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Masters Degrees (Theoretical Physics)

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The MSc by Research Theoretical Physics enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The MSc by Research would normally terminate after a year. Read more

The MSc by Research Theoretical Physics enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The MSc by Research would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree. 

As a research student in Theoretical Physics, you will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work. 

Key Features of Experimental Physics

Swansea is a research led University to which the Physics department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a Postgraduate Physics Student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

The Department received top ratings of 4* and 3* in the 2008 RAE, which classified our research as World-leading or Internationally excellent in terms of its originality, significance and rigour.

The three main research groups within the Department of Physics currently focus on the following areas of research:

Applied Physics and Materials Group

  • Next Generation Solar Cells
  • Materials and Devices for Photodetection
  • Physics of Next Generation Semiconductors
  • Bioelectronics
  • Material Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Novel sensors for medicine 

Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group

  • Antihydrogen, positronium and positrons
  • Quantum control
  • Cold atoms and quantum optics
  • Nano-scale physics and the life sciences
  • Analytical laser spectroscopy unit
  • Ultrafast Dynamics, Imaging and Microscopy
  • Quantum Computation and Simulation
  • Quantum Control and Optomechanics 

Particle Physics And Cosmology Theory Group

  • Integrability and AdS/CFT
  • Higher spin holography
  • Dense quark matter at strong coupling and gauge/string duality
  • Quantum fields in curved spacetime
  • Theoretical cosmology
  • Amplitudes in gauge and supergravity theories
  • Non-abelian T-duality and supergravity solutions
  • Holography and physics beyond the Standard Model
  • Large-N gauge theories, supersymmetry and duality
  • Lattice studies of strongly interacting systems
  • Lattice QCD at nonzero temperature
  • Dense quark matter and the sign problem
  • High-performance computing

Theoretical Physics Structure

The Physics Department is always keen to attract high-quality postgraduate students to join our research groups.

All Physics Research Degrees take 12 months of study, including the dissertation. For MSc by Research programmes you will be guided by internationally leading researchers through an extended one-year individual research project. There is no taught element.

The MSc by Research in Theoretical Physics degree enables you to pursue a one year individual programme of research and would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree. 

The Theoretical Physics programme has a recommended initial research training module (Science Skills & Research Methods), but otherwise has no taught element and is most suitable for you if you have an existing background in geography or cognate discipline and are looking to pursue a wholly research-based programme of study.

Links with Industry

Our two research groups, Particle Physics Theory (PPT) and Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics (AMQP), deliver impact with commercial benefits both nationally and internationally, complemented by a public engagement programme with a global reach. 

Economic impacts are realised by the Department’s Analytical Laser Spectroscopy Unit (ALSU) which, since 1993, has worked with companies developing products eventually sold to customers in the nuclear power industry and military, both in the UK and overseas, and in the global aerospace industry. Computational particle physics work performed by the PPT group has spun-off a computer benchmarking tool, BSMBench, used by several leading software outfits, and has led to the establishment of a start-up company.

The AMQP group’s work on trapping and investigating antihydrogen has generated great media interest and building on this we have developed a significant and on-going programme of public engagement. Activities include the development of a bespoke software simulator (Hands on Antihydrogen) of the antimatter experiment for school students.

Facilities

As a postgraduate student in the Department of Physics you will have access to the following Specialist Facilities:

  • Low-energy positron beam with a high field superconducting magnet for the study of
  • positronium
  • CW and pulsed laser systems
  • Scanning tunnelling electron and nearfield optical microscopes
  • Raman microscope
  • CPU parallel cluster
  • Access to the IBM-built ‘Blue C’ Super computer at Swansea University and is part of the shared use of the teraflop QCDOC facility based in Edinburgh

Research

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that over 80\% of the research outputs from both the experimental and theoretical groups were judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research groups include:

Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group

The Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group comprises academic staff, postdoctoral officers and postgraduate research students. Its work is supported by grants from EPSRC, the EU, The Royal Society, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and various industrial and government sources. There are two main fields of research: Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics and Nanoscale Physics.

Particle Physics And Cosmology Theory Group

The Particle Physics and Cosmology Theory Group has fifteen members of staff, in addition to postdoctoral officers and research students. It is the fourth largest particle physics theory group in the UK, and is supported mainly by STFC, but also has grants from EPSRC, the EU, Royal Society and Leverhulme Trust. The group recently expanded by hiring two theoretical cosmologists (Ivonne Zavala and Gianmassimo Tasinato). There are five main fields of research: Quantum Field Theory, Strings, Lattice Field Theory, Beyond the Standard Model Physics and Theoretical Cosmology.

Applied Physics and Materials Group

The Applied Physics and Materials (APM) Group has been very recently established at our department and is supported by grants from the European Union, Welsh Government, National Science Foundation, Australian Research Council, Welsh European Funding Office, and EPSRC. Its main areas of research range from Biophotonics, covering nano- and micro-structured materials, biomimetics, analyte sensing and light-tissue interaction, over Nanomedicine to Sustainable Advanced Materials, such as Next generation semiconductors, bioelectronic materials and devices, optoelectronics including photodetection, solar energy conversion, advanced electro-optics and transport physics of disordered solids.



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This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts. Read more

This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts.

The MSc programme is a core part of the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics, which has been created to mark the start of a new era in theoretical physics research, following the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN. You will take part in the centre’s activities, including weekly seminars, colloquia and workshops involving physicists from around the world, and you will be involved in research-level projects as part of your dissertation.

The partnership between mathematics and physics is an essential one. In theoretical physics we attempt to build abstract constructs that rationalise, explain and predict physical phenomena. To do this we need mathematics: the language of physics. The underlying structure of the physical world can be understood in great detail using mathematics; this is a never-ending source of fascination to theoretical physicists.

