Christopher L. Henley

Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

I work on several topics, the common thread being geometry. Most of my problems involve nontrivial patterns in space; frequently the problem is to determine the qualitative nature of the ground state (or equilibrium phase).


Teaching: (all current and past courses)

Publications (html links to pdf reprints).

Talks (html links to talks and posters).

Theses (by students since 2000).


Research opportunities: (grad and undergrad) Graduate and Undergraduate .

For a summary of the four areas we do research on, see "Research Interests" , below. I depend partly on undergrad researchers to keep moving in all four areas.

Henley research group members

Group meetings

Currently (fall 2012) only "spins and electrons" group is meeting; quasicrystals and biol. physics only one-on-one meetings. Group meeting days/times are irregular in early fall -- to attend, please contact CLH to get on the email list.

Book in preparation: "States in solids" (advanced sol. state text)


I'm involved in four major research areas. (Look here , for a poster from the Research Opportunities Meeting Nov. 2009, which tells the same story.) My NSF grant supports interacting electron models and frustrated antiferromagnets. My DOE grant supports quasicrystals and biological physics.

1. Quantum electrons on lattices

Typically on the computational-analytic borderline, with a focus on: what are unbiased ways to get information out of the (experimental or numerical) data? There are two threads currently:

Research details: fermions on lattices

2. Frustrated magnetism

This category includes (1) magnetic ordering in frustrated vector antiferromagnets, and (2) the statistical physics of discrete spin models that map to rough interface models (related to conformal field theories).

Research details: highly frustrated magnetism

3. Quasicrystals

Quasicrystals are complex metal alloys with highly ordered, yet non-periodic structures. We want to determine their structure and understand why they form. Thus our work breaks down into (1) atomic structure fitting and structural energies; (2) random tiling ensembles;

Research details: Quasicrystals

5/4/09 QUASICRYSTALS AND COMPLEX ALLOYS: informal symposium

4. Biological physics.

I work on two major topics in biological physics They involve statistical mechanics plus spatial patterning.

Research details: Biological physics.

Past projects

Some of the projects:

I belong to the Cornell Center for Materials Research. I was once active in a research group within the CCMR on "Energetic Surface Processing", which involved models of the growth of crystals by atom deposition.

Research details: past projects

Last modified: Jan. 19, 2010

Christopher L. Henley,