I entered higher education by a non traditional route as a mature student beginning with the Open University. Having completed 150 CATS of modules, I enrolled at Keele University in 1998 where I undertook my first degree. I graduated dual Honours in Mathematics and Physics with a 2:1. In my final year I won the prize for the best project in Physics. Subsequently I undertook a PhD supervised by Paul Strange where I looked at the modelling of x-ray scattering from rare earth elements. The research was undertaken in collaboration with an experimental group in Grenoble. The theory is underpinned by Relativistic Quantum Mechanics (RQM) and condensed matter theory. I attained my doctorate in 2007.

Since my PhD research I have taught Mathematics and Physics on the Foundation Year (FY) at Keele. My main role is that of module leader for two of the physics modules and I lead the laboratory sessions in all four of the FY physics modules. In addition to this, I am an Academic Mentor to approximately thirty science Foundation Year students each academic year.

When I have time between plumbing, wiring and laying laminate flooring my current interests are in computational chemistry and, Clifford algebras and their use in physics.


Teaching involvement in current modules:

Foundation year modules

  • FYO-00034  Communication Skills for Scientists
  • FYO-00108  Academic Development
  • FYO-00137  Electricity & Electronics (Module Leader)
  • FYO-00138  Quanta, Atoms & Elementary Particles (Module Leader)


Brown, S. D., P. Strange, L. Bouchenoire, B. Zarychta, P. B. J. Thompson, D. Mannix, S. J. Stockton et al. "Dipolar excitations at the L III X-ray absorption edges of the heavy rare-earth metals." Physical review letters 99, no. 24 (2007): 247401.

Aerts, C., Zarychta, B., & Strange, P. (2003). The magnetic field of the one-electron atom. European journal of physics, 24(4), 451.