Programme structure

Taught courses

You will take two compulsory courses plus a selection of courses that will bring you to an advanced level in subjects such as general relativity, cosmology, statistical physics, condensed matter physics, quantum field theory and the standard model of particle physics. You may also take courses drawn from a wider pool including specialist courses in mathematics, computing and climate science.

Dissertation

Following the taught component of the programme, you will undertake a three-month research project, which leads to a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

By engaging with and completing the MSc in Theoretical Physics, graduates will acquire core knowledge of theoretical physics subjects and the research methodologies of modern theoretical and mathematical physics. The programme aims to develop research skills and problem solving skills, especially in mathematics. It also aims to develop an attitude of mind conductive to critical questioning and creative thinking and the capacity to formulate ideas mathematically.

Career opportunities

These degrees are designed to prepare you for a research career by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable to a wide range of research areas and sectors including academia, industry, education and finance.

Scholarships and funding

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:



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The course is run jointly by the. Mathematical Institute. and the. Department of Physics. It provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. Read more

The course is run jointly by the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Physics. It provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. It covers the following main areas:

  • quantum field theory, particle physics and string theory
  • theoretical condensed matter physics,
  • theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and physics of continuous media
  • mathematical foundations of theoretical physics

The course concentrates on the main areas of modern mathematical and theoretical physics: elementary-particle theory, including string theory, condensed matter theory (both quantum and soft matter), theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and the physics of continuous media (including fluid dynamics and related areas usually associated with courses in applied mathematics in the UK system). If you are a physics student with a strong interest in theoretical physics or a mathematics student keen to apply high-level mathematics to physical systems, this is a course for you.

The course offers considerable flexibility and choice; you will be able to choose a path reflecting your intellectual tastes or career choices. This arrangement caters to you if you prefer a broad theoretical education across subject areas or if you have already firmly set your sights on one of the subject areas, although you are encouraged to explore across sub-field boundaries.

You will have to attend at least ten units' worth of courses, with one unit corresponding to a 16-hour lecture course or equivalent. You can opt to offer a dissertation as part of your ten units. Your performance will be assessed by one or several of the following means: 

  • invigilated written exams
  • course work marked on a pass/fail basis
  • take-home exams
  • mini-projects due shortly after the end of the lecture course.

The modes of assessment for a given course are decided by the course lecturer and will be published at the beginning of each academic year. As a general rule, foundational courses will be offered with an invigilated exam while some of the more advanced courses will typically be relying on the other assessment methods mentioned above. In addition, you will be required to give an oral presentation towards the end of the academic year which will cover a more specialised and advanced topic related to one of the subject areas of the course. At least four of the ten units must be assessed by an invigilated exam and, therefore, have to be taken from lecture courses which provide this type of assessment. A further three units must be assessed by invigilated written exam, take-home exam or mini-project. Apart from these restrictions, you are free to choose from the available programme of lecture courses.

The course offers a substantial opportunity for independent study and research in the form of an optional dissertation (worth at least one unit). The dissertation is undertaken under the guidance of a member of staff and will typically involve investigating and write in a particular area of theoretical physics or mathematics, without the requirement (while not excluding the possibility) of obtaining original results.



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The Theoretical Physics track introduces the student to the intriguing diversity of physical theories and gives means to understand the world. Read more

The Theoretical Physics track introduces the student to the intriguing diversity of physical theories and gives means to understand the world. Topics from quantum physics to the theories of gravity are incorporated into the track. Problems of fundamental quantum physics, quantum information, quantum field theory and theoretical cosmology are at the heart of the studies in Theoretical Physics.

Upon graduation, you will be able to use the diverse set of skills acquired as part of this track, including theoretical and numerical techniques to produce and analyse new physical projects.

Programme structure 

The structure is modular. All modules have 20 ECTS. Each specialisation track has two obligatory modules that contain the core material of the field. In addition, there is one thematic module that may be chosen from the other modules offered within this programme or other programmes at the University of Turku. The fourth module consists of freely chosen courses and an obligatory Finnish language and culture course (5 ECTS). An MSc thesis (30 ECTS) in addition to seminar, internship, and project work (10 ECTS) are also required, details of which depend on the specialisation.

Academic excellence and experience

The aim of the Master’s education is to support you to become an independent expert who can evaluate information critically, plan and execute research projects to find new knowledge, and to solve scientific and technological problems independently and as a part of a group.

In the University of Turku the research in Theoretical physics has the emphasis on various fields at the forefront of European and international research such as quantum technologies, fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology. You will learn rigorous mathematical and numerical methods to model physical phenomena and solve physical problems with several possible interdisciplinary applications also outside physics. Examples are the studies of complex systems, data science, and machine learning.

Master's thesis and topics

The Master’s degree programme includes a compulsory thesis component (30 ECTS), which corresponds to six months of full time work. The thesis is to be written up as a report based on a combination of a literature review and an original research project that forms the bulk of the thesis.

The thesis is an independently made research project but the project will be carried out under the guidance of leading researchers in the field at the University of Turku. It is expected that the student will be embedded within an active research group or experimental team, thereby providing ample opportunity to discuss results and exchange ideas in a group setting.

Specialisation tracks

The Master’s Degree Programme of Physical and Chemical Sciences has four tracks. A short description of each specialisation track is given below. You can find more detailed information of tracks from the specific site of each track in this portal (UTU Masters).

In Theoretical physics you can specialise in various fields at the forefront of European and international research such as quantum technologies, fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology. You will learn rigorous mathematical and numerical methods to model physical phenomena and solve physical problems with several possible interdisciplinary applications also outside physics. Examples are the studies of complex systems, data science, and machine learning.

