Professor Ifan Hughes

Elected: 2020

Area(s): Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine & Mathematics

Specialist Subject(s): Physics, Physics - Atomic

Professor of Physics, University of Durham

Originally from Ynys Hir, Ifan attended Ysgol y Bryn Cwmllynfell and Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera.  He studied physics at Imperial College London, and obtained a DPhil at Oxford University.  Following periods as a post doctoral research assistant at Yale and Sussex he was appointed at Durham in 1999. He is a professor in the Quantum Light and Matter research group.

Ifan has made significant research contributions to four distinct fields of atomic physics: magnetic atom optics, spectroscopy for laser stabilization, quantitative atom-light interactions, and laser spectroscopy in large magnetic fields.  His studies of the spectroscopy of thermal-vapours have repeatedly shown that rigorous and quantitative analysis can expose a rich set of unexpected and potentially useful phenomena and techniques.

Ifan has co-authored two books that straddle his research and teaching activities:

Measurements and Their Uncertainties (OUP 2010) and Optics f2f (OUP 2019).

He has taken part in numerous outreach activities to explain his research and the mysteries of the quantum world, and was instrumental in establishing Durham University’s successful Saturday Morning Science outreach programme.