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Fellows Directory

Michael Brown

Credit: Professor Michael Brown

Professor Michael Brown FRS


Elected: 1982


Michael Brown’s studies of the mechanisms of plasticity, creep, fatigue and ductile fracture have injected new ideals into all four fields. He has also conducted pioneering work on the quantitative applications of electron microscopy to the measurement of strain fields at precipitates and dislocations, and the study of energetics and growth kinetics of damage clusters in irradiated materials.

He played a leading role in the development of high-resolution scanning microscopy and in setting up the SuperSTEM laboratory at Daresbury in Cheshire, now an international centre for frontline analytical electron microscopy. He has most recently used concepts of self-organised criticality to calculate the stress required to produce a given strain in a ductile metal, and to show how that relates to the endurance limit in fatigue. His work has influenced thinking wherever deformation of crystals is studied and suggests new alloying strategies to produce fatigue resistance in metals.

Professional positions

Emeritus Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge
Emeritus Fellow, Robinson College, University of Cambridge

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Deformation, dislocations, Scanning transmission electron microscopy