The University of Southampton
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World leading research

Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton is world renowned for the work of its three major research groups; Astronomy; Quantum, Light and Matter; and Theoretical Particle Physics.

We are ranked in the top 5 Physics and Astronomy departments in the Russell Group for our research output and our teaching is research-led, which means that our students learn from the best. 

Our world-leading status has been confirmed in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014:

  • 94% of Physics and Astronomy research output has been assessed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • 100% of our research has been rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society.

The Astronomy Group, are world experts in the study of compact stellar objects. They observe x-ray and gamma-ray sources and are leaders in the Integral space mission. The Space Environment Physics Group, within the Astronomy Group, studies the interaction between the Sun and the magnetospheres and upper atmospheres of the planets in the Solar System – from the large-scale dynamics of magnetospheres down to the behaviour of the aurora on the finest scales.

The Quantum, Light and Matter Group explores how matter interacts at the smallest and fastest scales, and is partnered with two major internationally renowned centres: the UK NanoPhotonics Centre, and the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC).

The Theoretical Particle Physics Group studies the strong and weak nuclear forces, and the origin of particles' masses. The group is a leading player in the large UK Lattice QCD supercomputer collaboration.

The Southampton Theory, Astronomy and Gravitation (STAG) Institute links our astronomy and theoretical physics research to gravity research in the Mathematics Department.

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