Skip to main content

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.

A graphic showing an on-campus scene of students walking past the modern, glass-sided library building with the University's Physics and Astronomy Top 100 ranking emblazoned on it

Find out more about us
2nd in the Guardian University Guide 2024
3rd for Physics and Astronomy in the Complete University Guide 2024
96% of our research outputs are world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021)
3rd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
This is the image alt text

Just got your grades?

We look forward to welcoming you to Physics. Find out what to do next below.

Before you arrive Welcome and Induction


Dr Alex Guttridge awarded prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship

Dr Alex Guttridge has been awarded a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship. The Fellowship enables Dr Guttridge to research the topic of programmable assembly of ultracold molecules in optical lattices.
Photo of Dr Alex Guttridge smiling at camera next to an optics bench

Breaking barriers: embracing neurodiversity in neutron and muon science

“Diversity of thought benefits everyone, but when the focus is on the short-term costs of making changes, disabled people are often deterred from asking for what they need.”
Photo courtesy: Science and Technology Facilities Council)

International Masterclass on Particle Physics

On March 22, Durham University's Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP) hosted the International Masterclass on Particle Physics—a hands-on event where high school students analysed real data from the Minerva neutrino detector. Over one hundred students from six local high schools—Durham Johnston, Durham Sixth Form, Newcastle High School for Girls, Thirsk School and Sixth Form, Wellfield Academy, and Sunderland Sixth Form—participated in the event.
International Masterclass on Particle Physics

How medieval chroniclers interpreted solar eclipses and other celestial events

The evolution of technology has allowed scientists to analyse celestial events in much greater detail. Medieval chroniclers didn’t have that luxury but Giles Gasper in our History department and Brian Tanner in our Physics department say that doesn’t mean there isn’t lots we can learn from the ways in which they talked about these events and understood the universe.
Stars in the solar system depicting a celestial event

Durham Physicists receive funding for EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fusion Power, making fusion energy commerical and meeting net zero goals

Researchers in the Physics Department at Durham University will receive funding for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Fusion Power from the UK’s biggest-ever investment in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills.
3D Render fusion reactor nuclear fusion, tokamak inside heated plasma, toroidal shape, clean energy

Precisely measuring our expanding Universe

Our physicists are part of an international team that has made the largest 3D map of the Universe, measuring its expansion over 11 billion years.
A map of the Universe showing a web of blue, green and white against a black backdrop

SuperBIT makes Nature Astronomy front cover

An international project involving Durham University which flew a gigantic balloon-borne telescope to the edge of space has made the front cover of the prestigious journal Nature Astronomy.
The SuperBIT space telescope being hoisted by a yellow crane against a black and pink dusk sky

New research opens avenues for more efficient and stable blue OLED displays

Researchers in our top-rated Physics department are world-leading experts in their field. In a surprising discovery, our scientists have found that certain molecules long considered poor emitters are actually ideal for boosting efficiency and stability in next-generation blue OLED displays. The study published in the journal Nature Photonics, reveal an overlooked molecular ‘blind spot’ that could enable major advances in energy-saving display technologies.
OLED displays in the lab

Physics Department Developing Talent Awards: 2023-2024 Winners

The Physics Developing Talent Awards scheme was established in 2021 to promote and enhance the careers of early career researchers within the Physics Department. Each year, early career researchers can apply for up to £10,000 to fund a project that will allow them to develop research independence. The scheme is coordinated by the Research Staff Consultative Committee (RSCC).
laser cooled sample

AI-VISION project secures Innovate UK funding to advance precision medicine

A collaborative project between Durham, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), The Royal Marsden Hospital, and techbio company Concr, has been awarded a prestigious Innovate UK grant. The AI-VISION project, which will play a pivotal role in advancing precision (genetically tailored) medicine, has secured a grant of £1million.
An image of cancer cells alongside The EAGLE simiulated universe from Durham’s Institute for Computational Cosmology and the Virgo Consortium

A new record set for quantum coherence in ultracold molecules

Scientists in the quantum light & matter group at Durham University have set a new world-record for quantum coherence in ultracold molecules, in a collaboration with theorists at Temple University and Rice University.
Absorption image and  RbCs experiment

Department awarded Two UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships

Dr Hannah Williams and Dr Francesca Fragkoudi have been awarded prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships.
Image of Francesca Fragkoudi (on the left) and Hannah Williams (pictured on the right in the laser cooling lab)


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.

Postgrad study button pic

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
This is the image alt text

Look Closer at the Faculty of Science

Whether it’s our world-leading research that seeks to empower and inspire, our commitment to educational excellence across eight academic departments, or our focus on the next generation of scientists through our ground breaking science outreach and engagement. We push forward, break down barriers, asking the big questions and getting answers. Watch our short video to find out why there’s more to science at Durham than meets the eye.

Find out about the Faculty of Science


This is the image alt text

Open Days & Visits

We can offer personal tours of the Physics Department by arrangement, in addition to the University’s standard open day offerings. to discuss a department tour, please see ‘Arrange a personal tour’ below.

Undergraduate open days Postgraduate open days

Experience Durham by arranging a personal tour

Arrange to have a personal tour of our department buildings and facilities, meet departmental staff and get a feel for what it would be like to study here.

Arrange a personal tour

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

Student pouring liquid nitrogen

Get in touch

Contact us to find out more about our department.

Department of Physics
Durham University
Lower Mountjoy
South Road
United Kingdom

Questions about studying here?

Check out our list of FAQs or submit an enquiry form.

Your Durham prospectus

Order your personalised prospectus and College guide here.