Volker Heine

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Volker Heine
Volker Heine 2012
Born (1930-09-19) September 19, 1930 (age 90)
Hamburg, Germany
Alma materUniversity of Otago
Scientific career
FieldsCondensed matter physics, Materials science
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
Doctoral advisorSir Nevill Mott

Volker Heine FRS (born 19 September 1930 in Hamburg, Germany) is a New Zealand / British physicist. He is married to Daphne and they have three children. Volker Heine is considered a pioneer of theoretical and computational studies of the electronic structure of solids and liquids and the determination of physical properties derived from it.


Volker Heine was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School and the University of Otago (New Zealand). In 1954, he came to Cambridge (UK) on a Shell Post-Graduate Scholarship to do his Ph.D. in physics (1956) as student of Sir Nevill Mott. In the following years he obtained a Fellowship at Clare College and became part of the new theory group in the Cavendish Laboratory and apart from a post-doc year and several sabbaticals and summer visits in the US, he stayed in Cambridge for the remainder of his career. In 1976, Heine became a professor and took over as head of the theory group which was by then called "Theory of Condensed Matter". He held that position until his retirement in 1997.[1]

Volker Heine has been a very active figure in the international scientific community, shaping in particular the landscape of the field of atomistic computer simulations in Europe. He initiated and later led the Psi-k network,[2] a worldwide network of researchers working on the advancement of first-principles computational materials science. Psi-k's mission is to develop fundamental theory, algorithms, and computer codes in order to understand, predict, and design materials properties and functions. Key activities of Psi-k are the organization of conferences, workshops, tutorials and training schools as well as the dissemination of scientific thinking in society.

Volker Heine was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974 and of the American Physical Society in 1987. He was awarded the Maxwell Medal and Prize in 1972, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society (London) in 1993, the Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics in 1994, and the Max Born Prize in 2001. He has been visiting professor at several universities around the world and External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart.


Volker Heine's research essentially covered three areas: (a) Understanding the behavior of materials from the calculation of their electronic structure; (b) Understanding the origin of incommensurately modulated materials; (c) Understanding the structure and properties of minerals from an atomic point of view. His main research topic is electronic structure theory and particularly the development of various fundamental concepts for condensed matter physics. Here, his pioneering work on pseudopotentials[3][4] forms a basis of most presently undertaken electronic structure and total-energy calculations, in particular for semiconductors and so-called sp-bonded metals.[5][6] He also developed the basic description of electron-phonon coupling,[7] and much of our understanding of the structure and atomic relaxation at surfaces was established by Heine.[6] Furthermore, his groundbreaking work on the complex band structure and pioneering ideas in the theory of surface states provides the basis of present-day description and understanding of electronic properties of bulk and interfaces.[8][9][10] This includes the concept of metal-induced gap states at metal-semiconductor heterostructures and the understanding of Schottky barriers.[11] Amongst his seminal contributions are also the formulation of a recursion method for electronic structure studies,[9] a theory of incommensurate structures of polytypes of silicon carbide,[12][13][14] and a model for incommensurate and framework structures of minerals.[15][16][17][18] He studied magnetic properties of solids,[19][20] various aspects of crystal phase transitions e.g.[21][22] and thermal expansion[23] and more. Volker Heine has published more than 200 research papers, several review articles and one text book.[24]


