Theoretical Physics

World leading research in some of the most exciting areas of theoretical physics including string theory, quantum field theory, cosmology, quantum foundations and gravity

Welcome to the Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial College! The Group was founded in 1956 by Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam and we have written a brief history of the Group. We carry out world-leading research in some of the most exciting areas of theoretical physics including string theory, quantum field theory, cosmology, quantum foundations, and gravity. We have a dynamic PhD programme and we offer a one year MSc Course which provides a focussed training to begin research at a PhD level.  

James Stirling 1953 - 2018

We are very sad to note the death of Professor James Stirling, an outstanding theoretical physicist, the first Provost of Imperial College and a very good friend of the Theory Group. We link here to some tributes to him and his work from Imperial and Durham.   

Stephen Hawking 1942 - 2018

The Group is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Professor Stephen Hawking. He had many long-standing and significant connections to and close friendships within the Theory Group and will be greatly missed. Fay Dowker gave the eulogy at his funeral.

Fay also appeared on Inside Science's special programme on Stephen on BBC Radio 4, Jonathan Halliwell spoke about Stephen on the BBC News channeland some further tributes from group members appear here. Finally see if you can spot which member of the Theory Group (actually two if you look very carefully) features in this BBC Horizon documentary about Stephen.

Friends of Imperial Theoretical Physics

Major Grant Awards and Prizes

  • Dr Claudia de Rham is joint recipient of the 2018 Adams Prize
  • Dr Claudia de Rham has been honoured in the inaugural UK Blavatnik Awards for outstanding young scientists.
  • Prof. Mike Duff has been awarded the 2017 Paul Dirac Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics
  • Advanced ERC Grant, "Gauge theory - string theory duality: maximally supersymmetric case and beyond", Tseytlin
  • Advanced ERC Grant, "Gravity, black holes and strongly coupled quantum matter", Gauntlett
  • Consolidator ERC Grant, "Massive Gravity and Cosmology”, de Rham
  • EPSRC Programme Grant, "New Geometric structures from string theory", Hull et al
  • STFC Consolidated Grant, "M-theory, cosmology and quantum field theory", Waldram et al

Postdoctoral Vacancies and Fellowships

We support fellowship applications for awards starting in 2019, including UKRI Future Leaders, STFC and Royal Society. Note the group and department have internal deadlines for applications which are well before the official deadlines.  The internal deadlines vary with the fellowship, the earliest being 29 July 2018.

We have an open postdoctoral position in the Theory group starting in Autumn 2019 in the area of Cosmology, Gravitational Physics, and Quantum Field Theory (interpreted broadly). To apply please go to The closing date is 19 Decemeber 2018.

Postgraduate Study

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