We are committed to providing a learning environment that lives up to our excellent reputation. We are currently investing over £11 million in all of our teaching labs. As part of this work, we are also creating welcoming spaces for studying and socialising.

Teaching Labs

We use our teaching labs for workshops and 3rd/4th-year projects. We have recently spent £400,000 on upgrading the equipment in these labs. You may also have access to the facilities of local and national business if you choose to undertake one of our industrial projects.


This is a suite of 3 ultra-low noise laboratories. It minimises noise vibration, noise and electromagnetic disturbance to  provide one of the most advanced 'ultra-clean' measurement environments in the world. The building is embedded in the ground and separated from other buildings. Further isolation from the surrounding environment comes from three 50-tonne floating experimental platforms.

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Quantum Technology Centre

This unique facility contains £4 million worth of nanotechnology equipment, including state-of-the-art clean-room fabrication facilities. These are capable of producing objects with a lateral dimension of 10nm. This research is further supported by our £1.5 million molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) reactors. We use these to create novel structures for research projects. There is also a dedicated electron-beam writer and electron and atomic-force microscopy.

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The observatory, situated on the roof of the Physics building, has excellent views of most of the sky in the northern hemisphere. It is dedicated to the teaching of observational astronomy to undergraduate students. This is part of our MPhys degree scheme in Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology.

The optical system consists of Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with an aperture of 11" (297mm). It has a resolution of 0.41 arcseconds and a limiting visual magnitude of 14.7. The detectors consist of two CCD cameras and a filter wheel suitable for RGB imaging and BVRI photometry. We also have a self-guiding spectrograph for spectroscopic work.

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Ultra-Low Temperature Labs

The ULT facilities feature custom-made dilution refrigerators, built in-house with nuclear cooling stages. These allow us to cool materials and devices to some of the coldest temperatures ever measured on earth. This enables our researchers to make ground-breaking discoveries about superfluids, produce purified helium-4, and study the ion transport in quantum fluids.

Partner Facilities

You will also gain from our ongoing participation in prestigious international collaborations. Our staff and researchers are involved in many world-famous scientific programmes, including:

  • Large Hadron Collider at CERN
  • Hubble Space Telescope
  • NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission
  • Fermilab

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