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Department of Physics

Staff profile

Prof Martyn Chamberlain, MA DPhil F Inst P

Emeritus Professor in the Department of Physics
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42400
Room number: ECS497

Contact Prof Martyn Chamberlain (email at


Responsibilities within department

I am a part-time (50%) staff member in the Physics Department and also Master of Grey College ( I am currently the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Biophysical Sciences Institute ( and Acting Director.

Teaching activity

I currently teach one major second level course on Thermodynamics and Statistcal Mechanics (Phys2531). I also tutor level four students and supervise fourth level projects.

Research interests

*The applicable physics of terahertz frequency radiation* My research has pursued a number of interleaving paths on the borders of physics and its applications in electronic engineering, medicine and biology. A common theme in much of this work over forty years has been the generation, manipulation and use of radiation in the terahertz (THz) frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This much-underemployed part of the spectrum, which stands at the “boundary of radio-waves and light”, is only now realising its potential following recent developments in sources and other components. The useful properties of THz radiation are: it is non-ionising (unlike X-rays), and thus intrinsically safe; many visually opaque materials (such as wood, plastics, and ceramics) are transparent to THz; THz radiation provides a means of identification of specific materials, including biomedical materials such as DNA. This is because molecules (including biomolecules) rotate, vibrate or rock in this frequency range; and finally, because THz radiation also provides important “quality control” information on semiconductors and metals. In consequence, it is now possible to build systems that will: image cancers; detect small amounts of explosives or drugs secreted on a human body; sense mutations in small amounts of DNA without chemically interfering with the sample; determine the thickness of pharmaceuticals coatings; and locate defects inside non-metallic structures For many years, I have been active in a number of major European THz Research Projects. If you would like to find out more about THz radiation and its uses, please look at the TeraNova website

Research Groups

Centre for Materials Physics

  • Terahertz Photonics


Books: sections

Edited works: conference proceedings

Journal papers: academic

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