Students specialising in Astronomy and Space Physics can choose among three lines of studies: theoretical astrophysics, observational astronomy and space physics. You will acquire knowledge of various astrophysical phenomena and plasma physics, from Solar system to neutron stars and onto galaxies and cosmology. You will also get hands-on experience with observational techniques, space instrumentation, numerical methods and analysis of large data sets.

The studies of Materials Physics and Materials Chemistry give you an ability to understand and to develop the properties of materials from molecules and nanoparticles via metals, magnetic and semiconducting compounds for pharmaceutical and biomaterial applications. After graduation, you will be familiar with the current methodologies, research equipment and modern numerical methods needed to model properties of materials used in research and technology. Note that there is a sister programme (Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences) with a specialisation in medicinal chemistry.

Job options

The prospects for employment at relatively senior levels is excellent for those trained in the physical and chemical sciences. Thanks to the broad scope of the programme, the skills and knowledge developed as part of this education at the University of Turku provide many employment opportunities in different areas.

Our MSc graduates have been employed to wide range of professions, in addition to academic career, such that finance sector, medical imagining, quantum technology, game development, and data mining.

Career in research

The Master’s Degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. The University of Turku Graduate School – UTUGS has a Doctoral Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences, and covers all of the disciplines of this Master Degree programme. Postgraduate degrees can be completed at the University of Turku. Note that in Finland the doctoral studies incur no tuition fees, and PhD students often receive either a salary, or a grant to cover their living expenses. The Master’s programme is a stepping stone for PhD studies.



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The Masters in Theoretical Physics provides an understanding of the principles and methods of modern physics, with particular emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the subject, and at a level appropriate for a professional physicist. Read more

The Masters in Theoretical Physics provides an understanding of the principles and methods of modern physics, with particular emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the subject, and at a level appropriate for a professional physicist.

Why this programme

  • Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow is ranked 3rd in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2017).
  • The School plays a leading role in the exploitation of data from the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator at CERN.
  • You will gain the theoretical and computational skills necessary to analyse and solve a range of advanced physics problems, providing an excellent foundation for a career of scientific leadership in academia or industry.
  • You will develop transferable skills that will improve your career prospects, such as project management, team-working, advanced data analysis, problem-solving, critical evaluation of scientific literature, advanced laboratory and computing skills, and how to effectively communicate with different audiences.
  • You will benefit from direct contact with our group of international experts who will teach you cutting-edge physics and supervise your projects.
  • With a 93% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016, Physics and Astronomy at Glasgow continues to meet student expectations combining both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.
  • This programme has a September and January intake*. 

*For suitably qualified candidates

Programme structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Theoretical Physics include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.

The programme draws upon a wide range of advanced Masters-level courses. You will have the flexibility to tailor your choice of optional lecture courses and project work to a wide variety of specific research topics and their applications in the area of theoretical physics.

Core courses include

  • Advanced data analysis
  • Quantum information
  • Quantum theory
  • Research skills
  • Extended project

Optional courses include

  • Advanced electromagnetic theory
  • Advanced mathematical methods
  • Applied optics
  • Dynamics, electrodynamics and relativity
  • General relativity and gravitation (alternate years, starting 2018-19)
  • Plasma theory and diagnostics (alternate years, starting 2017-18)
  • Relativistic quantum fields
  • Statistical mechanics
  • The sun's atmosphere

Career prospects

Career opportunities include academic research, based in universities, research institutes, observatories and laboratory facilities; industrial research in a wide range of fields including energy and the environmental sector, IT and semiconductors, optics and lasers, materials science, telecommunications, engineering; banking and commerce; higher education.



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THE FASCINATING WORLD OF PHYSICS. The research Master’s degree programme in Theoretical Physics is your gateway to understanding the fascinating world of physics, ranging from the unimaginably small scales of elementary particles to the vast dimensions of our universe. Read more

THE FASCINATING WORLD OF PHYSICS

The research Master’s degree programme in Theoretical Physics is your gateway to understanding the fascinating world of physics, ranging from the unimaginably small scales of elementary particles to the vast dimensions of our universe. Our highly rated research programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to describe space-time and elementary particles as well as macroscopic and microscopic phenomena in quantum and soft matter.

The Dutch Master's Selection Guide (Keuzegids Masters 2017) ranked this programme as the best in the field of Physics in the Netherlands.

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE 

The MSc programme in Theoretical Physics provides students with a broad overview of methods and topics in theoretical physics and teaches them to work independently in a specific sub-discipline of the field. Students also learn to present and discuss their work both orally and in writing, and to take a critical attitude towards the existing literature.

Future prospects

Our programme offers excellent preparation for further research studies in physics or careers in the international job market. Two-thirds of our graduates continue on to conduct PhD-level research either at Utrecht University or at other prestigious institutions around the world.



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Our MSc Theoretical Physics programme will provide you with exposure to a very wide range of world-leading teaching and research skills. Read more

Our MSc Theoretical Physics programme will provide you with exposure to a very wide range of world-leading teaching and research skills. As well as the wide range of modules offered by the Department of Mathematics, many optional modules are available from across the University of London, subject to approval. King's will offer you a unique module in 'General Research Techniques' which will prepare you for life as a research scientist. You will also undertake an extended research project supervised by one of our academic staff.

Key benefits

  • This intensive programme covers basic topics in theoretical and mathematical physics such as general relativity and quantum field theory, and leads to advanced topics such as string theory, supersymmetry and integrable quantum field theory.
  • Intimate class environment with small class sizes (typically fewer than 30 students per module) allows good student-lecturer interactions.
  • A full 12-month course with a three-month supervised summer project to give a real introduction to research.

