The Department of Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory carries out a range of research into biological, extreme, materials and quantum physics themes, as well as undergraduate and graduate teaching. This diversity of approach allows for cross-fertilisation of ideas and synergies for the analysis of physics problems.
At the forefront of discoveries in physics
The core of the Laboratory’s research programme is experimental physics supported by excellence in theory. Our colleagues have a strong collaborative ethic, working with researchers from other disciplines and with industrial partners. This expansive approach has underpinned the success of 30 Nobel Prize winners whose names are associated with some of the world’s most fundamental discoveries: the electron, the neutron, the structure of DNA, and pulsars.
Addressing big questions
The Cavendish embraces physics as a dynamic discipline, uncovering the nature of our physical universe from the smallest to the largest scales. From probing the wonders of quantum-scale physics within each atom, to deciphering the extraordinary evolution of the structure of the Universe, the Cavendish’s experts are working on the most advanced and ambitious research projects ever undertaken by the human race.
Our research projects include many of the ‘big questions’ in physics, such as honing our ability to discover and analyse new planets; quantum communication and computing; ultra-low temperature physics and new states of matter; nanoscience; and the physics of new materials and polymers. Most recently the Cavendish has launched a major initiative in the physics of sustainability, emphasising the role that physics plays in addressing the major problems of the global sustainability of our planet.
The core research groupings within the Department of Physics are:
- Atomic, mesoscopic and optical physics
- Biological and soft systems
- High energy physics
- Quantum matter
- Quantum sensors
- Scientific computing
- Semiconductor physics
- Structure and dynamics
- Surfaces, microstructure and fracture
- Theory of condensed matter
- Thin film magnetism
Meet Dr John Richer
John started his research work using the then newly-opened James Clerk Maxwell Telescope; from 2000-2011 he was the UK Project Scientist for ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimetre Array, and he continues to play an active role in this international project.
He is a Reader in the Astrophysics Group at the Cavendish Laboratory and since 2013 has also been the Director of Undergraduate Teaching and chair of the Physics Teaching Committee.
- Supporting studentships
- Endowing professorships
- Redeveloping the Cavendish Laboratory's facilities
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