In the final year, you will work on a range of activities, projects and presentations. You will also carry out a major research project, either involving consultancy work in industry or collaboration within one of the research groups.
This module provides an introduction to the modern theory of gravitation: Einstein's general theory of relativity. This module is based on a regular series of two one-hour lectures per week supplemented by a two-hour workshop once a fortnight.
This module will explain how the intrinsic spin of nuclei and electrons is exploited in magnetic resonance experiments. It will describe the classical and quantum pictures of the phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and show why NMR forms such a powerful analytical tool, today. Basic electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) will also be described, along with the equipment used for NMR and EPR, and some applications of these techniques.
The Politics, Perception and Philosophy of Physics
In this module you'll gain an appreciation of the broad societal impact of physics (and science in general). You'll be introduced to the politics surrounding science policy (on, e.g., global warming/renewable energy R&D) and research funding. You'll also explorre some of the key ideas in the philosophy of physics and science, particularly as they relate to public perception of scientific research.
Imaging and Image Processing
This module aims to provide you with a working knowledge of the basic techniques of image processing. The major topics covered will include: acquisition of images, image representation, resolution and quantization, image compression and non-Fourier enhancement techniques, among others. You’ll spend around four hours in lectures, eight hours in seminars and have a one hour tutorial each week.
Order, Disorder and Fluctuations
This module will develop the modern theoretical description of phase transitions and critical phenomena and provide an introduction to the dynamics of non-equilibrium systems. Topics to be covered will include:
• ordered phases of matter;
• order parameters;
• scaling behaviour at critical points;
• mean-field approaches;
• finite-size scaling;
• stochastic processes;
• Langevin dynamics and the Fokker-Planck equation.
Applications, both within and beyond, condensed matter physics will be discussed.
The module will describe electronic transport phenomena in solid state systems. Topics to be covered will include:
• low-dimensional structures
• ballistic and diffusive transport
• quantum wires and dots
• carbon nanotubes and graphene
• coulomb blockade
• quantum Hall effects
• Anderson localization
• spin transport
• interference and decoherence
Research Techniques in Astronomy
This module develops a range of modern astronomical techniques through student-centered approaches to topical research problems. You’ll cover a range of topics related to ongoing research in astronomy and astrophysics, and will encompass theoretical and observational approaches. This module is based on individual and group student-led activities involving the solution of topical problems including written reports and exercises, and a project.
Advanced Techniques for Nanoscience Research
This module provides a detailed presentation of advanced research topics in nanoscience. The module is divided into four main parts:
- Atoms and molecules at surfaces: the effect of adsorption on the electronic, vibrational, and geometric structure of molecules, investigating geometric and electronic structure of adsorbed molecules (photoelectron spectroscopy and x-ray absorption spectroscopy), investigating vibrational structure of molecules on surfaces (electron energy loss spectroscopy and vibrational structure in photoelectron spectroscopy).
- Introduction to numerical methods in nanoscience: density functional theory calculations of molecules on and off surfaces.
- Assembly and local probing of nanostructures: self- and directed-assembly at the nanoscale, advanced scanning probe microscopy (specialised variants, simultaneous STM/AFM, sub-molecular imaging), measuring atomic and molecular interactions at the single bond limit.
- Near-field optics and optical spectroscopy: advanced optical microscopy, vibrational properties of molecules and nanomaterials; optical spectroscopy techniques for molecular characterisation of nanomaterials (UV-vis, Raman spectroscopy), evanescent waves, plasmonics, near-field scanning probe optical microscopy.
Quantum Coherent Devices
This module will focus on solid state and related devices which exhibit quantum coherent effects. Topics to be covered will include; theory of quantum electrical circuits, superconducting resonators and Josephson junctions, flux and charge qbits, superconducting SETs,nanomechanical resonators, noise and decoherence,and quantum information processing.
This module introduces you to the key ideas behind modern approaches to our understanding of the role of inflation in the early and late universe, in particular through the formation of structure, the generation of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background radiation, and the origin of dark energy. You’ll study through a series of staff lectures and student-led workshops.
Light and Matter
This module will extend previous work in the areas of atomic and optical physics to cover modern topics in the area of quantum effects in light-matter interactions. Some basic material will be introduced in six staff-led seminars and you’ll have around two hours of lectures and student-led workshops each week.
Modern Applications of Physics
This module aims to help you gain insights into how physics is applied in a range of academic and industrial environments including research to advance knowledge, product development and problem-solving. The taught element of this module will consist of lectures given by staff and invited speakers from industry. Coursework will consist of problem sheets based upon the staff lectures, and a written report describing the physics, history and practical factors involved in the development of a piece of modern technology. There will be a project in which you will work in teams of three or four to address a specific problem and to propose a solution. The assessment of the project will take the form of a group presentation and individual briefing documents.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue
for information on available modules. This content was last updated on