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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
2nd in the UK for Physics The Guardian University Guide 2023
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)
3rd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
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Before you arrive Welcome and Induction

News

Durham graduate named new generation astronaut

We’re exceptionally proud to say that Durham graduate Dr Rosemary Coogan has been named as a new generation astronaut.
Rosemary-Coogan-astronaut

Would you wear a living shoe? How Durham academics have used microbes to create living materials, granting structure and motility in biohybrid systems

Dr Margarita Staykova from the Centre for Materials Physics has teamed up with Durham University sociologist Professor Tiago Moreira to discover some of the science and ethics of using microbes to create materials.
Would you wear a living shoe? The Royal Society poses the question, with the image of a boot with illuminated multicoloured veins spreading through it

Athena Swan Silver Award

We are Delighted to announce that the Physics department has been awarded Athens Swan Silver status until 2027 after going through a rigorous re-accreditation process.
Athena Swan Silver Award logo

#takemebacktuesday: Reflecting on 2022's Nobel Prize in Physics winner Prof. Alain Aspect, who opened our revamped laboratories ten years ago.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2022 was awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger "for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science".
A smiling Prof Alain Aspect opening the refurbished laboratories in the Physics department in 2012

Prominent Durham Professors named in Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers 2022

Our academics are leading the way for world-class research and their influence and research quality has been recognised with their inclusion in the prestigious Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers for this year.
Clarivate highly cited researchers 2022

Prestigious grant awarded for research into Quantum Simulation and Ultracold Molecules

Professor Simon Cornish of the Quantum Light and Matter (QLM) research section  has been awarded a prestigious UKRI Frontier Research Grant: “SimPoMol – Quantum Simulation with Ultracold Polar Molecules” The grant is for £2.6 million  and started on 1st October.
An optical bench showing some of the optical components needed to realise a state-of-the-art cold molecule experiment.

Redeveloped CMP laboratories officially opened

Professor Brian Tanner, former Head of the Physics Department, officially opened three new laboratories on behalf of the Centre for Materials Physics.
Brian Tanner and group open new lab

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

 

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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