The field of experimental physics offers unique scientific and technological challenges. As a student in the Master’s degree programme in Experimental Physics you will receive advanced training in the fundamental scientific theories that describe the world around us. You will examine the design and use of advanced instrumentation required to study those theories.
The Dutch Master's Selection Guide (Keuzegids Masters 2017) ranked this programme as the best in the field of Physics in the Netherlands.
You will come into contact with forefront technologies in particle detection, such as extremely high-granularity Si-pixel detectors and high-performance computing, as well as state-of-the-art setups for laser cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation. You will also learn to utilise advanced techniques for data analysis and computer modelling.
The MSc programme offers courses with a strong link to research carried out by experimental research groups in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Utrecht University. You will have the opportunity to work in close cooperation with groups specialising in the strong nuclear forces, ultra-cold quantum matter, and ultra-fast light-matter interaction.
Research for experimental physics is performed at labs in Utrecht and at the famous CERN laboratory in Geneva. You will also have the opportunity to participate in (inter)national research meetings.
The Master's programme in Experimental Physics offers excellent preparation for a career in research laboratory in the high-tech industry, or as a PhD student at Universities and research institutes around the world.
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
- 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.
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
Other previous students have found jobs at for example:
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:
- Amsterdam Scientific Instruments
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.
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.
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