Description

This programme covers topics like string theory, quantum field theory, supersymmetry, general relativity, and conformal and integrable field theory. Students gain a coherent, comprehensive introduction to the building blocks of modern theoretical physics. Students study at least eight taught modules and develop individual projects in areas of current research. The programme ideally prepares students for active research.

Course purpose

The MSc Theoretical Physics programme provides experience of research in rapidly developing areas of theoretical and mathematical physics and related disciplines. The programme provides experience of the planning, administration, execution and dissemination of research, and will equip you with the background knowledge and transferable and generic skills required to become an effective researcher.

Course format and assessment

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

Each module in your degree is worth a number of credits: you are expected to spend approximately 10 hours of effort for each credit (so for a typical module of 15 credits this means 150 hours of effort). These hours cover every aspect of the module: lectures, tutorials, labs (if any), independent study based on lecture notes, tutorial preparation and extension, lab preparation and extension, coursework preparation and submission, examination revision and preparation, and examinations. 

Assessment

Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary method of assessment for this course is written examination. You may also be assessed by class tests, essays, assessment reports and oral presentations.

Sign up for more information. Email now

Have a question about applying to King’s? Email now



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The Physics master’s programme offers you a research intensive tailor-made study path on current topics in experimental and theoretical physics at an institute of international renown. Read more

The Physics master’s programme offers you a research intensive tailor-made study path on current topics in experimental and theoretical physics at an institute of international renown.

What does this master’s programme entail?

The Physics master’s programme is intimately related to the scientific research carried out at the Leiden Institute of Physics. You will spend approximately 50% of your programme on research, as a member of one of our top-level international research groups. We offer five research specialisations, with emphasis on either experimental or theoretical physics, which train you as an independent researcher. We also offer three specialisations that put Physics in broader societal contexts and train you for careers where a Physics background is an asset. Each of these specialisations aims at providing a combination of research independence and content proficiency that fully prepares you for a successful professional development for your professional development.

Learn more about the Physics programme.

Why study Physics at Leiden University?

  • The programme offers a wide choice of individual study paths that take into account individual needs and interests. You can either build a purely academic profile, or you may combine physics research with education, business studies or science communication.
  • You will carry out at least one research project with one of the research groups of the Leiden Institute of Physics. Research at the department is at the forefront of fundamental modern Physics at an internationally competitive level.
  • At the Leiden Institute of Physics you experience an open, inclusive, and collegial atmosphere. Your weekly routine includes attending colloquia of international speakers, partaking in symposia and participating in lively scientific discussions.

Find more reasons to choose Physics at Leiden University.

Physics: the right master’s programme for you?

Are you looking into furthering your education in fundamental questions in physics? Then our Physics master’s programme is the right choice. Whether you are interested in experimental or theoretical research, or cosmology, we offer it all. You will be trained for a career in research within or outside academia. You can also choose for a more practical-oriented specialisation where you combine one year of Physics research with one year of training in business, communication or education.

Read more about the entry requirements for Physics.

Specialisations



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Program highlights. The recent progress in several fields of theoretical physics (such as high energy physics, astrophysics, quantum and nonlinear optics or condensed matter physics) required numerous very sophisticated mathematical tools. Read more

Program highlights

The recent progress in several fields of theoretical physics (such as high energy physics, astrophysics, quantum and nonlinear optics or condensed matter physics) required numerous very sophisticated mathematical tools. In these frontline research fields, it became clear that a new understanding of physical systems going from cold atom gases to black holes is impossible without a new insight into underlying mathematical structures. This kind of problems requires a new interdisciplinary approach and specialists with double competence: in Physics and in different fields of modern Mathematics.

The main aim of the Master Program In Mathematical Physics (Math4Phys) is to provide advanced lectures on the mathematical methods of modern theoretical physics in the framework of a mathematical curriculum. Such an offer exists in France only in Dijon as the Mathematical Physics group of the IMB (Burgundy Mathematical Institute) provides a unique environment for a program requiring a double competence in Mathematics and Physics. The Mathematical Physics group of the IMB laboratory in Dijon is a unique research team in France with a capacity to provide advanced lectures in mathematical problems of modern physics. It permits to create a scientific environment for a master program focused on the most important problems of modern Physics from the mathematical perspective.

We offer lecture courses for the students with background in mathematics or mathematical physics giving an introduction to the mathematical methods used for such branches of theoretical physics as quantum field theory, statistical mechanics, general relativity, gauge theories, string theory, etc. The coursework covers different fields of mathematics (algebra, geometry, analysis) and highlights their applications to the problems of modern theoretical physics. The students are integrated from the very beginning into the mathematical physics group of the IMB and have to prepare by the end of each year a master dissertation.

The first year (M1) of the program is designed to provide the necessary background courses (mostly in mathematics but also in physics) to comply with the coursework of the more advanced second year. In particular, the M1 program includes the following subjects:

1.  Differential geometry

2.  Fourier analysis

3.  Functional analysis

4.  Groups and representations

5.  Mathematical methods of classical mechanics

6.  Partial differential equations

7.  Quantum physics

8.  Numerical methods

The second year lecture coursework includes the following lecture courses:

1.  Mathematical methods of quantum physics

2.  Riemann geometry and integrable systems

3.  Lie groups and Lie algebras

4.  Cohomological field theories

5.  Quantum groups

6.  Geometry and physics of blackhole spacetimes

We will also provide several mini courses by the research visitors of IMB. More detailed program of the second year courses can be found on the program webpage

Graduate destinations

The main aim of the master program is to provide sufficient training to start a PhD preparation.

Application

Maximum enrolment 20 in M1 and 15 in M2

To apply for the Master program in Mathematical Physics students should send a CV, a short description of their previous coursework (in Mathematics and Physics) and eventually a motivation letter to the program coordinator:

For M1: Giuseppe Dito ()

For M2: Nikolai Kitanine ()

Accepted students should proceed with the formal application procedure available here.

