Professor Mike Cates


  • 2015-date: Lucasian Professor of Mathematics and Royal Society Research Professor
  • 2007-2015: Professor of Natural Philosophy and Royal Society Research Professor, University of Edinburgh
  • 1995-2007: Professor of Natural Philosophy, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh
  • 1992-1995: University Lecturer, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1989-1992: University Assistant Lecturer, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1988-1989: Royal Society University Research Fellow, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1985-1995: Junior Research Fellow (1985-1989), Teaching Fellow (1990-1995), Trinity College Cambridge


Mike is a member of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. He heads the Soft Matter research group. His current research interests include: flow of colloids, polymers, emulsions, gels and other soft materials; shear-thickening and rheology in dense suspensions; dynamics of soft glasses; flow of liquid crystals; general theories of active matter; cellular locomotion; phase ordering in active and passive systems; statistical mechanics of active particles; and numerous other topics. He currently holds an ERC Advanced Grant called ADNeSP: Active and Driven Systems, Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics.

Selected Publications

  • A. P. Solon et al, Pressure is not a state function for generic active fluids, Nature Physics 11, 673 (2015)
  • A. P. Solon et al, Pressure and phase equilibria in interacting active Brownian spheres. Physical Review Letters 11, 198301 (2015)
  • E. Tjhung et al, A minimal physical model captures the shapes of crawling cells, Nature Communications 6, 5420 (2015)
  • R. Wittkowski et al, Scalar phi-4 field theory for active-particle phase separation, Nature Communications 5, 4351 (2014)
  • K. Stratford et al, Self-assembly of colloid-cholesteric composites provides a possible route to switchable optical materials, Nature Communications 5, 3954 (2014)
  • M. Wyart and M. E. Cates, Discontinuous shear thickening without inertia in dense non-Brownian suspensions, Physical Review Letters 112, 098302 (2014)