  1. ^ "History of TCM' retrieved 7 August 2016
  2. ^ http://psi-k.net/
  3. ^ “The Pseudopotential Concept”, V. Heine, pages 1-36; “The Fitting of Pseudopotentials to Experimental Data and Their Subsequent Application”, M. L. Cohen and V. Heine, pages 37-248; “Pseudopotential Theory of Cohesion and Structure”, V. Heine and D. Weaire, pages 249-463, in “Solid State Physics”, Academic Press, Volume 24 (1970), p 1-463, Editor(s): Henry Ehrenreich, Frederick Seitz, and David Turnbull
  4. ^ Lin, J. S.; Qteish, A.; Payne, M. C.; Heine, V. (1993-02-15). "Optimized and transferable nonlocal separableab initiopseudopotentials". Physical Review B. American Physical Society (APS). 47 (8): 4174–4180. doi:10.1103/physrevb.47.4174. ISSN 0163-1829.
  5. ^ Heine, Volker (1967-01-15). "s−dInteraction in Transition Metals". Physical Review. American Physical Society (APS). 153 (3): 673–682. doi:10.1103/physrev.153.673. ISSN 0031-899X.
  6. ^ a b Finnis, M W; Heine, V (1974). "Theory of lattice contraction at aluminium surfaces". Journal of Physics F: Metal Physics. IOP Publishing. 4 (3): L37–L41. doi:10.1088/0305-4608/4/3/002. ISSN 0305-4608.
  7. ^ Allen, P B; Heine, V (1976-06-28). "Theory of the temperature dependence of electronic band structures". Journal of Physics C: Solid State Physics. IOP Publishing. 9 (12): 2305–2312. doi:10.1088/0022-3719/9/12/013. ISSN 0022-3719.
  8. ^ Heine, V.; Abarenkov, I. (1964). "A new method for the electronic structure of metals". Philosophical Magazine. Informa UK Limited. 9 (99): 451–465. doi:10.1080/14786436408222957. ISSN 0031-8086.
  9. ^ a b Haydock, R; Heine, V; Kelly, M J (1972-10-17). "Electronic structure based on the local atomic environment for tight-binding bands". Journal of Physics C: Solid State Physics. IOP Publishing. 5 (20): 2845–2858. doi:10.1088/0022-3719/5/20/004. ISSN 0022-3719.; Haydock, R; Heine, V; Kelly, M J (1975-08-21). "Electronic structure based on the local atomic environment for tight-binding bands. II". Journal of Physics C: Solid State Physics. IOP Publishing. 8 (16): 2591–2605. doi:10.1088/0022-3719/8/16/011. ISSN 0022-3719.
  10. ^ Animalu, A. O.E.; Heine, V. (1965). "The screened model potential for 25 elements". Philosophical Magazine. Informa UK Limited. 12 (120): 1249–1270. doi:10.1080/14786436508228674. ISSN 0031-8086.
  11. ^ Heine, Volker (1965-06-14). "Theory of Surface States". Physical Review. American Physical Society (APS). 138 (6A): A1689–A1696. doi:10.1103/physrev.138.a1689. ISSN 0031-899X.
  12. ^ Cheng, C; Needs, R J; Heine, V (1988-02-29). "Inter-layer interactions and the origin of SiC polytypes". Journal of Physics C: Solid State Physics. IOP Publishing. 21 (6): 1049–1063. doi:10.1088/0022-3719/21/6/012. ISSN 0022-3719.
  13. ^ Qteish, A.; Heine, Volker; Needs, R. J. (1992-03-15). "Polarization, band lineups, and stability of SiC polytypes". Physical Review B. American Physical Society (APS). 45 (12): 6534–6542. doi:10.1103/physrevb.45.6534. ISSN 0163-1829.
  14. ^ Heine, Volker; Cheng, Ching; Needs, Richard J. (1991). "The Preference of Silicon Carbide for Growth in the Metastable Cubic Form". Journal of the American Ceramic Society. Wiley. 74 (10): 2630–2633. doi:10.1111/j.1151-2916.1991.tb06811.x. ISSN 0002-7820.
  15. ^ Heine, V; McConnell, J D C (1984-03-10). "The origin of incommensurate structures in insulators". Journal of Physics C: Solid State Physics. IOP Publishing. 17 (7): 1199–1220. doi:10.1088/0022-3719/17/7/014. ISSN 0022-3719.
  16. ^ McConnell, J. Desmond C.; Heine, Volker (1985-05-01). "Incommensurate structure and stability of mullite". Physical Review B. American Physical Society (APS). 31 (9): 6140–6142. doi:10.1103/physrevb.31.6140. ISSN 0163-1829.
  17. ^ Chan, S -K; Heine, V (1973). "Spin density wave and soft phonon mode from nesting Fermi surfaces". Journal of Physics F: Metal Physics. IOP Publishing. 3 (4): 795–809. doi:10.1088/0305-4608/3/4/022. ISSN 0305-4608.
  18. ^ Heine, V.; Van Vechten, J. A. (1976-02-15). "Effect of electron-hole pairs on phonon frequencies in Si related to temperature dependence of band gaps". Physical Review B. American Physical Society (APS). 13 (4): 1622–1626. doi:10.1103/physrevb.13.1622. ISSN 0556-2805.
  19. ^ Heine, V; Samson, J H (1983). "Magnetic, chemical and structural ordering in transition metals". Journal of Physics F: Metal Physics. IOP Publishing. 13 (10): 2155–2168. doi:10.1088/0305-4608/13/10/025. ISSN 0305-4608.
  20. ^ You, M V; Heine, V (1982). "Magnetism in transition metals at finite temperatures. I. Computational model". Journal of Physics F: Metal Physics. IOP Publishing. 12 (1): 177–194. doi:10.1088/0305-4608/12/1/016. ISSN 0305-4608.
  21. ^ Bratkovsky, A M; Marais, S C; Heine, V; Salje, E K H (1994-05-16). "The theory of fluctuations and texture embryos in structural phase transitions mediated by strain". Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. IOP Publishing. 6 (20): 3679–3696. doi:10.1088/0953-8984/6/20/008. ISSN 0953-8984.
  22. ^ Hammonds, Kenton D.; Dove, Martin T.; Giddy, Andrew P.; Heine, Volker; Winkler, Bjoern (1996-10-01). "Rigid-unit phonon modes and structural phase transitions in framework silicates". American Mineralogist. Mineralogical Society of America. 81 (9–10): 1057–1079. doi:10.2138/am-1996-9-1003. ISSN 0003-004X.
  23. ^ Pryde, Alexandra K A; Hammonds, Kenton D; Dove, Martin T; Heine, Volker; Gale, Julian D; Warren, Michele C (1996-12-09). "Origin of the negative thermal expansion in ZrW2O8 and ZrV2O7". Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. IOP Publishing. 8 (50): 10973–10982. doi:10.1088/0953-8984/8/50/023. ISSN 0953-8984.
  24. ^ Heine, Volker (1960). Group theory in quantum mechanics : an introduction to its present usage. London New York: Pergamon Press. ISBN 978-0-08-009242-3. OCLC 534569.

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