Research in the School of Physics and Astronomy
The School has an internationally recognised set of research programmes in astrophysics, condensed-matter physics, and photonics. Detailed information provided by the groups can be accessed via the links above.
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) we were pleased to see our research performance acknowledged by the panel's decision to rank us joint 2nd (with Cambridge & Nottingham) of all departments in the UK.
Around 30 academic staff work with approximately 50 research fellows and contract research staff, and about 55 PhD students. Our work is carried out in modern laboratories in St Andrews, as well as at major international research facilities in the UK and abroad.
Recent highlights include
- the theoretical prediction of invisibility cloaking
- development of diode-based skin cancer phototherapies
- The extreme slowing of light in optical waveguides
- discovery of cool earth-like planets through gravitational microlensing
- the discovery of new forms of electronic self-organisation near quantum critical points in special oxide metals
We are very active in interdisciplinary activities, building bridges between the traditionally distinct disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology and medical sciences. An illustration of our vibrant and on-going efforts can been seen in our Biophotonics Collaboration, which is at the interface between physics, biology and medical sciences. Additionally we have a range of advanced materials and nano-sciences research, linking our school with the School of Chemistry at St Andrews. A snapshot of these cross-school endeavours can be found in the advanced materials and nano-sciences brochure. More detailed information is accessible on the Condensed-Matter & Photonics webpages linked above.
We play an active role in the Scottish Universities' Physics Alliance (SUPA). SUPA aims to place Scotland at the forefront of international research in Physics through an agreed national strategy, a pan-Scottish Graduate School offering over 600 lecture hours of graduate courses, an inter-institutional management structure, and co-ordinated promotion and pursuit of excellence in research.
Building on that SUPA infrastructure, we were successful in winning the new Scottish Doctoral Training Centre in Condensed Matter Physics and a share in the Engineering Doctorate Center in Photonics.
Director of Research
Director of Postgraduate Studies
Director of Knowledge Transfer
Head of School
Last updated BDS 6.12