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Professor in the Department of Physics104+44 (0) 191 33 43618
Member of Quantum Light and Matter  


Charles Adams was educated at Oulder Hill Community School in Rochdale. He studied Physics at Hertford College, Oxford University. He obtained a Masters by Research from McMaster University in Canada followed by a PhD from Strathclyde University in Glasgow. After post doctoral work in Germany and the US, he began a research group at Durham in October 1995. His main interests are in experimental quantum optics, in particular light-matter interactions in strongly-interacting atomic systems. He was awarded the Thomson medal by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in 2014 and the Holweck Prize by the French Physical Society and IOP in 2020 for pioneering work on quantum optics.

With I. G. Hughes he is author of the optics textbook, Optics f2f.

Research interests

  • Quantum optics

Research groups

  • Quantum Light and Matter

Related Links

Awarded Grants

  • 2019: Electromagnetic Sensing, Imaging and Metrology using Rydberg Atoms(£568448.00 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • 2018: MACQSIMAL: Minature Atomic Vapour Cells Based Quantum Devices for Sensing and Metrology Applications(£428739.58 from Interreg (ERDF) Europe)
  • 2017: Atom-Based Quantum Photonics(£1276337.00 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • 2017: QUARTZ: Quantum teRaherTZ Sensor using rydberg atoms(£165199.00 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • 2015: Rydberg soft matter(£609091.00 from Epsrc)

Esteem Indicators

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Atomic particles: Basic matter: lasers
  • Atomic particles: Basic matter: atoms and light
  • Physics:
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics:


Authored book

  • Adams, C. S. & Hughes, I. G. (2018). Optics f2f. OUP.

Chapter in book

  • Adams, C. S., Jackson, B., Leadbeater, M., McCann, J. F. & Winiecki, T. (2001). Motion of Objects Through Dilute Bose-Einstein Condensates. In Quantized Vortex Dynamics and Superfluid Turbulence. Barenghi, C.F., Donnelly, R.J. & Vinen, W.F. Springer. 571: 307-.

Conference Paper

Conference Proceeding

Journal Article

Supervision students