Requirements

The students applying for the M1 have to complete their undergraduate studies with major in Mathematics or Physics. The students can apply directly for the second year (M2) if they have completed at least one year of graduate courses in Mathematics or Mathematical Physics.

To follow the program the students should have a sufficient proficiency in English (we don’t require TOEFFL or an equivalent certificate but we can suggest an online interview to candidates). 

Grants

Several fellowship grants (600 € per month, during up to 9 months) will be awarded each year to high quality foreign students,



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This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts. Read more

This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts.

The MSc programme is a core part of the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics, which has been created to mark the start of a new era in theoretical physics research, following the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN. You will take part in the centre’s activities, including weekly seminars, colloquia and workshops involving physicists from around the world, and you will be involved in research-level projects as part of your dissertation.

The partnership between mathematics and physics is an essential one. In theoretical physics we attempt to build abstract constructs that rationalise, explain and predict physical phenomena. To do this we need mathematics: the language of physics. The underlying structure of the physical world can be understood in great detail using mathematics; this is a never-ending source of fascination to theoretical physicists.

Programme structure

Taught courses

You will take two compulsory courses plus a selection of courses that will bring you to an advanced level in subjects such as general relativity, cosmology, statistical physics, condensed matter physics, quantum field theory and the standard model of particle physics. You may also take courses drawn from a wider pool including specialist courses in mathematics, computing and climate science. For the MSc in Mathematical Physics, mathematics courses can account for almost half of the taught course element.

Dissertation

Following the taught component of the programme, you will undertake a three-month research project, which leads to a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

By engaging with and completing the MSc in Mathematical Physics, graduates will acquire core knowledge of theoretical physics subjects and the research methodologies of modern theoretical and mathematical physics.

The programme aims to develop research skills and problem solving skills, especially in mathematics. It also aims to develop an attitude of mind conductive to critical questioning and creative thinking and the capacity to formulate ideas mathematically.

Career opportunities

These degrees are designed to prepare you for a research career by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable to a wide range of research areas and sectors including academia, industry, education and finance.

Scholarships and funding

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:



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The other tracks of the programme are Materials Chemistry, Materials Physics, and Theoretical Physics. Upon graduation, you will be able to use the diverse set of skills acquired as part of this track, including computational and numerical techniques. Read more

The other tracks of the programme are Materials Chemistry, Materials Physics, and Theoretical Physics. Upon graduation, you will be able to use the diverse set of skills acquired as part of this track, including computational and numerical techniques.

Programme structure 

The structure is modular. All modules have 20 ECTS. Each specialisation track has two obligatory modules that contain the core material of the field. In addition, there is one thematic module that may be chosen from the other modules offered within this programme or other programmes at the University of Turku. The fourth module consists of freely chosen courses and an obligatory Finnish language and culture course (5 ECTS). An MSc thesis (30 ECTS) in addition to seminar, internship, and project work (10 ECTS) are also required, details of which depend on the specialisation. 

Academic excellence and experience

The aim of the Master’s education is to support you to become an independent expert who can evaluate information critically, plan and execute research projects to find new knowledge, and to solve scientific and technological problems independently and as part of a group.

The Astronomy and Space Physics track includes a solid grounding in theoretical aspects as well as providing opportunities for observational studies (e.g. of supernovae or accreting black holes); the space physics group performs experimental, theoretical and computational research on high-energy phenomena in near-Earth space.

Master's thesis and topics

The Master’s degree programme includes a compulsory thesis component (30 ECTS), which corresponds to six months of full time work. The thesis is to be written up as a report based on a combination of a literature review and an original research project that forms the bulk of the thesis.

The thesis is an independently made research project but the project will be carried out under the guidance of leading researchers in the field at the University of Turku. It is expected that the student will be embedded within an active research group or experimental team, thereby providing ample opportunity to discuss results and exchange ideas in a group setting.

Specialisation tracks

The Master’s Degree Programme of Physical and Chemical Sciences has four tracks. A short description of each specialisation track is given below. You can find more detailed information of tracks from the specific site of each track in this portal (UTU Masters).

Students specialising in Astronomy and Space Physics can choose among three lines of studies: theoretical astrophysics, observational astronomy and space physics. You will acquire knowledge of various astrophysical phenomena and plasma physics, from Solar system to neutron stars and onto galaxies and cosmology. You will also get hands-on experience with observational techniques, space instrumentation, numerical methods and analysis of large data sets.

The studies of Materials Physics and Materials Chemistry give you an ability to understand and to develop the properties of materials from molecules and nanoparticles via metals, magnetic and semiconducting compounds for pharmaceutical and biomaterial applications. After graduation, you will be familiar with the current methodologies, research equipment and modern numerical methods needed to model properties of materials used in research and technology. Note that there is a sister programme (Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences) with a specialisation in medicinal chemistry.

In Theoretical physics you can specialise in various fields at the forefront of European and international research such as quantum technologies, fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology. You will learn rigorous mathematical and numerical methods to model physical phenomena and solve physical problems with several possible interdisciplinary applications also outside physics. Examples are the studies of complex systems, data science, and machine learning.

Competence description

The Master of Science degree provides the skills to work in many different kinds of positions within areas such as research and development, education and management, and industry. The specialisations of Astronomy and Space Physics provide very good data analysis and programming skills, and thus many graduates have gone on to successful careers in the big data and finance sectors

During the master’s program in astronomy and space physics, you will study plasma physics and hydrodynamics, radiative processes, high-energy astrophysics and solar physics, galaxies and cosmology, astrophysical spectroscopy, radio astronomy and X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, numerical techniques and programming, statistical methods and particle and photons detectors. You will carry-out hands-on exercises in observational techniques, space instrumentation, and analysis of large data sets. You will also be able to remotely use modern observational facilities and to participate in building space-qualified instruments. You may choose among three lines: space physics, observational astrophysics and theoretical astrophysics. These studies will prepare you for a career in research and development in industry or can often lead into PhD studies.

