The University of Southampton

Ben Stray Master of Physics (MPhys); Quantum Nanophysics and Matter Wave Interferometry, 2016

"I came to the University of Southampton because I wanted to attend a research-active institute. I also liked the feel of the university campus - there are lots of green spaces and ducks!"

“The open door policy in the Physics and Astronomy department makes approaching academic staff incredibly easy. Teaching standards are high and the positive interaction between department and course reps means any problems are quickly resolved

Exciting challenges
“My course has presented me with lots of challenges but the academic highlight has been making a significant contribution to a project designing and constructing a sub-wavelength detection system using parabolic mirrors. The design for this detector will be used in a new type of matter-wave interferometer aiming to test macroscopic quantum effects using silica nanospheres.

Supportive environment
“The learning environment is very supportive. The main library boasts 5 floors of study space ranging from silent areas to group study rooms. Physics also have their own study space which is invaluable and extremely well used.

“The teaching labs are full of good quality equipment and facilities to carry out interesting experiments. It’s a supportive and friendly department and the PhD demonstrators (PhD students who assist in the labs and problem classes) work with the first and second years directly, which really helps to break down any barriers across the year groups.  

Placement opportunities
“In my third year the University offered me a great opportunity to do a SEPnet placement with the nuclear software company AMEC FW. This gave me real experience in the development side of software and allowed me to be named as lead author on a paper. 

“There are lots of opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular societies – I’ve tried surfing, basketball, sailing and even things like ballroom dancing! It’s a great way to meet people outside your course. I was also vice-captain of the Physoc basketball team which helped me build up leadership and teamwork skills.

“I’ve made the most of the fantastic location by the sea and have learned how to surf and sail! More importantly, I’ve made friends I know I will keep for the rest of my life.

“Southampton is a very rewarding place to study Physics and I would really recommend it. The challenges and opportunities throughout my course have helped me grow as a person but there is plenty of support when you need it."