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Welcome to the Department of Physics at Durham

The Physics Department is a thriving centre for research and education.

We are proud that our Department closely aligns the teaching and learning experience for its students with the research-intensive values and practices of the University. Research-led teaching is embedded at all levels from first year laboratory reports to our final year MSci flagship individual research projects.

The Department incorporates the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, is home to the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology and the Institute for Computational Cosmology. The Ogden Centre is also the base for our innovative outreach programme for school children and their teachers.

Find out more about us
4th in the UK for Physics The Guardian University Guide 2022
4th in the UK for Physics and Astronomy - Complete University Guide 2022
Joint 1st in the UK for internationally excellent and world-leading research impact (REF 2014)
4th in The Guardian University Guide 2020 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020
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Before you arrive Welcome and Induction

News

Exciting new studentship exploring the potential of nascent quantum technology

We are excited to announce a new collaboration in the field of quantum computing! Working with Dunnhumby, a global leader in customer data science, this project will fund a postgraduate student to work with Dr Nicholas Chancellor within the Quantum, Light & Matter (QLM) group to explore the potential of nascent quantum technology in solving hard real-world data-science problems.
Dunnhumby logo

Prestigious award for future leader Dr Sownak Bose

Durham is a hub for research excellence and our academics prove that year in and year out through their ground-breaking research. We are delighted that Dr Sownak Bose, from the Department of Physics, has been awarded the Future Leaders Fellowship for his research project into Fundamental Cosmology.
FLF

Skyrmion Scientists win Postgraduate Prizes

Two Postgraduate students in the Condensed Matter Physics research group, Max Birch and Luke Turnbull, were recently were awarded postgraduate prizes by the Departmental Postgraduate Committee.
Skyrmion diagram

Tackling the puzzle of dark matter

Our astronomers are part of an international team that has taken another step towards solving the puzzle of what dark matter might be made of.
The research compared the 'gravitational lensing', or bending of light rays by gravity, by galaxies of different types. Image credit: Bart Delsaert

Astronomers apply their skills to cancer research

You might not think that studying the universe could benefit research into serious illnesses like cancer, but Durham’s astronomers have joined forces with cancer researchers to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Cancer and astronomy

Physicists and students from the Physics Department use data modelling to fight the spread of Covid-19

A team led by Prof. Frank Krauss and including Prof. Richard Bower and 8 of our Ph.D. students from the Centre for Doctoral Training in Data-Intensive Science (CDT) have created a simulation in the form of an agent-based model, which describes the spread of an epidemic such as COVID-19 through a virtual population.
Image manipulation of the coronavirus inside the globe

Skyrmions spinning off the track!

Many possible spintronic applications of skyrmions involve their motion along pre-determined race tracks. Skyrmions can be moved with much lower energy than ferromagnetic domain walls, but there is a problem. Among the many unusual properties of skyrmions is the tendency of their direction of motion to deviate from that of a driving force; the angle by which they diverge is known as the skyrmion Hall angle and is a result of the topology giving rise to a Magnus force in its equation of motion.

Dr Jurgen Schmoll, Astronomer and Instrument Scientist at Durham, captures superb images of partial solar eclipse

Dr Jurgen Schmoll, Astronomer and Instrument Scientist within CfAI and the Department of Physics here at Durham, has captured superb images and timelapse video of today's partial solar eclipse.

A world leader in Astronomy and Cosmology

We’re a world leader in Astronomy and Cosmology and our students are taught by some of the best researchers in their field.
Cosmic Ray Cosmo Simulation

CfAI helps NASA develop Lunar Thermal Mapper to detect and map water on the lunar surface

The Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) at Durham University will participate in the development of the Lunar Thermal Mapper (LTM) infrared multispectral image
Montage of three pictures: Main image is of a mock-up of the lunar trailblazer in orbit above the moon, and 2 images of a mirror prototype (front and back) made in 2020 for the Atmospheric Physics group at Oxford. A complete prototype was assembled and tested and this led to the successful proposal of this design for the Lunar Traiblazer.

Durham quasar physicist Vicky takes Silver Medal in parliamentary scientific research competition

Durham quasar physicist Vicky takes Silver Medal in parliamentary scientific research competition. Victoria Fawcett, a postgraduate research student at Durham University has won Silver for the excellence of her physics research in a national competition, receiving a £750 prize and a medal.
Photograph of Vicky Fawcett

 

Study with us

Undergraduate study

Find out more about our BSc and MPhys courses.

Students in labs peering into microscope

Postgraduate study

Discover more about our taught courses and research degrees.

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Our research

We are one of the top Physics Departments in the UK for research, as recognised in repeated assessments and league tables.

According to REF2014, 100% of our research impact and 94.2% of our research outputs were judged to be internationally excellent.
Find out more
Cosmic Ray Cosmo Simulation
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Open Days & Visits

Due to the current Covid restrictions, we regret that we are unable to offer personal tours of the Physics Department at this time. However, our range of virtual events and activities provide a great way to find out more about Durham University, and to see for yourself what we offer.

Undergraduate open days Postgraduate open days

Find us on social media

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Student updates

What it's been like studying Physics

3rd year Physics student Jack reflects on his studies during the pandemic

Physics Rochester Building

Day in the life of a 3rd year Physics student: My Industrial Project

Physics student Gabriel tells us about his Team Project module at Durham

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Get in touch

Contact us to find out more about our department.

Department of Physics
Durham University
Lower Mountjoy
South Road
Durham
DH1 3LE
United Kingdom

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Your Durham prospectus

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