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Professor John Inglesfield

MA, PhD, F.Inst.P

Emeritus Professor

School of Physics and Astronomy


Research interests

I am a theoretical/computational physicist working insolid state and surface physics. My research is into the way electronsbehave, how they influence properties such as the structure of a solidor surface, and how they can be studied using modern spectroscopies. This involves solving Schrodinger's equation for the electrons, and Iinvented the embedding method which enables this equation to besolved in a novel way at surfaces and defects in solids. Withcollaborators in the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Japan, I have studied the way that electrons behave at surfaces with great accuracy, and have explained various experiments based on photoemission, inverse photoemission and the scanning tunneling microscope.

Recently the embedding method was used to calculate the electronic structure and conduction properties of DNA.

In collaboration with colleagues in Spain, I have extended the embedding method to tackle photonics problems, using it both to replace dielectric objects, and extended substrates.

In my retirement I am developing the embedding method to solve the time-dependent Schrodinger equation, so that it can be solved in a limited region of space. I hope to use this to study recent experiments on sub-femtosecond spectroscopies of electrons at surfaces.


I started my research career in Cambridge, in the Theory of Condensed Matter Group, where I did my PhD with Volker Heine as supervisor. After a research fellowship at St John's College I moved to the Daresbury Laboratory in 1976, joining the Theory and Computational Science Division, of which I became head in 1982. I moved to the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) in 1989, as Professor of Electronic Structure of Materials, and finally moved to Cardiff as a professor in 1995. I retired in 2006.

Honours and awards

I am presently a Deputy Editor of Journal of Physics Condensed Matter, and until 2006 was a Principal Editor of Computer Physics Communications. In 2006 I was the chair of the programme committee for the national condensed matter meeting, CMMP06.