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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.

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%
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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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

News

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

Durham Physics students rise to the space challenge

A team of undergraduate students from the Department of Physics has been selected to perform experiments in artificial hypergravity as part of a competition run by the European Space Agency (ESA). Competing against students from all over Europe, the team comprising 2nd year physics students Alex Prior, Jochem Langen and Paolo Barrios and known as ‘The Levitators’, was one of only 3 selected as part of ESA’s ‘Spin Your Thesis! 2021’ Competition.
Levitators logo

Developing x-ray holography for 3D tomographic imaging of magnetic nanosized objects

Fourier transform holography is a standard technique for visualising small objects. Recently members of the UK Skyrmion Project have achieved an important step towards being able to provide 3D tomographic images of magnetic objects. Using the SEXTANTS beamline at the SOLEIL synchrotron PhD student Luke Turnbull and others were able to produce high-resolution x-ray images of the magnetic textures in a thin s

Physics Department Development Talent scheme awards four early career researchers

The Physics Department Development Talent scheme 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.
ultracold RbCs molecules

Nobel class cosmology researcher honoured

A world-leading Durham cosmologist has been recognised as being “of Nobel class” for his work on the evolution of the universe.
Professor Carlos Frenk

Award for research that could revolutionise computing

As the world becomes ever more dependent on imaging, computers and communication, research by our physicists could help revolutionise how these technologies work.
Charles Adams

Researchers from the Quantum Light and Matter section climb the ladder of rotational states

Researchers from the Quantum Light and Matter section in the department of physics have recently demonstrated the coherent manipulation of the internal rotational state of molecules cooled to within one-millionth of a degree of absolute zero.
Quantum Light and Matter section climb the ladder of rotational states image

First research flight images from innovative balloon-borne telescope

Our astronomers are part of an international team behind the successful first research flight of an innovative balloon-borne telescope that will investigate the mystery of dark matter.
A host of stars with the Tarantula Nebula at its centre

Durham Physics Department gains an 'Entrepreneur in Residence', in association with the Royal Society

Sixteen entrepreneurs, senior scientists and business leaders have been awarded a place on the Royal Society’s Entrepreneur in Residence scheme for 2021. We are delighted to welcome Dr Rodger Sykes to the department here at Durham as a newly awarded Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence.
Photograph of Roger Sykes

Supporting business through astronomy

Durham’s astronomers and cosmologists are increasingly sharing their knowledge and expertise to support business. From washing powder to x-ray machines, our experts are helping to improve products for customers and enhance research and development in industry.
Clothes hanging on line

 

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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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.