School of Physical Sciences
The School of Physical Sciences brings together the research and teaching of three departments, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematical Sciences, within the University of Liverpool. We also run ground-breaking institutes and centres of excellence.
Department of Physics
The Physics Department at Liverpool is a major centre for research across a wide range of topics, has excellent facilities and receives around £35m of funding per year from the research councils, the University and other sources.
We can offer you an exciting, rigorous research environment in which to study for a Physics PhD, MPhil or Mres, or to pursue one of our taught MSc programmes.
Our research is organised into 4 principal areas:
- Particle Physics at the LHC, which started to take data in 2010 at CERN (Geneva), and at the T2K neutrino experiment, which started operation in 2010 at J-PARC (Japan).
- Nuclear Physics, using several overseas accelerators, in particular Jyväskylä (Finland), GANIL (France), GSI (Germany), ISOLDE at CERN (Switzerland) or TRIUMF (Canada) to study exotic nuclei under extreme conditions of isospin or angular momentum and at the limits of existence.
- Condensed Matter Physics, using the techniques of scanning tunnelling microscopy, x-ray photoemission, ultraviolet photoemission, Auger electron spectroscopy and low-energy electron diffraction. The group also uses synchrotron facilities at ESRF (Grenoble), Diamond (Oxfordshire), the APS (Chicago) and SLRS (Stanford). An activity in thin film photovoltaics has been recently established.
- Accelerator Science and Technology, engaging in R&D projects aimed at developing techniques for novel acceleration and beam-handling for the next generation of particle accelerators.
We can offer you excellent facilities to support your research. These include:
- An in-house Design Office and Mechanical Workshop for designing and building apparatus.
- The Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre, which features a new £3m suite of clean rooms, supports the design, construction and characterisation of silicon and germanium for particle and nuclear physics research. We’re also using the materials to create new medical imaging devices.
- Advanced computer systems, including some of the UK’s fastest computer systems: large arrays of processors operated in parallel to perform intense tasks such as Monte Carlo calculations.
- The department participates in local, national and international GRID computing projects (Euro-Grid, Grid-PP, UL-Grid).
- In the Surface Science Research Centre, one of the UK’s largest dedicated nano and surface science equipment bases, with state-of-the-art imaging and spectroscopy facilities.
You’ll find the department in the Oliver Lodge and the Chadwick Laboratories, building numbers 208 and 207 (grid references F4 and E5) respectively, on the CampusMap. See www.liv.ac.uk/files/docs/maps/liverpool-university-campus-map.pdf.
Following the tradition established by Nobel Laureate Sir James Chadwick, we’re especially active in Particle and Nuclear Physics. There’s also a strong Condensed Matter Physics group and a Surface Science Research Centre.
Established by the Science and Engineering Research Council, the Surface Science Research Centre hosts collaborations between our researchers and colleagues in Chemistry, Engineering and Electrical Engineering. This is just one example of our commitment to inter-disciplinary research.
Recently, a new research group in Accelerator Science was formed, which is part of the Cockcroft Institute for Accelerator Science and Technology in Daresbury. We’re also a partner in the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy.
Our output is highly rated, with the most recent Research Assessment Exercise classing 55% of it as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
Research highlights include:
- The first observation of K isomer structure in superheavy nuclei
- The first measurement of the b-quark structure function of the proton
- Confirmation of the flavour structure of the Standard Model with the first observation of CP violation in Bs mesons and matter-antimatter oscillations in Bs mesons
- Novel collider concepts (LHeC linac ring) and development of tools for ultra-fast imaging
- Elucidation of the behaviour of nano-engineered platinum surfaces, opening up important new directions for the development of active and stable practical cathode catalysts in fuel cells for hydrogen-powered vehicles
- the ALPHA antimatter experiment at CERN which has reported trapping 38 antihydrogen atoms, an essential step in the research into the properties of antimatter. The silicon detector for this experiment was built in the Department of Physics in Liverpool.
Department of Physics
University of Liverpool
Telephone: +44 (0)151 794 3370