Job options

The prospects for employment at relatively senior levels is excellent for those trained in the physical and chemical sciences. Thanks to the broad scope of the programme, the skills and knowledge developed as part of this education at the University of Turku provide many employment opportunities in different areas.

Many of our graduates choose to continue their education by pursuing PhD studies in Finland or other European countries (e.g., Belgium, Estonia, Germany and Norway). Others have obtained employment in the software and high-tech industries, for example.

Career in research

The Master’s Degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. The University of Turku Graduate School – UTUGS has a Doctoral Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences, and covers all of the disciplines of this Master Degree programme. Postgraduate degrees can be completed at the University of Turku. Note that in Finland the doctoral studies incur no tuition fees, and PhD students often receive either a salary, or a grant to cover their living expenses. The Master’s programme is a stepping stone for PhD studies.



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The MSc by Research in Applied Physics and Materials enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The MSc by Research would normally terminate after a year. Read more

The MSc by Research in Applied Physics and Materials enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The MSc by Research would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree. 

As a research student in Applied Physics and Materials, you will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work. 

Key Features of Applied Physics and Materials

Swansea is a research led University to which the Physics department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a Postgraduate Physics Student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

The Department received top ratings of 4* and 3* in the 2008 RAE, which classified our research as World-leading or Internationally excellent in terms of its originality, significance and rigour.

The three main research groups within the Department of Physics currently focus on the following areas of research:

Applied Physics and Materials Group

  • Next Generation Solar Cells
  • Materials and Devices for Photodetection
  • Physics of Next Generation Semiconductors
  • Bioelectronics
  • Material Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Novel sensors for medicine 

Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group

  • Antihydrogen, positronium and positrons
  • Quantum control
  • Cold atoms and quantum optics
  • Nano-scale physics and the life sciences
  • Analytical laser spectroscopy unit
  • Ultrafast Dynamics, Imaging and Microscopy
  • Quantum Computation and Simulation
  • Quantum Control and Optomechanics 

Particle Physics And Cosmology Theory Group

  • Integrability and AdS/CFT
  • Higher spin holography
  • Dense quark matter at strong coupling and gauge/string duality
  • Quantum fields in curved spacetime
  • Theoretical cosmology
  • Amplitudes in gauge and supergravity theories
  • Non-abelian T-duality and supergravity solutions
  • Holography and physics beyond the Standard Model
  • Large-N gauge theories, supersymmetry and duality
  • Lattice studies of strongly interacting systems
  • Lattice QCD at nonzero temperature
  • Dense quark matter and the sign problem
  • High-performance computing

Applied Physics and Materials Structure

The Physics Department is always keen to attract high-quality postgraduate students to join our research groups.

All Physics Research Degrees take 12 months of study, including the dissertation. For MSc by Research programmes you will be guided by internationally leading researchers through an extended one-year individual research project. There is no taught element.

The MSc by Research in Applied Physics and Materials degree enables you to pursue a one year individual programme of research and would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree. 

The Applied Physics and Materials programme has a recommended initial research training module (Science Skills & Research Methods), but otherwise has no taught element and is most suitable for you if you have an existing background in geography or cognate discipline and are looking to pursue a wholly research-based programme of study.

Links with Industry

Our two research groups, Particle Physics Theory (PPT) and Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics (AMQP), deliver impact with commercial benefits both nationally and internationally, complemented by a public engagement programme with a global reach. 

Economic impacts are realised by the Department’s Analytical Laser Spectroscopy Unit (ALSU) which, since 1993, has worked with companies developing products eventually sold to customers in the nuclear power industry and military, both in the UK and overseas, and in the global aerospace industry. Computational particle physics work performed by the PPT group has spun-off a computer benchmarking tool, BSMBench, used by several leading software outfits, and has led to the establishment of a start-up company.

The AMQP group’s work on trapping and investigating antihydrogen has generated great media interest and building on this we have developed a significant and on-going programme of public engagement. Activities include the development of a bespoke software simulator (Hands on Antihydrogen) of the antimatter experiment for school students.

Facilities

As a postgraduate student in the Department of Physics you will have access to the following Specialist Facilities:

  • Low-energy positron beam with a high field superconducting magnet for the study of
  • positronium
  • CW and pulsed laser systems
  • Scanning tunnelling electron and nearfield optical microscopes
  • Raman microscope
  • CPU parallel cluster
  • Access to the IBM-built ‘Blue C’ Super computer at Swansea University and is part of the shared use of the teraflop QCDOC facility based in Edinburgh

Research

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that over 80\% of the research outputs from both the experimental and theoretical groups were judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research groups include:

Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group

The Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group comprises academic staff, postdoctoral officers and postgraduate research students. Its work is supported by grants from EPSRC, the EU, The Royal Society, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and various industrial and government sources. There are two main fields of research: Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics and Nanoscale Physics.

Particle Physics And Cosmology Theory Group

The Particle Physics and Cosmology Theory Group has fifteen members of staff, in addition to postdoctoral officers and research students. It is the fourth largest particle physics theory group in the UK, and is supported mainly by STFC, but also has grants from EPSRC, the EU, Royal Society and Leverhulme Trust. The group recently expanded by hiring two theoretical cosmologists (Ivonne Zavala and Gianmassimo Tasinato). There are five main fields of research: Quantum Field Theory, Strings, Lattice Field Theory, Beyond the Standard Model Physics and Theoretical Cosmology.

