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Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Wolfson Fellow

Prof Gordon Love, B.Sc. Ph.D. F.Inst.P. C. Phys.

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43696
Professor in the Department of Physics
Room number: ocw030
Deputy Head of Faculty (Undergraduate) in the Faculty of Science

(email at

Google Scholar

Publications on Google Scholar.


Conoscopic Image: Lithium Liobate between crossed polarisers

This photo shows a "conoscopic" pattern produced by placing a sampe of lithium niobate between crossed polarizers.

Current Responsibilities 

I am the Deputy Head of the Science Faculty (UG). I deal with many undergraduate matters across the Science Faculty, including Admissions, Programme Development, Appeals and Concessions, and representing the Faculty on Education Committee. I also generally deputize for the PVC-Science on a whole range of issues. During 2016-2017 I have been overseeing the separation of the current School of Engineering and Computing Sciences into two departments. From Aug 2017 I will take over as the Head of the Department of Computer Science.

Recent Roles & Responsibilities

 Deputy Head of the Science Faculty (Undergraduates): 2015 - Present

  • Chair of the HESA Task and Finish Group 2016 - 2017
  • Chair of the MEQ Task and Finish Group 2016 - 2017
  • Chair of the School of Engineering & Computing Sciences Transition Group 2016 -2017

Director of Education (Dept. of Physics): 2012 - 2015

Head of the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation: 2010 - 2014

Career Summary

Durham University

  •  Professor 2011 - Present
  •  Reader 2005 - 2011
  •  Senior Lecturer 2004 - 2005
  •  Lecturer 1997 - 2004

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, & USAF Phillips Laboratory, USA

  • Optical Physicist 1995 - 1997

Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India:

  •  Royal Society Visiting Fellow 1992 – 1993

This photo is from my (old) office in Physics.

Visiting Positions

  •  Epiphany Term 2002: Visiting Position at the Cavendish Astrophysics Group, Cambridge.
  •  Epiphany Term 2007: Visiting Position at UC Berkeley, School of Optometry.
  •  Epiphany Term 2012: Visiting Position at the Medical University of Innsbruck,, Austria



External Appointments

  • External Examiner, University of York, Dept. of Physics, 2016-2020 
  • Council Member, Institute of Physics, 2010-2014
  • Conference Chair, Photon14, Imperial College, London, Sept. 2014 
  • Member, STFC IPS (Innovations Partnership Scheme) Panel, 2010-2013
  • External Examiner for Imperial College’s MSc in Optics and Photonics, 2007-2010
  • Chair of the Institute of Physics’ Optical Group, 2007-2010 (previously Treasurer and ordinary memner).
  • Member of the Royal Society’s International Fellowship Panel, 2007–2010
  • Member the STFC/Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships Panel, 2009-2012
  • Board Member of the European Optical Society, 2006-2010
  • Member of the Institute of Physics’ Group Coordination Committee, 2008-2014
  • Steering Committee & Research Board Member of the Faraday Partnership in Smart Optics, 2001– 2005

Research Interests

My research involves optics and the physics of light. Much of my work has involved adaptive optics which is a technology used in astronomy to improve the performance of large ground telescopes. The technology, like my research, has diversified and is now used in the biosciences, and vision science.

More generally, I am an applied physicist but I work with colleagues in vision science, computer science, and psychology on problems related to 3D displays, the optics of the eye, and computer graphics.

I work in a Group of around 50 people - the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, which is one of the Physics Departments 5 Major Research Groups.

I have a long standing collaboration with Martin Bank's Group at Berkeley, working on 3D displays, acccommodation, and some interesting work on animal eyes.


I have taught a whole range of courses involving optics, astronomy, and electronics. This current year (2016-2017) I teach L1 Classical Mechanics, along with Tom Lancaster. I have taught several external courses (including many years contributing to the SIRA Course on Optical Engineering and Imperial College's Short Course on Adaptive Optics).

I have been an external PhD. examiner at Cambridge (x3), Edith Cowan (Australia), Glasgow (x2), Heriot Watt (x2), Imperial (x4), Kent, Nottingham, Oxford (x2), Sheffield, St. Andrews, TU Delft (NL), TU Denmark, UC Dublin, UCL. 

My competed PhD. students (as primary supervisor) are

This is the "Durham Radio Telescope" on the roof of physics built up by a series of 4th year students working with me.


  • I was originally an undergraduate at Van Mildert College
  • I was a College Tutor at St. Cuthbert's Society from 1993 - 1995
  • I was a College Mentor at Hatfield College from 2008 - 2013
  • I am a visiting fellow at St. Chad's College in 2016/17

Research Groups

Centre for Materials Physics

  • Experimental structure and dynamics of biological soft matter

Department of Biosciences

  • Durham Centre for Bioimaging Technology

Department of Physics

  • Centre for Advanced Instrumentation

Research Interests

  • Vision Science
  • Adaptive Optics
  • Liquid Crystal Technology
  • Computer Graphics
  • Astronomical Instrumentation
  • Biophotonics

Teaching Areas

  • L1 Foundations of Physics: Classical Mechanics I

    (10 hours/year.)


Journal Article

Selected Grants

  • 2015: Telescopic Windows: low vision scope to cloaks (£418041.28 from Epsrc)
  • 2014: Scientific Properties of Complex Knots (£337854.00 from Leverhulme Trust)
  • 2013: A programme of astronomical instrumentation and high energy astrophysics at Durham 2013-2015 (£961829.80 from STFC)
  • 2012: Comfortable stereoscopic displays: A pre-commercial prototype (£19983.00 from Epsrc)