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Department of Physics ranked first in the UK for research

Story supplied by LU Press Office

Lancaster University's Department of Physics has been rated the best in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

The department, which has built its international reputation on research ranging from ultra low temperature physics to nanoscience, particle physics, cosmology, mathematical physics and non-linear dynamics was ranked 1st in the UK for research quality.

Lancaster Physics researchers are working on some of the most fascinating questions facing modern science from the mysteries of the big bang to quantum turbulence, from novel types of particle accelerators to the development of quantum technologies using new materials like graphene, and the workings of the cardiovascular system in the human body.

Last month Lancaster University's particle physics group put the finishing touches to a £500k, six ton particle detector that will play an important role in the T2K neutrino experiment in Japan which aims to shed light on the origin of the dominance of matter over antimatter in the Universe.

The RAE measures the quality of research conducted in universities and other higher education institutions in the UK against international standards of excellence.

Overall 92 per cent of research at Lancaster University was considered internationally excellent and 90 per cent of Lancaster's academic staff are research active - considerably above the national norm. Taking into account the high proportion of staff submitted to the RAE, Lancaster University emerges as 10th in the country overall for research quality.

Professor Peter Ratoff, Head of Lancaster University Department of Physics, said: "Physics research at Lancaster has been consistently rated among the very best in the UK and this latest ranking underlines our reputation as a research-intensive department carrying out internationally -recognised work."

The Department of Physics is part of Lancaster University's Faculty of Science and Technology.

Lancaster is one of only 29 UK universities ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide, coming in at number 170 in the annual THE-QS world university rankings and is currently ranked top University in the North West in the Independent, Guardian, Times and Sunday Times league tables . Lancaster University is the top ranked university in the North West and the joint top ranked University in the whole North of England, according to the 2008 National Student Survey.

Thu 18 December 2008