Dr Steve Thornborough

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Research Fellow



I'm Steve, a physicist specialising in fluids, high-speed imaging, and superconductivity.
I'm particularly focused on apparatus and experimental design, as well as having a passion for teaching the next generation of physicists.
My postdoc research so far has been on fluid dynamics (including magnetic fluids), using high-speed video. I previously used high-speed video in my PhD research on vortex behaviour in superconductors.

I recently worked on high-speed photography of fluids to study the dynamics of sticky drops on surfaces, at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
I designed an experimental chamber to heat single drops of milk to 200°C at low humidity, and then shoot them toward a surface once they partially solidified. Theo goal was to analyse collisions between microliter-scale droplets of concentrated milk (a shear-thinning fluid) and stainless steel surfaces, for application to milk powder production. This project was supervised by Dr. Geoff Willmott.

I completed my PhD at University of Wollongong, Australia in 2017, involving research into the behaviour and distribution of magnetic vortices in superconductors, with a focus on high-speed magneto-optical imaging. This also involved research at the University of Twente, Netherlands, examining glass-like vortex distributions in superconductors using Scanning SQUID Microscopy, supervised by Prof. Alexey V. Pan.

I'm also passionate about teaching physics, having lectured and demonstrated labs for a few years at both the University of Auckland and the University of Wollongong, as well as private tuition. I particularly enjoy presenting scientific works to a general audience, culminating in my creation of Believable Science - bringing real science to creative works of fiction. 



Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Agarwal, P., Khun, D., Krösser S, Eickhoff, K., Wells, F. S., Willmott, G. R., ... Rupenthal, I. D. (2019). Preclinical studies evaluating the effect of semifluorinated alkanes on ocular surface and tear fluid dynamics. The ocular surface, 17 (2), 241-249. 10.1016/j.jtos.2019.02.010
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ilva Rupenthal, Priyanka Agarwal, Jennifer Craig, Geoff Willmott
  • Agarwal, P., Khun, D., Kroesser, S., Fischer, K., Wells, F. S., Willmott, G., ... Rupenthal, I. D. (2018). Evaluating the lubricating effect of semifluorinated alkanes on the ocular surface. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Research-in-Vision-and-Ophthalmology (ARVO), Honolulu, HI. 29 April - 3 May 2018. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE. (pp. 3).
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ilva Rupenthal, Jennifer Craig
  • Zuber, J. W., Wells, F. S., Fedoseev, S. A., Johansen, T. H., Rosenfeld, A. B., & Pan, A. V. (2018). A new approach to the inverse problem for current mapping in thin-film superconductors. Journal of Applied Physics, 123 (12).10.1063/1.5012588
  • Wells, F. S., Pan, A. V., Golovchanskiy, I. A., Fedoseev, S. A., & Rozenfeld, A. (2017). Observation of transient overcritical currents in YBCO thin films using high-speed magneto-optical imaging and dynamic current mapping. Scientific Reports, 710.1038/srep40235
  • Wells, F. S. (2017). Investigating vortex behaviour in superconducting thin films through magnetic microscopy techniques University of Wollongong. University of Wollongong.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/41361
  • Golovchanskiy, I. A., Pan, A. V., George, J., Wells, F. S., Fedoseev, S. A., & Rozenfeld, A. (2016). Vibration effect on magnetization and critical current density of superconductors. Superconductor Science and Technology, 29 (7)10.1088/0953-2048/29/7/075002
  • Wells, F. S., Pan, A. V., Wang, X. R., Golovchanskiy, I. A., Fedoseev, S. A., Hilgenkamp, H., & Rozenfeld, A. (2016). Direct measurements of field-dependent ordering in a low-field vortex glass state. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 26 (3)10.1109/TASC.2016.2533570
  • Wells, F. S., Pan, A. V., Wilson, S., Golovchanskiy, I. A., Fedoseev, S. A., & Rozenfeld, A. (2016). Dynamic magneto-optical imaging of superconducting thin films. Superconductor Science and Technology, 29 (3)10.1088/0953-2048/29/3/035014

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 303 - Bldg 303
Level 7, Room 724
New Zealand

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