Applied Physics and Materials Group

The Applied Physics and Materials (APM) Group has been very recently established at our department and is supported by grants from the European Union, Welsh Government, National Science Foundation, Australian Research Council, Welsh European Funding Office, and EPSRC. Its main areas of research range from Biophotonics, covering nano- and micro-structured materials, biomimetics, analyte sensing and light-tissue interaction, over Nanomedicine to Sustainable Advanced Materials, such as Next generation semiconductors, bioelectronic materials and devices, optoelectronics including photodetection, solar energy conversion, advanced electro-optics and transport physics of disordered solids.



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The MSc by Research Experimental Physics enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The MSc by Research would normally terminate after a year. Read more

The MSc by Research Experimental Physics enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The MSc by Research would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree. 

As a research student in Experimental Physics, you will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work. 

Key Features of Experimental Physics

Swansea is a research led University to which the Physics department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a Postgraduate Physics Student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

The Department received top ratings of 4* and 3* in the 2008 RAE, which classified our research as World-leading or Internationally excellent in terms of its originality, significance and rigour.

The three main research groups within the Department of Physics currently focus on the following areas of research:

Applied Physics and Materials Group

  • Next Generation Solar Cells
  • Materials and Devices for Photodetection
  • Physics of Next Generation Semiconductors
  • Bioelectronics
  • Material Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Novel sensors for medicine 

Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group

  • Antihydrogen, positronium and positrons
  • Quantum control
  • Cold atoms and quantum optics
  • Nano-scale physics and the life sciences
  • Analytical laser spectroscopy unit
  • Ultrafast Dynamics, Imaging and Microscopy
  • Quantum Computation and Simulation
  • Quantum Control and Optomechanics 

Particle Physics And Cosmology Theory Group

  • Integrability and AdS/CFT
  • Higher spin holography
  • Dense quark matter at strong coupling and gauge/string duality
  • Quantum fields in curved spacetime
  • Theoretical cosmology
  • Amplitudes in gauge and supergravity theories
  • Non-abelian T-duality and supergravity solutions
  • Holography and physics beyond the Standard Model
  • Large-N gauge theories, supersymmetry and duality
  • Lattice studies of strongly interacting systems
  • Lattice QCD at nonzero temperature
  • Dense quark matter and the sign problem
  • High-performance computing

Experimental Physics Structure

The Physics Department is always keen to attract high-quality postgraduate students to join our research groups.

All Physics Research Degrees take 12 months of study, including the dissertation. For MSc by Research programmes you will be guided by internationally leading researchers through an extended one-year individual research project. There is no taught element.

The MSc by Research in Experimental Physics degree enables you to pursue a one year individual programme of research and would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree. 

The Experimental Physics programme has a recommended initial research training module (Science Skills & Research Methods), but otherwise has no taught element and is most suitable for you if you have an existing background in geography or cognate discipline and are looking to pursue a wholly research-based programme of study.

Links with Industry

Our two research groups, Particle Physics Theory (PPT) and Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics (AMQP), deliver impact with commercial benefits both nationally and internationally, complemented by a public engagement programme with a global reach. 

Economic impacts are realised by the Department’s Analytical Laser Spectroscopy Unit (ALSU) which, since 1993, has worked with companies developing products eventually sold to customers in the nuclear power industry and military, both in the UK and overseas, and in the global aerospace industry. Computational particle physics work performed by the PPT group has spun-off a computer benchmarking tool, BSMBench, used by several leading software outfits, and has led to the establishment of a start-up company.

The AMQP group’s work on trapping and investigating antihydrogen has generated great media interest and building on this we have developed a significant and on-going programme of public engagement. Activities include the development of a bespoke software simulator (Hands on Antihydrogen) of the antimatter experiment for school students.

Facilities

As a postgraduate student in the Department of Physics you will have access to the following Specialist Facilities:

  • Low-energy positron beam with a high field superconducting magnet for the study of
  • positronium
  • CW and pulsed laser systems
  • Scanning tunnelling electron and nearfield optical microscopes
  • Raman microscope
  • CPU parallel cluster
  • Access to the IBM-built ‘Blue C’ Super computer at Swansea University and is part of the shared use of the teraflop QCDOC facility based in Edinburgh

Research

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that over 80\% of the research outputs from both the experimental and theoretical groups were judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research groups include:

Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group

The Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group comprises academic staff, postdoctoral officers and postgraduate research students. Its work is supported by grants from EPSRC, the EU, The Royal Society, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and various industrial and government sources. There are two main fields of research: Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics and Nanoscale Physics.

Particle Physics And Cosmology Theory Group

The Particle Physics and Cosmology Theory Group has fifteen members of staff, in addition to postdoctoral officers and research students. It is the fourth largest particle physics theory group in the UK, and is supported mainly by STFC, but also has grants from EPSRC, the EU, Royal Society and Leverhulme Trust. The group recently expanded by hiring two theoretical cosmologists (Ivonne Zavala and Gianmassimo Tasinato). There are five main fields of research: Quantum Field Theory, Strings, Lattice Field Theory, Beyond the Standard Model Physics and Theoretical Cosmology.

Applied Physics and Materials Group

The Applied Physics and Materials (APM) Group has been very recently established at our department and is supported by grants from the European Union, Welsh Government, National Science Foundation, Australian Research Council, Welsh European Funding Office, and EPSRC. Its main areas of research range from Biophotonics, covering nano- and micro-structured materials, biomimetics, analyte sensing and light-tissue interaction, over Nanomedicine to Sustainable Advanced Materials, such as Next generation semiconductors, bioelectronic materials and devices, optoelectronics including photodetection, solar energy conversion, advanced electro-optics and transport physics of disordered solids.



