William Woodhead

PhD candidate in theoretical physics at the University of Southampton

About me

Hi, my name is William Woodhead and I am a PhD student at the University of Southampton working on aspects of the gauge-gravity duality with my supervisor Prof. Marika Taylor in the Applied Mathematics research group. A list of my publications and research interests can be found below.

Outside of academia, my hobbies include reading (mainly high fantasy), playing PC and board games, photography, cycling, and programming. You can see a mostly up to date list of books that I am reading or have recently read on my Goodreads profile. Similarly you can see a mostly up to date list of what I am playing through my Steam profile. I will not add people that I do not know as friends. Most of my photography is personal and is restricted to my friends via social media, though non-personal photography may appear here in the future.

My interesting in programming comes from both work and leisure. My main programming langauges of choice are Rust, C++, Mathematica, and Haskell. I tend to avoid working in dynamicly or weakly typed languages, or in languges which have significant whitespace. A sample of my non-academic programming is available on my GitHub profile.


Last updated: 7th May 2016

In addition to these publications, I have given the following conference presentations:

  • Renormalized entanglement entropy (presentation). Young Theorists Forum 8. 14th January 2016, Durham University. PDF
  • Holographic renormalized entanglement entropy (poster). Current Themes in Holography: Exact results, applications, extensions and fundamentals. 26th April 2016, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen. PDF

Research interests

I focus on topics of the AdS/CFT correspondence (or the gauge-gravity duality) in applications to problems in condensed matter physics and quantum entanglement. I am interested in the holographic modelling of phenomena seen in the strongly coupled phases of the cuprates, and other metals, such as high Tc superconductors. I am also interested in the formulation of more physically realistic holographic models such as ones capturing momentum dissipation and non-relativistic symmetries such as Lifshitz, Schrödinger, and hyperscaling violating symmetries. I am also interested in the holographic nature of entanglement, specifically the entanglement entropy, its uses as a tool for probing holographic bulks, and as a non-local order parameter in topological phase transitions.


2013 — Current
PhD Mathematics, University of Southampton, Southampton, Hampshire, UK.
Prof. Marika Taylor
2012 — 2013
MMath - Distinciton. Part III of the Mathematical Tripos, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK.
2009 — 2012
BA Mathematics - First Class Honours. Mathematical Tripos, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK.
2007 — 2009
Four As at A-Level in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. St. Mary's Sixth Form College, Blackburn, Lancashire, UK.
2002 — 2007
Five A*s and six As at GCSE including English languauge, Mathematics, and Dual Award Science. Oakhill College, Whalley, Lancashire, UK.