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

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

There are currently 145 projects available with the chosen characteristics.

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

working title supervisor
Densest packing of hard ellipses in containersAdil Mughal
The Pendulum CatchAdil Mughal
Optical TestingMatt Gunn
Radiation dose dependent Infrared Photoluminescence of FeldsparMatt Gunn
Variable Angle Spectroscopic Ellipsometry of thin oxide filmsMatt Gunn
Non-linear Alfven wavesXing Li
Einstein ring -- gravitational lensingXing 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
Wind from the Sun or other starsXing Li
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
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
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
The Effect of the Earth's Atmosphere on Solar RadiationHuw Morgan
The magnetic field of the solar coronaHuw Morgan
What's hot and what's not: a multi-wavelength study of the SunHuw Morgan
Combinatorics and quantum theoryJohn Gough
Feedback & Control for Physicists: Digital Control LoopsJohn Gough
Feedback & Control for Physicists: Michelson InterferometerJohn Gough
Feedback & Control for Physicists: Operational AmplifiersJohn Gough
Hybrid Quantum NetworksJohn Gough
Path IntegralsJohn Gough
Quantum Fisher Information: Energy-Time Uncertainty RelationsJohn Gough
Quantum Fisher Information: Natural Quantum GradientJohn Gough
Absolute and Convective InstabilitiesYoura Taroyan
Alfven waves in the solar atmosphereYoura Taroyan
Density Diagnostics in the Solar CoronaYoura Taroyan
Theory of magnetic reconnectionYoura Taroyan
Theory of shock wavesYoura Taroyan
Tsunami SimulationsYoura Taroyan
Vertical Propagation of Acoustic Waves in a Stratified AtmosphereYoura Taroyan
Wave detection in the solar atmosphere with Hinode/EISYoura Taroyan
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
School Curriculum Enrichment - NanomaterialsRachel Cross
School Curriculum Enrichment - SpaceRachel Cross
Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopyRachel Cross
Reading information from a noisy quantum bitJukka Kiukas
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
Quantitative measurements of Light-Emitting Diodes using an integrating sphere method (not to be chosen by pairs)Chris Finlayson
Rheological Study of Soft Photonics MaterialsChris Finlayson
Simulating particle packing and ordering effects in Photonic CrystalsChris Finlayson
Small molecule semiconductorsChris Finlayson
Spin-coated oxides; preparation and characterisationChris Finlayson
A Reflective Pin Hole TelescopeTony Cook
Cardigan Bay Wave Height Measurements Using a TelescopeTony Cook
Detection of Very Faint Comets or Asteroids in Time Sequence AstrophotographyTony Cook
Efficient Drying of Clothes on Washing LinesTony Cook
Feasibility of Cymatics to Sort Spacecraft Soil SamplesTony Cook
Lord Kelvin's Water Drop System for Separating/Storing Charge and Making Sparks!Tony Cook
Lunar Impact Flash ObservationsTony Cook
Lunar Occultations of Binary StarsTony 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
Sea Surface Characteristic Monitoring Using A Robotic TelescopeTony Cook
Searching for Impact Basins on the MoonTony Cook
String Telephone ExperimentsTony Cook
Transient Lunar Phenomenon Detection TechniquesTony Cook
Electrical characteristics of wide band-gap semiconductor diodesAndrew Evans
Electron emission from semiconductor surfacesAndrew Evans
Electronic and optical properties of grapheneAndrew Evans
Optical properties of nanoparticlesAndrew Evans
Spectroscopy of ultrathin filmsAndrew Evans
Mapping the velocity of flare coronal loops David Kuridze
Measuring magnetic fields in sunspotsDavid Kuridze
Error Propagation and the Manipulation of Remotely Sensed DataTom 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
Smoothed Particle Heat EquationTom Knight
Spherical Data DisplayTom Knight
Visualisation of Physical and Mathematical Concepts for Education and OutreachTom Knight
Bouncing billiard balls: modelling the dynamics of hard sphere systemsEdwin Flikkema
Finding the optimal arrangements of atoms in a clusterEdwin Flikkema
Graph based sampling of fully-coordinated geometries of clusters of network-forming materialsEdwin Flikkema
How to avoid getting stuck: using Parallel Tempering to simulate systems at low temperatureEdwin Flikkema
Knots, links, rings and other things: simulating topological interaction in polymer systemsEdwin Flikkema
Molecular Dynamics simulation of supercooled liquids and glassesEdwin 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
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
Magnetic confinement (not to be chosen by pairs)Rudi Winter
Mud, glorious mud - sedimentation dynamicsRudi Winter
Nanosphere lithography: patterns emerging by self-assemblyRudi Winter
Phase transformations in alloys under heat treatment and deformation (not to be chosen by pairs)Rudi Winter
Photoelasticity: visualising strain in polymer filmsRudi Winter
Quantitative imaging of polymer blend filmsRudi Winter
Analysis of three geomagnetic events in 2015 (not to be chosen by pairs)Heather McCreadie
Determination of the Sq current system during 2009 (not to be chosen by pairs)Heather McCreadie
Digital images of dataHeather McCreadie
Energy transfer during geomagnetic sudden commencement eventsHeather McCreadie
Examination of the definition of geomagnetic quiet timeHeather McCreadie
Examination of the Dst Index.Heather McCreadie
Investigation of the Ehrenfest paradox (not to be chosen by pairs)Heather McCreadie
Mapping the Sq current systemHeather McCreadie
Nuances of magnetic variometersHeather McCreadie
What's in a geomagnetic measurement?Heather McCreadie
Why do we need all of the geomagnetic indices?Heather McCreadie
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
Flue gas analysis probeDave Langstaff
Oscillating chemical reactionsDave Langstaff
Sunspot tracking using ImageJ and PythonDave Langstaff
Wearable accelerometerDave Langstaff
Chemistry of the Interstellar MediumMaire Gorman
Could GeO exist in astrophysical settings? Maire Gorman
Diatomic molecules in sunspots: MARVEL and DC analysis of BaOMaire Gorman
Diatomic molecules in sunspots: Theoretical & computational calculation of spectraMaire Gorman
Do exotic fluoride molecules exist in the Interstellar medium?Maire Gorman
Molecular Spectroscopy of Brown DwarfsMaire Gorman
Quantum chemistry calculations for molecules of interest for laser cooling Maire Gorman
Quantum Chemistry Calculations molecules of interest in sunspotsMaire Gorman