School of Physics & Astronomy


Students have been coming to Nottingham to learn about physics since the University was founded in 1881 as a University College. At that time the University was housed in the Arkwright Building in the Centre of Nottingham, a building now occupied by Nottingham Trent University. The first professor was Sir Ambrose Fleming, of left-hand and right-hand rule fame, and also inventor of the thermionic valve. Fleming was a renowned teacher, and he insisted that good teaching and high-quality original research were to have equal priority; we still believe that today.

The University was granted its Royal Charter in 1948 and moved to the current three hundred and forty two acre campus which was donated by Sir Jesse Boot, founder of Boots the chemists. The Department was located in the Trent Building. Following the expansion of higher education in the 1960s, the Department of Physics moved into the new, purpose built accommodation that we still occupy today. In 1999 the Department expanded further to include astronomical research and became the School of Physics & Astronomy. We have made many changes and additions to our facilities and continue to adapt to the challenges posed by new technologies.

Sir John Ambrose Fleming


School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

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