Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor of Theoretical Physics



+44 (0)20 7594 7574k.christensen Website




Mrs Carolyn Dale +44 (0)20 7594 7579




812Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus





Research interest

Theoretical and numerical aspects of complex systems, addressing the spontaneous emergence of patters and organisation in non-equilibrium systems composed of many interacting entities. My research has often been a integration of theoretical, computational and experimental studies of complex systems involving a rigorous mathematical approach to pioneer new ways of analysing such systems quantitatively. I have been working within the area of complexity science for about 25 years, developing and applying transferable tools and techniques to real world systems in many different contexts: geology (earthquake & reservoir engineering), atmospheric physics (rain), biology (evolution & social insects), sociology (organisational science), medicine (brain & heart) and fire safety (smouldering). In 2005, I co-authored together with Dr. Nicholas Moloney a pedagogical textbook entitled “Complexity and Criticality”.

Keywords: Complexity science, emergent phenomena, self organisation, scale invariance, earthquakes, evolution, networks, atrial fibrillation. 

Higher education

03.1993: Ph.D. degree in Science, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Århus, Denmark.

05.1990: Master in Science, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Århus, Denmark.



Falkenberg McGillivray M, Ford A, Li A, et al., 2019, Unified mechanism of local drivers in a percolation model of atrial fibrillation, Physical Review E, Vol:100, ISSN:2470-0045

Yao Q, Evans TS, Christensen K, 2019, How the network properties of shareholders vary with investor type and country, Plos One, Vol:14, ISSN:1932-6203, Pages:1-19

Franks N, Worley A, Falkenberg McGillivray M, et al., 2019, Digging the optimum pit: antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:286, ISSN:1471-2954

Fernandez-Anez N, Christensen K, Frette V, et al., 2019, Simulation of fingering behavior in smoldering combustion using a cellular automaton, Physical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, Vol:99, ISSN:1539-3755

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