Physics, the most fundamental of all sciences, involves the exploration of nature in the broadest possible sense. Physicists study the behaviour and properties of matter and energy in a huge variety of contexts, ranging from the sub-nuclear (particle physics) to the behaviour of the material Universe as a whole (cosmology). The goal is to uncover the fundamental truths about nature and where possible, to exploit that basic knowledge for the benefit of mankind.
At Dundee, we have a rich and varied history in this endeavour. Research undertaken here has had a tremendous impact on the modern world. The electronic devices driving pixels in virtually all laptop computers were first conceived and made here. Ground-breaking work on satellite-borne environmental monitoring was also initiated here, as well as seminal investigations into molecular structures using x-ray analysis. The present staff are continuing that tradition of excellence and work in some of the most exciting areas of cutting-edge physics.
Many such areas are also those earmarked by the government as the critical scientific topics for the future: renewable energy and the environment; robust sensors; and physics applied to medicine and biology. To that end we use the most powerful microscopes available, each capable of resolving individual atoms, to characterise and develop materials such as the next generation of energy efficient solar cells. We explore the boundaries of biophysics and laser science, especially in medical contexts where the University of Dundee as a whole boasts a world-renowned reputation. Biophysics research is undertaken at state-of-the-art facilities within the University's Institute for Medical Science and Technology and also at Ninewells Hospital.
One unique aspect of life as a physics undergraduate at Dundee is the facility to not only undertake a major research project in the Honours year, but to become directly involved with the active research groups in the first year: a fast-track route to applying the knowledge and skills that we will teach you, and which also serves to reinforce the taught elements.
- Mechanics and Thermodynamics
- Electricity, Optics and Waves
- Astronomical Phenomena
- Science and Engineering
- Mathematics 1A and 1B
- Professional Skills
- Emission and Transmission of Energy
- Mathematics for Engineers
- Analogue and Digital Systems
- Fundamentals of Electronic Devices
- Electrical and Mechanical Systems
- Quantum Mechanics
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Advanced Optics
- Nuclear and Particle Physics
- Mathematical Methods
- Advanced Professional and Transferable Skills
- Statistical Mechanics
- Relativity and Cosmology
- Solid State Physics
- Computational Physics
- Optoelectronics and Photonics
- Physics Project (over both semesters)
- Electromagnetic Waves
- Analytical Electron Microscopy
- Quantum Mechanics II
- Computational Physics II
- Construction Project Management
- Research Project
Teaching and Assessment
Unlike many larger physics departments, where students can feel isolated and often unnoticed, Dundee is comfortably small and friendly with a relaxed atmosphere.
Our formal teaching methods involve a combination of traditional lectures and tutorials, together with new and innovative multi-media based activities and practical laboratory sessions. All students are IT trained so as to gain maximum benefit from the advanced computing resources, and also to develop transferable skills.