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Research areas

The Department of Physics is at the forefront of pioneering global research, inter-disciplinary interests and technological advancement.  Our renowned research areas play a leading role on both the national and international stages, collaborating with major higher education institutions and with industry.

Research programmes for graduate students in the Department combine training in specialist areas with wider scientific skills.  With close to 150 research students in the Department - all working on individual yet inter-related projects - the research community is understandably rich and scientifically active.

You may have completed an undergraduate programme that suggests a lead into a specific area of the Physical sciences.  However, before you make a final decision on the research area for which you wish to apply, please take a look at each of the research tabs beneath to discover just how exciting and diverse the various branches of physics are in our Department.  

‌The Condensed Matter Physics group at York creates and studies a variety of advanced materials and nanostructures combining state-of-the-art experimental, theoretical and computational techniques and facilities.‌

The Nuclear Physics group primarily focuses on experimental studies concerning various aspects of the structure of nuclei and nuclear processes. This includes reactions of relevance to nuclear astrophysics.

Please be aware that the group is currently advertising funded studentships across a number of projects.

The Plasma Physics & Fusion group mainly focusses its efforts towards tokamak and laser-plasma research relevant to fusion, together with plasma applications in astro/solar physics and extreme ultra-violet lasers.

Enjoy watching this fantastic film on fusion energy!

Physics of life image

The Physics of Life group at York uses cutting-edge tools and intellectual concepts from the physical to tackle challenging questions from the life sciences.

This is achieved using both state-of-the-art experimental and theoretical techniques, spread across multiple science departments of the University.

The main aim of the QComm Hub is to:

  • Deliver secure communications by exploiting the commercialisation potential of prototype quantum key distribution (QKD) technologies past their current limitations
  • to establish a quantum communications technology industry for the UK
  • To feed its future expansion, competiveness, diversification and sustainability.

Research Proposals

Most members of academic staff have profiles listed in the York Research Database and it is there where you will be able to learn of their research interests and their external activity.  We encourage you to do some ‘research’ on our academics to really get to know where their projects and expertise could be of use to your research journey with the aim of supervising your PhD or MSc. 

If you wish to learn more about a particular academic’s research, or discuss a project you may already have in mind, they are happy to answer specific questions by e-mail or telephone.