Third Year Group Projects

Students in their third year do more specialised group work in some of the research areas of the department, such as Theory, Space and Planetary Physics, Cosmology, and Particle Physics.

As part of our research-led teaching, students in their third year undertake group work in some of the research areas of the department. These all involved an open-ended investigation of a problem related to their degree specialism. The problem may be defined either by stating the broad requirements of a solution within certain constraints or by posing an open-ended question related to a physical phenomenon. Projects vary from year-to-year and depend on the research interests of the module leaders that year.

The group project modules are:

  • Particle Physics Group Project (PHYS353): recent project examples include gamma spectroscopy, investigating the consequences of quantum mechanics in nuclear decay, cosmic rays, and weak interactions.
  • Industrial Group Projects (PHYS355): student teams work on a ‘real’ problem posed by a company or other external organisation. Recent examples include re-condensing gas-based anaesthetics to reduce waste and environmental damage, testing high-tech plastic films to improve the shelf-life of food, characterising technical non-woven fabrics for magnetic shielding and further development of a pump with no moving parts.
  • Cosmology Group Project (PHYS364): a recent example involved investigating the use of cosmological constants and dark energy to solve the Age of the Universe problem.
  • Space Science Group Project (PHYS369): recent project examples include 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 (PHYS379): examples of recent projects include modelling the properties of electrons in crystal lattices (graphene, topological insulators, Kitaev lattice), dynamics of vortices in superfluids and/or superconductors, and particles obeying fractional statistics.