Physics and Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy

Physics is a science that addresses some of the deepest questions of how the Universe works. It looks at how and why things behave as they do. Matter and how it interacts with energy is studied. Physics deals with matter of all sizes from particles smaller than an atom to the whole Universe.


On 14 September 2015 astrophysicists observed ripples in the fabric of space-time called gravitational waves, arriving at the Earth from a cataclysmic event of two black holes colliding in the distant Universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity and opens a new window onto the cosmos.

Our astrophysics researchers were amongst the team that detected these waves!


Physics and Astronomy might be for you if you:

  • Like to know how things work
  • Have a natural curiosity about the world around you
  • Think logically
  • Enjoy using mathematics in real-world situations

Real world research:

  • Discovering a brand new heavy particle at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider – Xi-cc++
  • Mapping the coordinates of more than 23,000 atoms in an iron-platinum nanoparticle to identify how flaws in the material structure at atomic level can affect its properties and functions.
  • Listening to the music of the sun to investigate changes in magnetic activity
  • The effects of space weather on modern technology such as power supplies and GPS satellite navigation systems:
    Space Weather

Possible careers:

Physics opens the door of a wide range of careers. Some of our graduates apply physics knowledge directly in a scientific environment but many also work in areas as diverse as the Civil Service, the financial sector or developing software. Many of our graduates stay on to do further study.


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