IOP Combustion Physics Group

As a special interest, member-driven group, we provide a forum for the discussion of the physical aspects of flames, ignition, detonation and related topics.

We are interested in these fields at a fundamental level and in the context of the practical use of wanted combustion processes in engines, boilers and other systems.

We also focus on unwanted combustion, like fires and explosions.

Interest in the physical aspects of combustion continues to increase. We started in 1973 and have a good mix of industrialists and academics.

On the diagnostic side, two of the main tools for flame study are:

  1. the spectroscopy of flames
  2. optical methods based on external light sources

Almost all the diagnostic techniques are physical.


One interest area is the increased use of lasers. This includes optical techniques linked to combustion, such as:

  • holography
  • fluorescence
  • laser and phase Doppler anemometry
  • particle image velocimetry
  • coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy
  • infrared absorption spectroscopy
  • Rayleigh scattering

We are also interested in the use of lasers for ignition and heating.

Electrical aspects of combustion

The combination of electrical discharges and plasma jets with flames, along with spark ignition, are growing fields in combustion.

Hybrid electrical and combustion devices are likely to become more important as the cost of fuel increases.

The physical properties of low-temperature plasmas have been embraced as an interest of the group at the request of leading workers in the field.


Combustion instabilities, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate emissions have led combustion to be associated with:

  • acoustics
  • scattering of energy

Fluctuations in energy prices and concern about the environmental impact of combustion processes have prompted appreciation of the relevance of combustion and heat transfer to the development of high-efficiency appliances with reduced environmental impact. These have also highlighted the use of poor fuels and lean mixtures. In this way, the group contributes to efforts for low and zero carbon emissions and sustainable energy, including hydrogen and renewable fuel combustion.


The need for economy has renewed interest in topics such as sensing, feedback and control in combustion systems at the applied level. It has also increased focus on modelling combustion processes at a fundamental level, both in laboratory systems and in practical devices using combustion for heat generation.

Submit abstract now

Register now

Key Dates

Abstract submission deadline

EXTENDED 12 August 2021

Registration deadline

EXTENDED 20 September 2021

Organised by the IOP Combustion Physics Group