Physics projects for Y3 and Y4 students

Project list

Project selection

Please have a look at the project descriptions below and consult potential supervisors to get more information.

selection form: Year 3 Year 4
deadline: Wed 2 Oct 2pm

Once you've decided which projects interest you most, choose your favourite four using the online project selection form by the deadline shown in the table on the overview page. Your selection must include projects from at least three different supervisors. We'll try to accommodate everybody's preferences while keeping the supervision workload balanced between staff. The module co-ordinator's decision on project allocation is final.

The project descriptions linked from the list below specify the topic, supervisor and nature of the project (experimental, computational, theoretical...). All projects are open to all students, but the supervisor can issue guidance as to whether a project is particularly suitable for a specialty or joint degrees. All projects can be chosen by 3rd-year students, but if the project is suitable for 4th-years, there is an additional scope section explaining what is expected of a 4th-year student over and above what a 3rd-year group should aim for. This will typically cover more challenging or difficult aspects of the project, not just a greater amount of data to process.

The novelty section gives you an estimate of how open-ended a project is. A novel research project will be more challenging but also potentially more rewarding, as you may be the first person to discover a novel bit of science. There is a section about project milestones and deliverables against which your progress will be judged. These are project-specific targets which the supervisor specifies to ensure your project remains on track. The general deadlines for assessed components apply independently of these. The references at the bottom are meant to give you some background and starting points for your own literature research.

Project list

The project list is being updated over the summer. Some of the projects listed below may be withdrawn or updated, and new ones will be added to the list.

Constrain list

Suitable for Y4:

Recommended for: full-time physicists   joint students

Broad topical areas: Materials & devices   Sun, stars, planets, space   Quantum information   Other

Nature of project: experimental   instrumentation   data analysis   software   theory

Sort by latest update:

There are currently 107 projects available with the chosen characteristics.

Click the title of a project to view a full project description.

