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Dr Stephen Clark

Dr Stephen Clark

Dr Stephen Clark
MSci, MAST, DPhil / PhD, Postgraduate Diploma

Senior Lecturer

Area of research

Driven Quantum Matter

HH Wills Physics Laboratory,
Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL
(See a map)


Major themes for my research revolve around non-equilibrium phenomena in many-body systems ranging from ultra-cold atoms to strongly correlated electron materials. Specifically, I am interested in:

  • Understanding the nature of entanglement, correlations and quantum mutual information in ground states and thermal states of commonly encountered many-body systems. Such properties have striking and deep connections to the classical simulability of quantum systems.
  • Exploiting and further developing sophisticated tensor network theory techniques for efficiently simulating many-body quantum systems. Currently this most prominently includes the density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) method and its generalization to time-dependent phenomena via the time-evolving block decimation (TEBD) algorithm applicable to 1D systems. A major long term effort to extend the success of these methods to 2D quantum systems is underway.
  • Developing a comprehensive and highly optimised freely available open-source software library for tensor network theory algorithms which can be found at
  • Connecting tensor network theory to enahnce other extremely successful techniques in condensed matter physics, such as variational Monte Carlo and dynamical mean-field theory.
  • Applying these toolbox of methods to strongly driven systems to determine how its properties can be controlled on ultra-short timescales, and on longer timescales if it can be stably pushed into new phases not accessible thermally.
  • Exploring foundational issues regarding quantum theory including non-locality and quantifying quantumness, as well as connections to thermodynamics of small systems and fluctuation relations.


I joined Bristol in September 2018 as a Senior Lecturer in the theory of condensed matter and took over the role as Head of the Theory group. Previously I was a Lecturer at the University of Bath for 3 years, and before that a Senior Scientist at the University of Oxford. I have also held post-doctoral positions at both the University of Oxford and the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. I am currently the vice-chair of the Collaborative Computational Project CCPQ for the study of Quantum dynamics and a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the University of Hamburg.


I currently teach 4th-year Relativistic Field Theory PHYSM3417.

Previously I have taught 2nd year Mathematical Methods and Quantum Mechanics at the University of Oxford, and 4th year Advanced Quantum Mechanics at the University of Bath (a PDF of notes is available here Advanced Quantum Theory).


  • Quantum many-body problems
  • Correlated electron systems
  • Ultra-cold atoms
  • Ultra-fast time-resolved spectroscopy
  • Driven quantum systems

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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