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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
6th in the UK for Physics and Astronomy - Complete University Guide 2023
96%
96% of our research outputs are world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021)
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

Friction, Lubrication and Rheology at the Nano and Mesoscale

We are delighted to share the success of the FLRN 2022 Conference in spite of the impact of the concurrent COVID and heat waves! Following on the positive feedback on the NanoLubrication 2021 Conference, Miro Cafolla (Physics, CMP) organised a meeting also this year (20-21 July 2022) with the generous support of the Institute of Advanced Studies.
Conference attendees discuss over a group Zoom call, and other attendees pose in a group photo

Theatre meets the cosmos in an immersive collaboration between the Physics Department and the Assembly Rooms Theatre

From Monday 16th until Friday 20th May, the Assembly Rooms theatre is hosting an exciting new project from their in-house Technical Theatre Team in collaboration with the Durham University Physics Department. 'The Final Frontier' is an immersive, experiential and theatrical journey into space that is designed to calm the mind and may help to relieve exam stress.
The Final Frontier: Exploring Space poster

Acclaimed University of Colorado physicist and researcher Prof. Heather Lewandowski to deliver the 2022 Rochester Lecture

Prof. Heather Lewandowski is this year's invited speaker to deliver the 2022 Rochester Lecture, which will be held in the Ph8 Lecture Theatre, Wednesday 18 May 2022 at 4.30pm. This year's lecture is titled 'Watching chemical reactions happen one molecule at a time'.
Image of Prof. Heather Lewandowski and the JILA and Colorado University logos

Physics Department Development Talent scheme awards four early career researchers

The Physics Department Development Talent Award promotes, enhances and encourages the possibility of early career researchers developing their research careers within the Department by providing support in the form of up to £10,000 in flexible funding. The four successful applicants in the 2022 round of this scheme are announced below. Congratulations and best of luck with your research!
Dani Pizzey Telescope

First images from new space telescope part-developed in Durham

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) – which Durham helped to develop and engineer – has captured its first images.
James Webb first deep field image

The annual Gareth Roberts lecture returned on Wednesday 9 March with Dame Sue Ion - watch online

The Honorary President of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) and member of the ONR Independent Advisory Panel, Dame Sue Ion, delivered this year's annual Gareth Roberts Lecture on Wednesday 9 March at 4.30pm.
Gareth Roberts Lecture 2022 (image montage of Sue Ion with power station cooling towers and wind turbines)

Scientists unveil most accurate virtual representation of the Universe

An international team of researchers, including Professor Carlos Frenk, Professor Adrian Jenkins and Dr. John Helly from our Department of Physics, has produced the largest and most accurate computer simulation to date of our local patch of the Universe.
Virtual Universe

Prof Simon Cornish to lead International Collaboration on “Developing Molecular Quantum Technologies”

Ultracold molecules hold great promise for a variety of quantum technologies, including a new generation of quantum computers and quantum simulators. Prof Simon Cornish will lead a new £1.6 million International Collaboration funded by EPSRC that aims to deliver this vision.
Simon Cornish

RSE awards scholarship to Durham Undergraduate

The RSE is supporting personal and professional development for undergraduate astronomy students.
Selina Mather

Festive images created by trapping individual laser-cooled atoms

As a demonstration of single atom trapping, researchers in the Quantum Light and Matter research section have created and imaged festive arrangements of individual laser-cooled caesium atoms. Each bright pixel in their images corresponds to light captured from a single caesium atom cooled to a temperature a million times colder than room temperature and trapped in a tightly focussed laser beam called an optical tweezer.
Festive images - Angel Optical tweezer arrays

Department commemorates Alan Lotts' five decades in Physics

A retirement party was held for Alan Lotts on Friday 19th November to celebrate 5 decades of outstanding technical support to the astronomy group.
Aln Lotts retirement

Muons found to be faithful probes of exotic superconductors

Researchers in the Centre for Materials Physics have demonstrated that spontaneous magnetic fields, detected by implanting sub-atomic muons in superconducting materials, are likely to be intrinsic to an exotic, time-reversal symmetry broken, superconducting state.
Muon Superconductors

 

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

Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages

 

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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