The Times Higher Education Supplement has identified the Universities of Lancaster and Surrey as the most improved UK universities. These universities’ most cited articles between 2002 and 2006 are:

  • Lyth (Lancaster University) and Wands (University of Portsmouth), “Generating the curvature perturbation without an inflaton”, 2002, Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics, Vol. 524, No. 1-2, pp. 5-14.
  • Ioannides (University of Surrey), “Pharmacokinetic interactions between herbal remedies and medicinal drugs”, 2002, Xenobiotica, Vol. 32, No. 6, pp. 451-478.

Opening up new research areas is a strong theme for UK research and something which is echoed by Professor Costas Ioannides from the University of Surrey, the institute showing the second highest increase in ranking. Professor Ioannides indicated that his paper “was the first published review to address herb-drug interactions from a mechanistic, rather than a descriptive, point of view. In fact, this is what prompted me to write this review in the first place.”

Professor David Lyth, commenting on his own paper, said, “I believe it was highly cited because it opened up a completely new possibility as to why structure exists in the Universe. We pointed out a completely different type of quantum fluctuation, which could lie dormant until a much later era. We called this fluctuation a ‘curvaton'. It has opened up many new possible avenues of research, and both the name and the idea have been taken up by many people.”

One of the scientists who has cited Professor Lyth's paper several times is Dr. Marieke Postma of the FOM-Institute of Subatomic Physics NIKHEF, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. When asked why she had cited this article, she said, “They came up with a new and original idea. Up until that point the usual lore was that the field responsible for inflaton was the same as that generating the observed density perturbations. This paper said, no, not necessarily, and gave an explicit scenario in which some other field (the "curvaton" field) was creating the density perturbations instead. The curvaton scenario opened up new ways of thinking. [We became] intrigued by that, and started exploring the consequences…”

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