Dr Ben King

Dr Ben King

Lecturer in Theoretical Physics

School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


Lecturer and researcher in theoretical physics.

My lecturing is centred around applied mathematics, in particular classical mechanics, ODEs, vector calculus and computational mathematics. I teach modules in the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics, and in the School of Mechanical and Marine Engineering.

My research is focused on strong-field QED. This involves the study of light and charged particles in extremely intense electromagnetic fields such as one would find in the most intense laser pulses or in the very strong fields of magnetised neutron stars.


Doktor der Naturwissenschaften (Dr. rer. nat.)
Universität Heidelberg (2010)

Master in Science: Physics with Theoretical Physics
Imperial College London (2006)

Teaching interests

MATH3606 - Classical and Quantum Mechanics (Lecturer)

This module introduces advanced classical mechanics and the key ideas of quantum mechanics to students with a mathematics background. An overarching theme will be the key role of symmetry, both for classical motion and quantum behaviour.

MATH2604 - Mathematical Methods and Applications (Module Leader)

Vector calculus is extended to higher dimensions and applied to a range of important scientific problems primarily from classical mechanics and cosmology. Differential and integral calculus is applied to the solution of differential equations and the orthogonal functions bases are constructed. The crucial mathematical concepts of integral transforms (Fourier and Laplace) and Fourier series are introduced.

MATH257 - Computer Aided Mathematics (Module Leader)

Students will be taught advanced mathematical techniques and their application using the MATLAB computer software package to solve engineering mathematics problems. The module will also introduce the students to the theoretical fundamentals of finite element analysis.

Research interests

Strong-field Quantum Electrodynamics:
- Pair-creation and nonlinear Compton scattering in laser backgrounds
- Electromagnetic cascades in external fields
- Real photon-photon scattering
- Methodologies for computational simulation

When electromagnetic fields become very strong, calculations become difficult as the standard method of using perturbation theory can no longer be used and the processes are therefore more difficult to describe. However it also means that new and interesting phenomena can emerge, such as light-by-light scattering, which is forbidden classically. It is also thought that studying strong-field processes can help solve difficult outstanding problems in QCD (Quantum Chromodynamics) and Cosmology. The next generation of forthcoming laser facilities are hoped to be able to finally probe strong-field QED processes.

I am a member of the Centre for Mathematical Sciences

A list of my published research can be found at the following pages:

Google Scholar Citations

Reports & invited lectures

21/12/2016    "Vacuum birefringence in high-energy laser-electron collisions",     UK High Power Laser Christmas Meeting, Abingdon, UK
16/11/2016    "Strong-Field QED in High-Power Lasers",     Helmholtz Institute, Jena, Germany
13/07/2016    "Beyond Volkov: Solving the Second-Order Klein-Gordon Equation",     LPHYS' 16, Yerevan, Armenia
30/05/2016    "Strong laser particle physics",     CARDC (Chinese Aerodynamic Research and Development Center), Mianyang, China
16/12/2015    "Shock wave and high harmonic generation in the vacuum plasma",     UK High Power Laser Christmas Meeting, Abingdon, UK
25/11/2015    "Laser-based strong-field QED (under construction)",     Plasma Seminar, Imperial College London, UK
14/09/2015    "High intensity lasers & strong-field QED",     Oxcheds seminar, AWE, UK
24/08/2015    "Vacuum high-harmonic generation in the shock regime and photon-photon scattering dynamics",     LPHYS' 15, Shanghai, China
17/08/2015    "High intensity lasers & strong-field QED",     CAEP, Mianyang, China
22/07/2015    "Vacuum high harmonic generation in the shock regime",     EXHILP 15, Heidelberg, Germany
08/05/2015    "What's so anomalous about anomalous x-ray pulsars?",     Plymouth Astronomical Society, Plymouth
27/04/2015    "Strong-field QED & high intensity lasers",     Atomic and Laser Physics Seminar, University of Oxford, UK
22/04/2015    "Vacuum high harmonic generation in the shock regime",     Theoretical Physics Seminar, Plymouth University, UK
15/04/2015    "Vacuum high harmonic generation in the shock regime",     Chalmers, Gothenburg, Sweden