Dr. James M Christian

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. James M Christian

Contact Details

Newton Building - Room 272

Please email to arrange an appointment.


Current positions



Lecturer in Physics (2011–present)

Theoretical photonics and complexity

RCUK Academic Fellow (2006–2011)

Multidisciplinary theory & modelling: nonlinear science

Areas of research

Electromagnetic scattering, Fluid dynamics, Nonlinear optics



Mathematics & Computing (Level 4 – 10/20 credits taught)

Computing for Physics (Level 5 – 10/20 credits taught)

Theoretical Physics II (Level 6 – 10/10 credits taught)

Relativity (Level 6 – 10/10 credits taught)



BSc Level 6

MPhys Levels 5 & 6

MSc/MPhil, PhD



Personal tutor to Level 4 students

Research Interests

Spatial solitons: fundamentals & applications


Geometrical properties of optical beam propagation:

Exact analytical solitons of nonlinear Helmholtz equations

Numerical simulations of Helmholtz solitons

Soliton stability and internal modes

Bistability and multistability

Weakly-nonlinear analyses for Helmholtz equations

Delocalized nonlinear solutions: boundary solitons, cnoidal waves

Vector solitons: coupled equations, exact solutions, stability

Modelling ultranarrow optical beams



Single interfaces: soliton refraction & Goos-Hänchen shifts

Nonlinear surface waves: exact solutions & stability

Solitons in patterned systems: waveguide arrays & photonic crystals

Discrete nonlinear-Schrödinger / nonlinear-Helmholtz equations


Spatiotemporal solitons

Spatially-dispersive systems:

Exact spatiotemporal solitons & stability

Multi-component effects: vector solitons & modulational instabilities

Dissipative solitons: generalized Ginzburg-Landau equations

Spatial and spatiotemporal soliton interactions


Spontaneous pattern formation

Optical reaction-diffusion systems: dispersive & absorptive nonlinearities

Thin-slice geometries: single feedback mirror, ring & Fabry-Pérot cavities

Bulk nonlinear effects: counterpropagating beams, filled ring cavities

Incoherent patterns & video-feedback systems

Modelling global population & information dynamics


Unstable cavity lasers

Kaleidoscope lasers: mode patterns, eigenvalue spectra, convergence

Two-dimensional virtual source (2D-VS) modelling

Role of transverse symmetry and polygonal boundary conditions

Computation of fractal dimension


Fresnel diffraction

Exact mathematical descriptions of Fresnel diffraction patterns:

hard-edge apertures (non-orthogonal edges, arbitrary shapes)

Edge-wave formulations: area- and line-integral representations

Computation of Fresnel patterns


Ultrabroadband multi-frequency Raman generation

Exact solutions of UMRG equations, gain-suppression analyses

Detuning effects (linear and nonlinear)

Computational modelling of transient dynamics

Novel cavity applications:

Ultrashort pulse generation

Spontaneous self-synchronization and mode-locking

Qualifications and Memberships



Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PgCAP)

Undertaken at University of Salford, U.K.(currently enrolled)


PhD in Theoretical and Computational Photonics

Institute for Materials Research, University of Salford, U.K.                        


Physics MPhys. (Integrated) 1st Class Honours,

University of Salford, U.K.

Awarded 2002 School of Sciences Prize for Physics,

Awarded 2001 Head of School Achievement Prize for Physics.

Industrial placement year (07/1999–07/2000)

Plasma Physics Group,

Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, UK.




Associate Member of the Institute of Physics

Quantum Electronics and Photonics (QEP) group