working title supervisor
Computational Simulation of C60 and Fullerene derivativesChris Finlayson
Computational Simulation of Chiral MoleculesChris Finlayson
Computational Simulations of Organic SemiconductorsChris Finlayson
Optical Properties of Polymer Opal Thin-filmsChris Finlayson
Rheological Study of Soft Photonics MaterialsChris Finlayson
Bell’s Spaceship ParadoxBalázs Pintér
Effects of Solar Weather on the Earth's MagnetosphereBalázs Pintér
Relativistic Doppler EffectsBalázs Pintér
Revisiting the Twin Paradox of Special Relativity Balázs Pintér
The Lock and Key Paradox of Special RelativityBalázs Pintér
Tracking a SunspotBalázs Pintér
Visual Appearance of Fast-Moving ObjectsBalázs Pintér
Wave Propagation in Inhomogeneous MediaBalázs Pintér
Analysis of wobbling drop video dataDave Langstaff
Design, construction and calibration of a low-cost spectrometerDave Langstaff
Detection and remediation of hot pixel eventsDave Langstaff
Determination of Ice volume by capacitance measurementDave Langstaff
Oscillating chemical reactionsDave Langstaff
Sunspot tracking using ImageJ and PythonDave Langstaff
Reading information from a noisy quantum bitJukka Kiukas
Calculation of line lists for OH+ and OH- Maire Gorman
Calculation of a line list for Strontium Hydride, SrHMaire Gorman
MARVEL analysis of FeH Maire Gorman
Molecules in Sunspots: MARVEL analysis of BaOMaire Gorman
What's that smell? Molecular spectroscopy of nasty gases emitted from volcanoesMaire Gorman
Application of modern technology to complement secondary-school Physics studiesEleri Pryse
Experimental TomographyEleri Pryse
Experiments and Demonstrations to complement A level Physics studiesEleri Pryse
Simulation of radio-wave propagation using ultrasoundEleri Pryse
Solar wind conditions driving geomagnetic activityEleri Pryse
Tomography - a theoretical studyEleri Pryse
Bouncing billiard balls: modelling the dynamics of hard sphere systemsEdwin Flikkema
Graph based sampling of fully-coordinated geometries of clusters of network-forming materialsEdwin Flikkema
Knots, links, rings and other things: simulating topological interaction in polymer systemsEdwin Flikkema
Snakes on a lattice: using Wang-Landau sampling to study a simple polymer modelEdwin Flikkema
The Ising magnet: a simple model for phase transitionsEdwin Flikkema
A Reflective Pin Hole TelescopeTony Cook
Cardigan Bay Wave Height Measuremnets Using a TelescopeTony Cook
Cosmic Ray Detections with CCD CamerasTony Cook
Efficient Drying of Clothes on Washing LinesTony Cook
Feasibility of Cymatics to Sort Spacecraft Soil SamplesTony Cook
Inscription/Impression Reading on Archaeological Artefacts and ManuscriptsTony Cook
Lunar Impact Flash ObservationsTony Cook
Lunar Occultations of Binary StarsTony Cook
Lunar PolarimetryTony Cook
Mechanoluminescence Produced from Rock Particles in a Kitchen BlenderTony Cook
NASA LROC Imagery - Change Detection on the Lunar SurfaceTony Cook
Optical SETITony Cook
Orb Photography of Dust ParticlesTony Cook
Physics of a Collimator TelescopeTony Cook
Sea Surface Characteristic Monitoring Using A Robotic TelescopeTony Cook
String Telephone ExperimentsTony Cook
Transient Lunar PhenomenaTony Cook
Transient Lunar Phenomenon Detection TechniquesTony Cook
Combinatorics and quantum theoryJohn Gough
Feedback & Control Theory for PhysicistsJohn Gough
Path IntegralsJohn Gough
Relativistic ParticlesJohn Gough
Analysis of minerals and pigments for heritage scienceRachel Cross
Measuring strain and colour in diamondsRachel Cross
Nano diamond interaction with natural bio-pigmentsRachel Cross
Optical properties of Boron NitrideRachel Cross
Optical properties of synthetic diamondRachel Cross
Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopyRachel Cross
A large statistical study of solar active region mass/temperatures from 2010-2016Huw Morgan
Automated detection and classification of filaments/coronal holes in solar EUV imagesHuw Morgan
CME events in the low corona as observed by AIA/SDOHuw Morgan
Robotic Solar TelescopesHuw Morgan
Space Weather forecasting: Predicting the occurrence of large eruptions from solar active regionsHuw Morgan
What's hot and what's not: a multi-wavelength study of the SunHuw Morgan
Buckling in helical metamaterialsAdil Mughal
Non-linear Alfven wavesXing Li
Multi-spacecraft data analysis of plasma turbulenceXing Li
Observational study of MHD waves in the solar coronaXing Li
Rotational motions of solar filaments/prominencesXing Li
Streamer wavesXing Li
Twisting a magnetic tube: filament eruption and coronal mass ejectionsXing Li
Bubble raft model of mechanical stress in granular crystalline materialsRudi Winter
Dispersion and segregation of suspensionsRudi Winter
Film deposition under the microscopeRudi Winter
Impact resistance of non-Newtonian fluidsRudi Winter
Mud, glorious mud - sedimentation dynamicsRudi Winter
Nanosphere lithography: patterns emerging by self-assemblyRudi Winter
Photoelasticity: visualising strain in polymer filmsRudi Winter
Quantitative imaging of polymer blend filmsRudi Winter
Automatic identification and Analysis of Moving ObjectsTom Knight
Feature Parameterisation for Grazing Incidence X-Ray ScatteringTom Knight
Feature Spatial Analysis of Data from Atomic Force MicroscopyTom Knight
Parametrising Transient Phenomena From Image SequencesTom Knight
Parametrising Transient Sunspot PropertiesTom Knight
Spherical Data DisplayTom Knight
Visualisation of Physical and Mathematical Concepts for Education and OutreachTom Knight
Electrical characteristics of wide band-gap semiconductor diodesAndrew Evans
Electron emission from semiconductor surfacesAndrew Evans
Optical properties of nanoparticlesAndrew Evans
Spectroscopy of ultrathin filmsAndrew Evans
Examination of the Dst Index.Heather McCreadie
Mapping the Sq current systemHeather McCreadie
What is the definition of geomagnetic quiet time?Heather McCreadie
What's in a geomagnetic measurement?Heather McCreadie
Why do we need all of the geomagnetic indices?Heather McCreadie
Absolute and Convective InstabilitiesYoura Taroyan
Alfven waves in the solar atmosphereYoura Taroyan
Effect of gravity on sound wavesYoura Taroyan
Solar chromospheric dynamicsYoura Taroyan
Theory of magnetic reconnectionYoura Taroyan
Wave detection in the solar atmosphere with Hinode/EISYoura Taroyan