Lesley Cohen (physicist)

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Lesley Cohen

Lesley Francis Cohen
Alma materBedford College, London (BSc)
University of Cambridge (PhD)
AwardsRoyal Society University Research Fellowship (1993)
Scientific career
FieldsSolid state physics
Magnetic Materials
InstitutionsImperial College London
ThesisMicrowave investigation of Josephson tunnel junctions. (1988)
InfluencedJess Wade

Lesley Francis Cohen FInstP is a Professor of solid-state physics at Imperial College London.[1][2] She works in magnetic materials for solid-state magnetic refrigeration and spintronic applications. Cohen has served as the editor-in-chief of Applied Physics Letters since 2019.[3]


Cohen completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics at Bedford College, London in 1983.[3] She moved to the University of Cambridge to where she was awarded a PhD in 1988 for microwave investigations into superconductivity.[4][5]

Research and career[edit]

After her PhD, she joined Polytechnic University of New York as a postdoctoral research fellow in 1988 and was appointed Assistant Professor in 1989.[5] Cohen first joined Imperial College London in 1993 funded by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.[6] She became a Reader in Solid State in 2003 and a Professor in 2006.[5] Between 2008 - 2013, she was Head of Solid State Physics, one of the largest research groups at Imperial.[7] Cohen is interested in alternatives to standard models of refrigeration, using magnetic materials.[8] Magnetic refrigeration could provide a "green" alternative to traditional fridges, using 20 - 30% less energy.[9] In 2009 her group uncovered the mechanism behind cooling crystals, known as the magnetocaloric effect.[10][11][12]

She is co-investigator the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Research Programme on Nanoplasmonics Reactive Plasmonics.[13]

In 2014 Cohen arranged a Royal Society two-day residential conference on Emergence of new exotic states at interfaces with superconductors.[14] In 2016 she took part in another two-day discussion at the Royal Society, Taking the temperature of phase transitions in cool materials.[15][16] She is consul for the faculty of Natural Sciences.[17]

Her recent[when?] work focuses on exotic properties that occur at interfaces between thin films, at crystallographic boundaries and at vertices in honeycomb structures, working closely with Will R. Branford.[18][19]

Support for women in science[edit]

As well as being a prominent voice for early career researchers and postgraduates, Cohen is a passionate campaigner for women in physics.[20] In 1996 Cohen created a booklet, Voices from Women in Science, which led to a number of opportunities promoting diversity at Imperial College London.[21] She sits on the Department of Physics Juno committee, which writes the Athena SWAN and Juno applications.[6] Under her leadership, the department was awarded Juno Champion status and Athena SWAN Silver Awards.[6] She is Imperial College's Academic Ambassador for Women and chair of the Committee for Academic Women.[22] In 2013 she was the inaugural winner of Imperial College London Julia Higgins medal.[23]


  1. ^ Templeton, Alan; Wang, Xiaoru; Penn, Stuart J.; Webb, Stephen J.; Cohen, Lesley F.; Alford, Neil McN. (2000). "Microwave Dielectric Loss of Titanium Oxide". Journal of the American Ceramic Society. 83 (1): 95–100. doi:10.1111/j.1151-2916.2000.tb01154.x. ISSN 0002-7820.
  2. ^ Yates, Karen A.; Cohen, Lesley F. (2018). "Andreev reflection spectroscopy in transition metal oxides". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 376 (2125): 20150001. Bibcode:2018RSPTA.37650001Y. doi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0001. ISSN 1364-503X. PMC 6030146. PMID 29941621.
  3. ^ a b "Prof. LESLEY FRANCIS COHEN D.Phil., C.Phys., F. Inst.P., FCGI" (DOC). Imperial.ac.uk. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  4. ^ Cohen, Lesley Francis (1988). Microwave investigation of Josephson tunnel junctions. Cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.278295.
  5. ^ a b c "Home - Professor Lesley F Cohen". Imperial.ac.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  6. ^ a b c "Juno Committee". Imperial.ac.uk. Imperial College London. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  7. ^ "Prof Lesley Cohen New Head of Experimental Solid States Group". Imperial College London. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  8. ^ "New methods of refrigeration". Abc.net.au. 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  9. ^ "Researchers closer to the ultimate green 'fridge magnet'". Imperial.ac.uk. Imperial College London. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  10. ^ "Scientist uncover key mechanism in magnetic cooling crystals". Electronicsweekly.com. Electronics Weekly. 2009-05-21. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  11. ^ "European Commission : CORDIS : News and Events : Magnets key to next generation of energy-saving white goods". Cordis.europa.eu. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  12. ^ "Magnetic Refrigeration FTW!". Anandtech.com. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  13. ^ "Professor Lesley Cohen - Reactive Plasmonics". Reactiveplasmonics.org. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  14. ^ "Emergence of new exotic states at interfaces with superconductors". Royalsociety.org. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  15. ^ Mathur, Neil D.; Moya, Xavier (2016). "Taking the temperature of phase transitions in cool materials". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A. 374 (2074): 20150314. Bibcode:2016RSPTA.37450314M. doi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0314. PMC 4938073. PMID 27402926.
  16. ^ "Committee Members | Research groups". Imperial.ac.uk. Imperial College London. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  17. ^ "Academic and research staff | Research groups". Imperial.ac.uk. Imperial College London. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  18. ^ Dunning, Hayley. "New way to write magnetic info could pave the way for hardware neural networks". Imperial.ac.uk. Imperial College London. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  19. ^ Gartside, Jack C.; Arroo, Daan M.; Burn, David M.; Bemmer, Victoria L.; Moskalenko, Andy; Cohen, Lesley F.; Branford, Will R. (2018). "Realization of ground state in artificial kagome spin ice via topological defect-driven magnetic writing". Nature Nanotechnology. 13 (1): 53–58. arXiv:1704.07439. Bibcode:2018NatNa..13...53G. doi:10.1038/s41565-017-0002-1. ISSN 1748-3395. PMID 29158603. S2CID 119338468.
  20. ^ "Anger grows as 1,000 engineering and physical sciences PhDs slashed". Timeshighereducation.com. Times Higher Education. 2011-08-04. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  21. ^ Anon. "Four new members have joined the Institute's Council". Iop.org. Institute of Physics. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  22. ^ "Postgraduate Contacts". Imperial.ac.uk. Imperial College London. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  23. ^ "Julia Higgins Medal and Awards". Imperial.ac.uk. Imperial College London. Retrieved 2018-01-25.