Dr. Martin Weigel

Martin Weigel studied physics, philosophy and economics at Mainz University. After earning his PhD in physics from the University of Leipzig working on the dynamical triangulations approach to quantum gravity, he went to the University of Waterloo, Canada as a postdoctoral fellow to work on disordered spin systems using methods of combinatorial and heuristic global optimization.

Starting in 2005, he spent two years at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, with an Individual Marie Curie Fellowship of the European Commission to continue his work on quantum gravity. In 2008 Martin won a bid for a prestigious Emmy Noether Research Group of the German Physical Society working on disordered systems which he established in Mainz. In 2011, he was appointed a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at Coventry University. Since 2013, he has been a Reader in Theoretical Physics.

  • Simulating spin models on GPU: We use the massively parallel architecture provided by recent graphics processing units to perform simulations of lattice spin models relevant to phase transitions in magnetic systems up to three orders of magnitude faster than on conventional CPUs. 
  • Regular packings on periodic lattices: Packing problems are of paramount importance as abstract problems in mathematics as well as very practical tasks in engineering and everyday life. We consider packings on lattices and study analytically and numerically the close packing of non-spherical bodies. 
  • Spin glasses and random-field systems: Spin glasses and random-field systems are models of disordered media with often highly counter-intuitive properties and an enormous number of experimental realisations in condensed matter physics, including highly frustrated magnets, superfluid helium, amorphous solids and ferroelectric materials. We analyse these systems with cutting-edge simulational techniques and analytical approximations. 
  • Goal statistics in ball sports: Analyzing football score data with statistical techniques, we investigate how the not purely random, but highly co-operative nature of the game is reflected in averaged properties such as the probability distributions of scored goals for the home and away teams. We are able to show that effects of positive feedback (football fever) lead to non-Poissonian goal distributions. 
  • Combinatorial and heuristic global optimisation: A wide range of problems in statistical physics are related to combinatorial optimisation problems. This includes finding the ground states of spin systems, the folding of proteins or the determination of minimum-energy line configurations in superconductors. We use polynomial-time algorithms or stochastic approximation schemes to attack these problems.
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021