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Fellows Directory

David Sherrington

Credit: University of Oxford

Professor David Sherrington FRS


Elected: 1994


David Sherrington has made many innovative and influential contributions to the theory of condensed matter in several different areas. Particularly notable has been his extensive work on complex cooperative behaviour arising from the combination of quenched disorder and frustration in the controlling rules: in spin glasses, hard optimisation, and neural networks. His work sparked a conceptual and technical revolution in statistical mechanics and he has played a major role in its development and application. He has also made important advances in several other areas, including magnetism, semiconductors, and many aspects of formal and applied many-body theory.

He was Wykeham Professor of Physics at Oxford University 1989-2008 and is now emeritus.  Previously he was on the faculty at Manchester and Imperial College, with spells at University of California, IBM, Schlumberger-Doll, Institute Laue Langevin (Grenoble) and Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is an External Professor at Santa Fe Institute.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Complex systems, Cooperative phenomena, Disorded systems, Many-body systems, Phase transitions, Spin glasses