Dr Paul G Abel

TF Lecturer in Theoretical Physics. Head of Year 3.

School/Department: Physics & Astronomy, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2069



I completed by MMath degree in Mathematics here at the University of Leicester, in my final year I specialised in General Relativity and Differential Geometry. My Ph.D. was supervised by Prof Derek Raine here in the School of Physics & Astronomy and was concerned with Black Hole Thermodynamics- the quantum processes whereby Black Holes emit radiation.

I’m also involved in a number of outreach activities. From 2008-2012 I co presented the BBC Sky at Night programme alongside Sir Patrick Moore, and I have written a number of books and magazine articles on popular astronomy. I am a keen amateur astronomer and as of July 2019 I became the Mercury and Venus Section director of the British Astronomical Association.


My primary interest is in Black Hole Thermodynamics- this is really the brining together of two theories: Einstein’s general theory of relativity and quantum field theory. This branch of theoretical physics emerged after Hawking’s remarkable result which showed Black Holes radiate at a Hawking Temperature determined by their surface gravity (although Jacob Bekenstein was the first person to suggest that Black Hole’s must have entropy to satisfy the laws of thermodynamics).

My particular areas of interest in this field are:

Quantum Field Theory on curved spacetime backgrounds
Hawking radiation and the trans-Planckian problem
Unitarity in semi-classical gravity
Stability of wormhole solutions.


Recent publications:
""Quantum optics of an oscillator falling into a black hole""
Derek Raine and Paul G Abel, Class. Quantum Grav. 38 025011(2020)

""Vacuum for a massless quantum scalar field outside a collapsing shell in anti-de Sitter space-time""
Paul G. Abel & Elizabeth Winstanley, Gen Relativ Gravit 48, 109 (2016). 


at this time.


I hold a PGCERT in Academic Practice in Higher Education and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2017, I was part of the Natural Sciences team which won a HEA CATE (Collaborative Teaching Excellence Award) .

I am currently teaching the following modules:

PA1720 Mathematical Physics 1.2 (Module Convenor and Unit 2 Complex Numbers)
PA2710 Mathematical Physics 2 (Unit 2 Partial Differential Equations)
PA3250 Mathematical Physics 3 (Module Convenor, Unit 4 Lagrangian & Hamiltonian Dynamics)
PA3604 Elementary Particles: Part 2, The Standard Model and Beyond
PA4609 General Relativity & Quantum Field Theory (Module Convenor)
I also run two 4th year projects in General relativity and Particle Physics, along with a year 3 project on black holes and wormholes.

I am currently Head of Yr 3 and the study abroad tutor for the department.

Press and media

Black Holes Wormholes Amateur Astronomy (astronomical events) Life in the Universe


Member of the British Astronomical Association Director of the Mercury and Venus Section.
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