Patrick Lewis

Patrick Lewis


Originally from Liverpool, I started my undergraduate in Theoretical Physics at the University of Sheffield in 2014. Throughout my degree, I have taken a wide range of mathematics and physics modules, but for a large part of my degree there was a heavy focus on fluid dynamics and quantum field theory. I have taken part in multiple research projects including; researching the effectiveness of visualisation and programming in pedagogy for th education of mathematics and physics, investigating the role of information length in stoachastic quantum mechanical systems, and designing and prototyping reflective materials from cheap comercially available polymers. 

I am the departmental representative for applied postgraduate researchers and so if you have any concerns or questions that you think may be of interest then please send me an email.

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding general fluid instabilities with non-steady background states. Typically, when one performs a linear stability analysis, we perform a fourier decomposition and look for exponentially growing/decaying solutions and solve the resultant eigenvalue problem. This approach is widely used in a variety of fluid dynamics problems and while it is not able to fully predict the onset of instability due to non linear effects it is generally considered to be a useful first step. Often in nature, most dynamical systems, e.g the solar tachocline or the plasma inside nuclear fusion devices, the background state is not often at equilibrium and is governed by a set of time-evolving partial differential equations. I am interested in understanding the resultant instability mechanisms in these types of problems that may ensue before an equilibrium state is reached. The types of systems I am interested in are Rayleigh-Benard convection, the joint instability mechanisms in a sheared current sheet, and magnetic buoyancy instabilities in compressible magnetohydrodynamics. 

Other research interests include:

  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Dynamo theory
  • (non-)rotating convection
  • Planetary core dynamics
  • Computational methods and finite element analysis
  • Grid-based CFD, turbulance, and machine learning


  • MPhys, University of Sheffield