Research and innovation

The rare molecule weighing in on the birth of planets

Astronomers have discovered a rare molecule in the dust and gas disc around a young star – and it may provide an answer to one of the conundrums facing astronomers.

HD 163296

Our reputation

Top 5 in the UK for research impact - Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Physics and Astronomy research

The world’s thinnest gold

Our scientists have created the world’s thinnest gold, which is just two atoms thick

Xray diffusion physics
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Research and innovation

The School is home to a diverse community of committed and passionate staff and students, accessing a range of facilities and working within dedicated research laboratories.

Our research activity covers the following main areas: Star and planetary system formation; Spintronics in condensed matter; Experimental biophysics and bio-nanoscience; Dynamics of polymers and complex fluids; and Quantum information theory and its applications.

In addition, we are applying our collective expertise to the development of sustainable energy harvesting and storage, and towards translation into healthcare and medicine. Our research, with wider economic impact, includes the development of functionalised nano-materials for use in photo-voltaics and in the catalysis of methanol oxidation, the micro-bubble delivery of medication to cancerous tissue and quantum sensing applications for medical imaging.

We have strong links to world recognised interdisciplinary research centres including the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology.

Our research

Our research covers a variety of astrophysics topics, ranging from nearby objects in the solar system to the far reaches of the Universe.

More on Astrophysics

We are a centre of excellence for spintronics, a new technology that utilises a quantum property of the electron known as spin.

More on Condensed matter

We focus on the formation, structure, dynamics and interactions of matter at the molecular and nanoscale.

More on Molecular and nanoscale physics

We study liquid and solid polymeric phases, macromolecular architecture and dynamics, statistical physics of complex fluids, and biophysics.

More on Soft matter physics

We are involved in solving some of the challenges of modern theoretical physics, ranging from quantum information to biophysics.

More on Theoretical physics

We are undertaking research to gain an understanding of the ways students learn physics and develop as physicists in the 21st Century.

More on Physics education