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Do you want to contribute to an area of cutting-edge research in an awe-inspiring subject? Do you want to delve deeper into advanced topics in physics or… Read more
Do you want to contribute to an area of cutting-edge research in an awe-inspiring subject? Do you want to delve deeper into advanced topics in physics or astronomy? Develop valuable new knowledge and skills? Prepare for a research career, or embark on a completely new path? Whatever your motivation, a postgraduate degree from the School of Physics and Astronomy can help you achieve your ambitions.

The MSc Physics is available in three different pathways: Particle Physic, Theoretical Physics and Condensed Matter Physics. The School of Physics and Astronomy also offers an MSc in Astrophysics and a PGCert in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Programme outcomes

The aim of the programme is to deepen your understanding of contemporary theoretical physics, covering advanced concepts and techniques, leaving you well prepared for further doctoral level study and research. The programme will also enable you to develop skills transferable to a wide range of other careers.

This programme will:

Teach you the fundamental laws and physical principles, along with their applications, in your chosen area of physics.
Introduce you to research methodology, and how to manage your own research, making use of journal articles and other primary sources.
Allow you to communicate complex scientific ideas, concisely, accurately and informatively.
Instruct you how to use mathematical analysis to model physical behaviour and interpret the mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena.

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Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics. A physics programme that covers the inner workings of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale. Read more

Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics

A physics programme that covers the inner workings of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale

Although Particle Physics and Astrophysics act on a completely different scale, they both use the laws of physics to study the universe. In this Master’s specialisation you’ll dive into these extreme worlds and unravel questions like: What did our universe look like in the earliest stages of its existence? What are the most elementary particles that the universe consists of? And how will it evolve?

If you are fascinated by the extreme densities, gravities, and magnetic fields that can be found only in space, or by the formation, evolution, and composition of astrophysical objects, you can focus on the Astrophysics branch within this specialisation. Would you rather study particle interactions and take part in the search for new particles – for example during an internship at CERN - then you can choose a programme full of High Energy Physics. And for students with a major interest in the theories and predictions underlying all experimental work, we offer an extensive programme in mathematical or theoretical physics.

Whatever direction you choose, you’ll learn to solve complex problems and think in an abstract way. This means that you’ll be highly appealing to employers in academia and business. Previous students have, for example, found jobs at Shell, ASML, Philips and space research institute SRON.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/particle

Why study Particle and Astrophysics at Radboud University?

- This Master’s specialisation provides you with a thorough background in High Energy Physics, Astrophysics, and Mathematical Physics and the interface between them.

- Apart from the mandatory programme, there’s plenty of room to adapt the programme to your specific interests.

- The programme offers the opportunity to perform theoretical or experimental research.

- During this specialisation it is possible to participate in large-scale research projects, like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN or the LOFAR telescope.

Career prospects

This Master’s specialisation is an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university, at an institute (think of ESA and CERN) or at a company. However, many of our students end up in other business or government positions as well. Whatever job you aspire, you can certainly make use of the fact that you have learned:

- Thinking in an abstract way

- Solving complex problems

- Using statistics

- Computer programming

- Giving presentations

Some of our alumni now work as:

- National project manager at EU Universe Awareness

- Actuarial trainee at Talent & Pro

- Associate Private Equity at HAL Investments

- Consultant at Accenture

- ECO Operations Manager at Ofgem

- Scientist at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

- Technology strategy Manager at Accenture

Working at a company

Other previous students have found jobs at for example:

- Shell

- KNMI

- Liander

- NXP

- ASML

- Philips

- McKinsey

- DSM

- Solvay

- Unilever

- AkzoNobel

Researchers in the field of Particle and Astrophysics develop advanced detector techniques that are often also useful for other applications. This resulted in numerous spin-off companies in for example medical equipment and detectors for industrial processes:

- Medipix

- Amsterdam Scientific Instruments

- Omics2Image

- InnoSeis

PhD positions

At Radboud University, there are typically a few PhD positions per year available in the field of Particle and Astrophysics. Many of our students attained a PhD position, not just at Radboud University, but at universities all over the world.

Our approach to this field

In the Particle and Astrophysics specialisation, you’ll discover both the largest and the smallest scales in the universe. Apart from Astrophysics and High Energy Physics, this specialisation is also aimed at the interface between them: experiments and theory related to the Big Bang, general relativity, dark matter, etc. As all relevant research departments are present at Radboud University – and closely work together – you’re free to choose any focus within this specialisation. For example:

- High energy physics

You’ll dive into particle physics and answer questions about the most fundamental building blocks of matter: leptons and quarks. The goal is to understand particle interactions and look for signs of physics beyond the standard model by confronting theoretical predictions with experimental observations.

- Astrophysics

The Astrophysics department concentrates on the physics of compact objects, such as neutron stars and black holes, and the environments in which they occur. This includes understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. While galaxies may contain of up to a hundred billion stars, most of their mass actually appears to be in the form of unseen ‘dark matter’, whose nature remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics.

- Mathematical physics

Research often starts with predictions, based on mathematical models. That’s why we’ll provide you with a theoretical background, including topics such as the properties of our space-time, quantum gravity and noncommutative geometry.

- Observations and theory

The Universe is an excellent laboratory: it tells us how the physical laws work under conditions of ultra-high temperature, pressure, magnetic fields, and gravity. In this specialisation you’ll learn how to decode that information, making use of advanced telescopes and observatories. Moreover, we’ll provide you with a thorough theoretical background in particle and astrophysics. After you’ve got acquainted with both methods, you can choose to focus more on theoretical physics or experimental physics.

- Personal approach

If you’re not yet sure what focus within this specialisation would best fit your interests, you can always ask one of the teachers to help you during your Master’s. Based on the courses that you like and your research ambitions, they can provide you with advice about electives and the internship(s).

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/particle



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