Female scientist studying Zeeman effect at University of Portsmouth

Physics research

Explore the work we're doing across our areas of research expertise in Physics

Physicists observe natural phenomena – the way matter and energy interact – and create laws to explain them. They explore physical matter on every scale, from stars to sub-atomic particles, and energy in all its forms, such as light, motion and gravity.

Physics is behind almost every technological advancement and has been used in every area of human activity. Physicists continually probe the natural world to solve global issues such as climate change, predict changes in our climate, advance artificial intelligence, and develop efficient infrastructure, new transportation and new energy sources.

While their work has led to the development of incredible leaps in technology – from engines to silicon chips – it is these advancements that are responsible for some of the biggest strains on our planet's resources. But physicists are behind the technology of the future, and their work could provide the solution.

Our physicists are working to advance knowledge and unlock advanced technology. From researching new information processing and quantum computing, to exploring new materials, we're using our expertise in Physics to power the future, improve industry, security, defence and the environment.

Explore our Physics areas of expertise

Find out more about the facilities and research methods that shape our Physics research in the following 3 areas of expertise, and visit the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, where much of our work takes place.

Condensed Matter Physics

We're looking for solutions to issues around energy harvesting, efficiency and storage, medical technologies, security, and the environment. Explore our condensed matter physics research.

Close up of Molecular Beam Epitaxy system
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Quantum optics and quantum foundations

Our work in this area is studying the particle-like properties of photons, and wave-like behaviour of massive objects, such as electrons and atoms.


Glass tubes with quantum dots of perovskite nanocrystals, luminescing with all colors of the rainbow under ultraviolet radiation.
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Quantum information and sensing technologies

We're conducting research into new quantum technologies, including applications for high-precision measurements, computing, and secure communication.

Male BAME scientist studying the Zeeman effect
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Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation

Researchers at our Institute of Cosmology & Gravitation explore the evolution of our Universe and aim to inspire the next generation of scientists. 

galaxy space
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Research centres and groups

Quantum Science and Technology Hub

In our Quantum Science and Technology Hub (QSTH), we're studying quantum science and developing novel quantum technologies.

Applied Physics Research Group

We're exploring research in quantum information technologies, quantum optics and quantum foundations and applied advanced materials.

Interested in a PhD in Physics?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Physics postgraduate research degrees page.