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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 Guardian University Guide 2024
3rd for Physics and Astronomy in the Complete University Guide 2024
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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We look forward to welcoming you to Physics. Find out what to do next below.

Before you arrive Welcome and Induction

News

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)

Astronomers detect first extragalactic star-forming disc outside of the Milky Way

An international team of astronomers led by our world-class Physics department has reported the first detection of a rotating disc structure around a forming high-mass star outside of our Milky Way in another galaxy.
Artist’s impression of the disc and jet in the young star system HH 1177

Single-person meeting pod opening.

A new single-person meeting pod was opened for use in the Ogden Centre West (OCW) building.
Single-person meeting pod opening.

The First Space Summer School for Postgraduate Students held at Durham University

In the last decade, the UK space industry has transformed into one of UK’s fastest growing industrial sectors.
Participants of Summer school

Dr Jason Anderson wins prestigious Institute of Physics Technician Award for 2023

A member of Durham Physics technical support staff has been announced as the winner of a prestigious ‘Technician Award’ for 2023 by the Institute of Physics.
Photo of IOP award winning technician Jason Anderson

Durham hosts new £10m supercomputer to investigate the Universe

We’re home to a new £10m supercomputer that will help scientists around the world investigate the mysteries of the Universe.
Photo of Chi Onwurah and various University academics posing with the new supercomputer

Dr Phil Gregory awarded prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship and the Institute of Physics Bates Prize 2023

Dr Phil Gregory from the Quantum Light and Matter (QLM) research group has recently been awarded a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship, and is now the recipient of the 2023 Institute of Physics Bates prize for outstanding research by an early career researcher.
Dr Phil Gregory next to an optical bench showing some of the optical components needed to realise a state-of-the-art cold molecule experiment.

Condensed Matter Physics Research Section came together for an Away Day

The whole Condensed Matter Physics research section (CMP) in Physics at Durham came together for an Away Day at Ushaw House for training and development activities to strengthen our research capabilities and support career progression.
Images of CMP Away Day

 

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
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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

 

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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
Durham
DH1 3LE
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.