A major goal of our undergraduate degree programmes is to develop your skills and understanding to the level where you can address the exciting open problems that abound in contemporary physics.

Throughout your course, you build up the necessary skills by a succession of projects, commencing with a computer project in year two and progressing to open-ended research projects of increasing complexity in the following years. This includes a group project on a current research topic in year three, and an extensive, individually supervised research project in the final year of the MPhys/MSci programmes.

The topics are closely connected to our broad portfolio of world-leading research and afford you with an opportunity to make an active contribution to actual research. You will also develop a range of transferable skills such as team working, time and project management and communication skills, all of which are highly valued by employers.

Research in the Physics Department is structured into four divisions:

  • Astrophysics
  • Particle and Accelerator Physics
  • Experimental Condensed Matter
  • Physics and Theory

Each division has a team of research-active staff at the forefront of research in their respective fields. We place great importance on bringing this research into our undergraduate teaching, and into our schools and public engagement programme.

Nicholas Kay

Nicholas Kay

Graduated MPhys Physics and is currently undertaking a PhD in Nanoscience at Lancaster. Based on his MPhys project on “The behaviour of graphene nanotrampolines”, he won the Best Physics Student of the Year SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) Award

Examples of recent projects

  • Physics for healthcare
  • Optoelectronics characterisation
  • Novel nanoscale detectors
  • Modelling of stellar winds
  • Studies of the Earth’s aurora
  • Studies of Saturn’s ring current and aurora
  • Particle physics with the ATLAS experiment
  • Neutrino interactions in the T2K near detector
  • Development of future neutrino experiments
  • Studies of exotic atoms using quantum Monte Carlo simulations
  • Galaxies and dark matter
  • Superfluid wind tunnel

Examples of recent group projects

Particle physics

Studies of cosmic rays, construction of low-cost radiation detectors and investigating the role of quantum mechanics in nuclear decays.

Industrial projects

Student teams worked with external organisations to investigate re-condensing gas-based anaesthetics to reduce waste, testing high-tech plastic films to improve the shelf-life of food and characterising technical non-woven fabrics for magnetic shielding.

Cosmology Group Project

Using cosmological constants and dark energy to solve the Age of the Universe problem.

Space Science Group Project

Designing part of a space mission, and investigating the relationship between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere.

Theory and Theoretical Physics with Mathematics Group Project

Modelling the properties of electrons in crystal lattices (e.g. graphene), dynamics of vortices in superfluids and studies of particles obeying fractional statistics.