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Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

  • 2015-date: Lucasian Professor of Mathematics
  • 2007-2022: Royal Society Research Professor
  • 1995-2015: 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 recently completed an ERC Advanced Grant called ADNeSP: Active and Driven Systems, Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics.

Prizes and Awards

  • 2021: International Member, US National Academy of Sciences
  • 2019: International Member, US National Academy of Engineering
  • 2016: Bingham Medal, US Society of Rheology
  • 2013: Weissenberg Award, European Society of Rheology
  • 2009: Dirac Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics
  • 2009: Gold Medal, British Society of Rheology
  • 2007: Fellow of the Royal Society (London)
  • 2005: Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • 1996: Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • 1994: Prix Franco-Britannique (Paris Academy of Sciences)
  • 1991: Maxwell Prize and Medal, Institute of Physics


Entropy production and its large deviations in an active lattice gas
T Agranov, ME Cates, RL Jack
– Journal of Statistical Mechanics Theory and Experiment
Getting the most out of maths: How to coordinate mathematical modelling research to support a pandemic, lessons learnt from three initiatives that were part of the COVID-19 response in the UK.
CE Dangerfield, I David Abrahams, C Budd, M Butchers, ME Cates, AR Champneys, CSM Currie, J Enright, JR Gog, A Goriely, T Déirdre Hollingsworth, RB Hoyle, Ini Professional Services, V Isham, J Jordan, MH Kaouri, K Kavoussanakis, J Leeks, PK Maini, C Marr, C Merritt, D Mollison, S Ray, RN Thompson, A Wakefield, D Wasley
– Journal of theoretical biology
The Royal Society RAMP modelling initiative.
GJ Ackland, J Panovska-Griffiths, W Waites, ME Cates
– Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences
Role of initial conditions in $1D$ diffusive systems: compressibility, hyperuniformity and long-term memory
T Banerjee, RL Jack, ME Cates
Power fluctuations in sheared amorphous materials: A minimal model.
T Ekeh, É Fodor, SM Fielding, ME Cates
– Phys Rev E
Rectification in a mixture of active and passive particles subject to a ratchet potential
JF Derivaux, RL Jack, ME Cates
– Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Stochastic Hydrodynamics of Complex Fluids: Discretisation and Entropy Production
ME Cates, É Fodor, T Markovich, C Nardini, E Tjhung
– Entropy
Tracer dynamics in one dimensional gases of active or passive particles
T Banerjee, RL Jack, ME Cates
– Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Bayesian inference across multiple models suggests a strong increase in lethality of COVID-19 in late 2020 in the UK.
P Pietzonka, E Brorson, W Bankes, ME Cates, RL Jack, R Adhikari
– PLoS One
Irreversibility and Biased Ensembles in Active Matter: Insights from Stochastic Thermodynamics
E Fodor, RL Jack, ME Cates
– Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics
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Research Group

Soft Matter




01223 337912