Imperial College London

Emeritus Professor Ray Rivers

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Distinguished Research Fellow



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




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. I also have a collaboration with the Technical University of Prague on the relationship between classical and quantum physics from the viewpoint of Koopman and von Neumann.

My work on complexity is largely in collaboration with Tim Evans of the Theoretical Physics Group and the Centre for Complexity Science 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 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 (e.g. Metropolis).

Whereas quantum field theory papers can be found easily on the arXiv, in archaeology our/my papers infrequently 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.



Rivers RJ, Steer DA, Lin C-Y, et al., 2018, When are two fermions a simple boson? New Gross-Pitaevskii actions for cold Fermi condensates, Annals of Physics, Vol:396, ISSN:0003-4916, Pages:495-516


Steer DA, Nicola AG, Rivers RJ, et al., Exploiting duality in a toy model of QCD at non-zero temperature and chemical potential: the massive Thirring model, sine-Gordon model and Coulomb gases

Rivers, RJ, Evans, et al., Dynamic Networks and Hamiltonian Landscapes; a Case Study from the Aegean Bronze Age, Defining Social Complexity: Approaches to Power and Interaction in the Archaeoloical Record, electronic proceedings,, Pages:1-10

Rivers, RJ, Evans, et al., Physical and Relational Networks in the Aegean Bronze Age, European Conference on Complex Systems, ECCS 2006, ECCS, Paris, Pages:1-15

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