The Department of Physics at Imperial is one of the world’s most successful in terms of research output and research income. We are also one of the largest physics departments in the UK and in Europe, which enables us to create groups of international standing and intellectual calibre.

What makes us stand out?

Our Department operates in an internationalised environment, which help us contribute significantly to the national and global research agendas. We also have a vast research portfolio, which covers the full range of theoretical and experimental physics and allows us to respond rapidly to opportunities and initiatives.

As a Department, we aim to:

  • Inspire future world-class scientists in fundamental theory and experimentation;
  • Facilitate large international collaborations and projects;
  • Apply newly acquired knowledge to advanced technology;
  • Develop specialist infrastructure and facilities.

Our research activities are organised across our research communities, which comprise researchers from different groups who work in symbiosis with one another thanks to invaluable inter-lab collaborations.

Research highlights

With our capacity spanning theoretical concepts through to impactful translation, our research diversity is a driver for innovation. Some of our recent highlights are detailed below.

Powering refugee camps in Rwanda with solar mini-grids

Research impact

Powering refugee camps in Rwanda with solar mini-grids

Imperial's research helped MeshPower to install and analyse their first solar mini-grid in the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda, the largest in the country. The camp is home to approximately 60,000 refugees fleeing conflict in Burundi. Our CLOVER model investigated the electricity demands of the community and predicted performance of MeshPower’s mini-grid system over different usage strategies.

Professor John Pendry

Research impact

Delivering disruptive metamaterials to industry

Metamaterials deliver electromagnetic properties that are not available in natural materials, and our researchers have helped establish the fundamental research characterising different metamaterials that has then been translated into industry. Our research has underpinned the powerful applications of these metamaterials in optical, medical, aerospace and communications industries.

Emeritus Professor Sir Peter Knight

Research impact

Influencing the UK’s leadership in quantum technologies

Revolutions in technology, enabled by huge advancements to manipulate and understand quantum systems, are happening now. Quantum technologies represent some of the most exciting and impactful innovations unfolding at home and worldwide, and Imperial is helping to ensure that the UK is well-positioned to meet future challenges.

Professor Apostolos Voulgarakis

Research impact

Conducting a climate change risk assessment for the Government of Cyprus

Imperial College London contributes its extensive expertise on regional climate and atmospheric physics to help governments form policies on how to prevent and mitigate the harms of climate change. Our research has helped the Cyprus government form its first National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change.