Group of researchers looking at a laptop


Top 10 in the UK for research outputs, based on GPA, and joint 7th in the UK for research environment, based on GPA.

Physics research at the University of Liverpool strives to be at the forefront of major scientific breakthroughs. Through a programme of exploration and discovery, we are addressing the most fundamental questions in physics, leading and influencing global scientific efforts to advance the description of nature, as well as promoting interdisciplinary research initiatives with a focus on digital, materials and energy research.

We are a key member in many large-scale collaborations, including: high-energy collider particle physics, neutrino physics, nuclear physics and accelerator science experiments at CERN; precision and neutrino physics experiments at Fermilab and at Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (JPARC); and exploration of structure, composition and function of materials using synchrotron radiation facilities, such as the Diamond Light Source and the XMaS beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France.

Across accelerator science, nuclear physics, particle physics, and condensed matter physics, we ensure that the detector, accelerator, and other technologies that we develop create societal benefit, including medical and biological applications and renewable energy advancements. REF found our research environment to be amongst the best in the UK. This helps develop our staff and students, embodies equality, diversity, and inclusion, promoting Juno and Athena SWAN principles, and engages with diverse communities through projects such as Tactile Collider

We have an outstanding track record in the design, construction and operation of scientific instruments, and in the exploitation of the science these enable. Over the last six years, our researchers have contributed to more than 2,000 scientific papers with 90% involving international collaborators, 99% of these have been rated as 3* or 4*.

Our experts hold leading international roles, are members of national and international advisory boards and contribute substantially to the advancements of the field, including through shaping the European Strategy for Particle Physics. We are proud that our colleagues have won prestigious awards including the Breakthrough Prize in Physics, the Rutherford Medal, the Rosalind Franklin Medal of the Institute of Physics and the Altarelli Prize. Our department is currently ranked among the top 25 institutions globally who collaborate with CERN, we are closely collaborating with leading research centres such as Fermilab, GSI/FAIR and TRIUMF, and we have increased our research expenditure over the last six years by 81% from £33 million to £60.3 million.

Our research is creating real world impact, including developing innovative treatments for retinal detachment and contributing to healthcare data management. A strong programme for societal engagement is promoted through our multi-award-winning outreach and public activities in particle physics and accelerator science.

Back to: Research Excellence Framework 2021