Professor Patrick Briddon
Professor of Computational Physics

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7348
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 8180
  • Address: E4.41
    School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    Merz Court
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU, UK


Welcome to my University of Newcastle web page.

I have worked in Newcastle University since 1991 and am the Professor of Computational Physics. I have an active research interest in the application of quantum mechanics to model the properties of materials, including molecules, nano structures, amorphous and crystalline solids. A particular interest is the way in which these materials are modified by the presence of defects.

I am particularly interested in the development of methods in many-electron quantum physics and the ways in which they can be specifically tailored to run on state of the art high performance computing facilities, computers which may contain 1000s of cores. I have served on numerous national committees relating to UK research infrastructure and policy in this area.


1987 BSc Theoretical Physics, University of Exeter, UK.

1990 PhD Theoretical Physics, University of Exeter, UK.


Fellow of the Institute of Physics.


I am the degree programme director for the degrees in physics.

I am the subject leader of physics in the natural science degree.


I am currently on Sabbatical leave at the University of Nantes, France. I am however continuing to read my Newcastle email and responding as usual for this year. I will return to Newcastle in November.

Patrick is a member of the Emerging Technologies and Materials research group.

Research Interests

My work is concerned with the theoretical modelling of the properties of materials, primarily utilising principles techniques such as density functional theory. I am the author of the modelling package AIMPRO modelling program used by my group in Newcastle as well as other groups in the UK and internationally. I am highly involved in high performance computing in the UK and maintain a keen interest in the development and implementation of highly scaling numerical algorithms on massively parallel architectures.

Postgraduate Supervision

I have supervised seven postgraduate students over the last five years. Of these four have been awarded PhD degrees (all of whom currently hold academic or research assistant posts at HE institutes); one is writing up; the others are in their first and second years.


Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Undergraduate Teaching

I have taught the following courses over the last few years:

Molecular modelling — a course taught to final year chemistry students introducing the rudiments of some of the computer modelling techniques used in chemistry.

Vibrations and Waves — a course taught to stage one students introducing the properties of vibrational motion and the propogation of waves.

Solid State Physics — a course taught to final year physics students covering crystallography, a quantum treatment of electrons in solids, phonons and the electron phonon interaction, semiconductor physics.

Computer modelling — a course that examines how some of the important differential equations of mathematical physics can be accuratley and eficiently solved numerically using a computer.

Atomic Physics — a course lookng at the electronic structure of atoms, including the Schrodiunger treatment, fine structure, many electron effects (the Hartree method) and LS coupling.

Staticstical Physics — a course taught to second year physics/natural science students introducing the fundamental principles underpinning this subject.

Quantum Mechanics — a mathematical treatment of many of the fundamental ideas of underpinning quantum theory.

Electromagnetism — a course given to stage 2 physics students introducing the formal structure of this subject up to Maxwell's equations, both in vacuo and in the presence of dielectric and magnetic materials. The solution of these for electromagentic waves in good dielectric and conductors.