The power of physics, more than any other science, comes from its theoretical foundations. These have led to the unification of electricity, magnetism and optics and the development of quantum theory, and through these the technological revolution that has shaped much of the world we live. It has led to the creation of technologies such as telecommunications, material science, chemistry, the transistor (and microchip) and almost every we experience.
The power of theoretical physics is illustrated by Dirac’s prediction of antimatter in 1928 four years before its discovery in 1932 by Anderson. A further illustration is general relativity, which Einstein derived in 1915 from a few basic principles and whose predictions are still being confirmed, from gravitational lensing in 1919 to LIGO’s detection of gravitational waves from black hole mergers in 2015: even here there are technological implications, as general relativity has to be taken into account for the correct operation of GPS.
With our increasing dependence on technology for controlling, interacting with and understanding our world, theoretical physics is becoming ever more important. This is not just the case in areas such as quantum technologies where the need for theoretical physics is clear. Principles central to theoretical physics are applicable in many disciplines. For example, Noether’s ground-breaking theorem that symmetries lead to conservation laws does not just underpin ideas such as conservation of energy and momentum but also finds utility in finance.
In this degree you will be given the opportunity to develop the skills of a theoretical physicist and the physics thinking that has the potential to alter the way you look at the world around you.
In addition to the core physics course you will take additional modules that will provide the opportunity to think like a therotical physicist and understand what it means to progress the theoretical underpinnings of physics. This culminates in a dedicated theoretical physics project that.
Award: MPhys Professional Qualification 5 Years Full Time Taught in English