Prof Derek Raine

Centre Associate Director Derek portrait 2014

Telephone: 0116 252 2075






Following my degree in mathematics from Cambridge and my Cambridge PhD in General Relativity I was an IBM research fellow at Oxford where I worked on quantum field theory in curved spacetime backgrounds.

I moved to a lectureship at Leicester where I have worked on various topics in theoretical physics including the structure of active galactic nuclei, the origin of life and social physics.

I was Director of Physics Teaching at Leicester for 10 years during which time I developed a number of student-centred initiatives including research-based and problem-based learning.

I set up the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science in 2004 with external funding from HEFCE and the Institute of Physics to deliver an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree taught by research.

Teaching Qualifications

HEA Principal Fellowship 2015

Teaching Awards

McMaster University, Hooker Distinguished Visiting Fellow 2013
MBE for services to Science Education in HE 2012
Institute of Physics Bragg Prize and Medal (awarded for the development of Physics education) 2006
Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow 2004


ModuleYear Group
Solar and Planetary Sciences First Year
Sustainable Futures A First Year
Sustainable Futures B Second Year
Evolution Third Year
Project Third Year
Science of Complex Systems Fourth Year
Advanced Study Topic Fourth Year
Research Project Fourth Year

Research Interests

Current discipline interests centre on complex systems including the origin of life and social physics.

I also have various pedagogic research projects.

Externally funded Projects include:

FDTL4 grant Problem-Based Learning in Physics and Astronomy 2002-2006 £275K
pCETL, Physics Innovations Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Leicester
2005-2010 £1.25m
HEFCE IOP Stimulating Physics, Interdisciplinary Science programme 2006-2008 £103K
HEFCE IOP Stimulating Physics, Interdisciplinary Science programme 2009 £60K
HEFCE IOP Stimulating Physics, Interdisciplinary Science programme 2009-2011 £350K
HESTEM Concepts in Physics 2011-2012 £60K

as well as ~£100K in various smaller grants.

Current project: Quantum Physics –

Published Resources


  • Black Holes (with E G Thomas, ICP World Scientific, 2004, 155pp 2nd ed. 2009, 198pp, 3rd edition 2014, 254 pp). Newtonian Mechanics (Pantaneto Press, 2013, 287pp)
  • Accretion Power in Astrophysics (with A R King and J Frank, CUP, 1988, 274pp, 2nd ed. 1992, 293pp, 3rd ed. 2002 384pp).
  • An Introduction to the Science of Cosmology, (with E G Thomas, IOP Publishing, 2001, 220pp).
  • Physics to a Degree (with E G Thomas, Gordon & Breach, 2000).
  • The Isotropic Universe (Adam Hilger 1984, 252 pp).
  • The Science of Space Time (with M Heller, Pachart,1980, 244pp).
  • Einstein and Relativity (Priory Press, 1975, 96pp).


Find my full list of publications (including co-author papers) on Google Scholar.


Recent invited presentations include:

PresentationEvent / LocationYear
Interdisciplinary Science Jasper 2014
Scaffolding PBL across the Sciences Galway 2013
Causality and Complexity Krakov 2012
Interdisciplinary Science AAAS, Vancouver 2012
The emergence of Complexity McMaster 2011
Integrated Sciences at the  University of Leicester and beyond Simon Fraser 2011
Changing Boundaries in Science Education PHEC 2011
The IOP “Stimulating Physics”  Initiative EUPEN STEPS2, Lithuania 2007
What is Physics? Spain 2007
Problems and Potential of PBL Postech, Korea 2005
The Physics Environments Bad Honeff 2005

Conferences Organised:

  • Community and Collaboration: GIREP-EPEC-PHEC 2009 Meeting, Leicester
  • Quantum Interactions2013: Leicester Conference
  • Open Questions on the Origin of Life May 2012
  • Annual PBL Workshop, Leicester

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