Imperial College London

Emeritus Professor Ray Rivers

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Distinguished Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 7830r.rivers Website




H/509Huxley BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





I am currently a member of the Theoretical Physics Group and, in addition, a member of the cross-disciplinary Centre for Complexity Science, My current research follows two broad, but very different, paths that reflect this duality: quantum field theory and complex spatial networks.

For the former I use path integral techniques. In particular I am exploiting parallels between the soundcone metrics of Fermi gas condensates and lightcone metrics of astrophysics and relativity in a long-standing collaboration with the National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan and APC, U. of Paris 7.

My work on complexity is in collaboration with Tim Evans of the Theoretical Physics Group and addresses applications and issues in modelling spatial networks, particularly archaeological networks. In this I am part of a loose collaboration incorporating mathematicians, computer scientists and archaeologists (in particular U. of Paris 1 and U. of Toronto). Such network modelling is strongly influenced by that used in contemporary urban planning for transport, commuting and city development. Like astrophysics, archaeology is intrinsically Bayesian although data is very poor. I have been particularly concerned with the limitations of modelling; sensitivity, resilience, the role of contingency, etc. Computationally, the methods are not unlike those used in simulations of lattice field theory.

Whereas quantum field theory papers can be found easily on the arXiv, in archaeology our/my papers are occasionally in journals (e.g. Antiquity) but usually in monographs (sometimes published years after the event). Tim Evans' web page gives access to some of them.



Hsiang J-T, Lee D-S, Lin C-Y, et al., 2015, Quantum sound-cone fluctuations in cold Fermi gases: Phonon propagation, Physical Review A, Vol:91, ISSN:1050-2947

Rivers RJ, Evans TS, 2014, New approaches to Archaic Greek settlement structure, Les Nouvelles De L'archéologie, ISSN:0242-7702, Pages:21-27

Hsiang J-T, Lin C-Y, Lee D-S, et al., 2013, The role of causality in tunable Fermi gas condensates, Journal of Physics-condensed Matter, Vol:25, ISSN:0953-8984

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