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Fellows Directory

Philip Burke

Philip Burke

Professor Philip Burke CBE FRS


Elected: 1978


Philip Burke made significant contributions to theoretical atomic and molecular physics, especially through his application of computers to physics. He was the first to make a detailed study of resonances in the close coupling equations of electron–atom collision theory, his predictions being later confirmed by experiment. He played a leading role in the developments in the theory of resonances in atomic and molecular processes. He made a pioneering investigation of spin polarisation effects in electron–atom collisions.

Philip contributed substantially to the numerical and computational methods used in the solution of coupled integro-differential equations. He was responsible for developments in the theory of low- and intermediate-energy scattering based upon expansions in correlation functions and pseudo states. He introduced an important new approach in atomic and molecular physics based on nuclear R-matrix theory. He was author or part author of 386 papers and 8 books. He was awarded the Institute of Physics’ Guthrie Medal and Prize (1994) and David Bates Prize (2000), and the APS Will Allis Prize in 2012.

Professor Philip Burke CBE FRS died on 4 June 2019.

Professional positions

Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Physics, Queen's University Belfast

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Computational physics
  • Mathematics
    • Applied mathematics and theoretical physics


Atomic physics, Computational physics

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