynamics, currently packaged as 50% of the "Thermal Physics" module.  This is the introductory level course in the subject, taking students from heat capacity, bulk modulus to entropy and phase transitions.

I run a very wide range of Intermediate Masters and Senior Honours projects, all of which are unique, feature an as-yet-unsolved physics problem and (therefore) run once only if successful.  Often these lead to refereed journal publications for the student, the most recent such examples being on radiation-resitant steel and on thermodynamics of the sudoku puzzle.

I contribute an annual poultry-related question to physics skills, and have a page of amusing/difficult problems

Research outputs

  1. Formation of H-2-rich iodine-hydrogen compounds at high pressure DOI
    Jack Binns, Philip Dalladay-Simpson, Mengnan Wang, Graeme J. Ackland, Eugene Gregoryanz and Ross T. Howie, Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 97, 2 (2018)
  2. Influence of transition group elements on the stability of the delta- and eta-phase in nickelbase alloys DOI
    Martin Baeker, Joachim Roesler, Tatiana Hentrich and Graeme Ackland, Modelling and simulation in materials science and engineering, 26, 1 (2017)
  3. Stacking Characteristics of Close Packed Materials DOI
    Christian H. Loach and Graeme J. Ackland, Physical Review Letters, 119, 20 (2017)
  4. No experimental Fermi surface measurements have been reported or made on low-temperature martensitic lithium DOI
    Miguel Martinez-Canales, Ingo Loa and Graeme J. Ackland, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114, 42 (2017)
  5. Hydrogenation induced carrier mobility polarity reversal in single layer AlN
    Graeme Ackland and Hongxiang Zong, Physica Status Solidi (RRL) (2017)
  6. When immiscible becomes miscible—Methane in water at high pressures DOI
    Ciprian G. Pruteanu, Graeme J. Ackland, Wilson C. K. Poon and John S. Loveday, Science Advances, 3, 8 (2017)
  7. The role of van der Waals and exchange interactions in high-pressure solid hydrogen DOI
    Sam Azadi and Graeme J. Ackland, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 19, 32 , p. 21829-21839 (2017)
  8. Quantum and isotope effects in lithium metal DOI
    Graeme J. Ackland, Mihindra Dunuwille, Miguel Martinez-Canales, Ingo Loa, Rong Zhang, Stanislav Sinogeikin, Weizhao Cai and Shanti Deemyad, Science, 356, 6344 , p. 1254-1259 (2017)
  9. Origin of the abnormal diffusion of transition metal in rutile DOI
    Graeme Ackland, Linggang Zhu, Qing-Miao Hu, Jian Zhou and Zhimei Sun, Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 95, 245201 (2017)
  10. Infrared Peak Splitting from Phonon Localization in Solid Hydrogen DOI
    Ioan Magdau and Graeme J. Ackland, Physical Review Letters, 118, 14 (2017)
Last updated: 19 Feb 2018 at 21:11