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Condensed Matter PhD

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Meet with staff from the UK’s leading universities at the Russell Group Universities Postgraduate Study Roadshow in early December 2014.

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PhD Physics - 3 Years (Full-time)
Fees

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Contact information
Graduate School Secretary
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5236
Email: gradschool@ph.ed.ac.uk
Address: School of Physics & Astronomy
James Clerk Maxwell Building
The King's Buildings Campus
Edinburgh
EH9 3JZ

This group incorporates molecular and optical physics, and covers a world of applications, from computational materials physics to quantum ordering to soft matter physics.

Condensed matter physics overlaps considerably with materials science, as well as biological and earth sciences, and relies on fundamental developments in statistical physics and novel simulation methodologies.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in Physics or a related discipline. Some programmes require a first class degree.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.

IELTS minimum score
  • IELTS Academic module: 6.5 (with no score lower than 6.0 in each section)
Other accepted tests and scores
  • TOEFL iBT: total 92 (with no score lower than 20 in each section)
  • PTE: 61 (with no score lower than 56 in each section)
  • Cambridge CPE: Grade C
  • Cambridge CAE: Grade B

Find out more about our language requirements:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

How to apply

You must submit two references with your application.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Research profile

Our research is concerned with the study of liquids and solids, and ‘viscoelastic’ materials (such as polymers and suspensions) with properties in between. We aim to discover and characterise the behaviour of these materials in the laboratory, and understand such behaviour in terms of the microscopic constituents.

Experimentally, the determination of structure and the characterisation of static and dynamic optical, electrical, magnetic, mechanical and other properties under ambient and extreme conditions call upon a wide range of tools.

Training and support

You’ll have access to the resources of some of the top facilities in Europe and the UK.

The Collaborative Optical Spectroscopy, Micromanipulation and Imaging Centre (COSMIC) is a cross-disciplinary centre for optical characterisation, control and imaging of complex materials, and offers world-class equipment and a far-reaching research network.

We host the UK Centre for Astrobiology, where the responses of molecules to life in extreme environments – including the space environment – are studied. The Centre also simulates extraterrestrial environments, and maintains a subsurface biology laboratory 1.5 kilometres underground at the Boulby Mine in Yorkshire.

Our studies of the structure and properties of materials at extremes of pressure and temperature take place within the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions, which hosts internationally leading facilities for sample preparation, characterization, and static and dynamic structure determination.

Among the powerful resources accessed by our computer simulators and theorists is an 800 teraflop IBM BG-Q supercomputer hosted by the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC). We also have access to Eddie, the University’s 2500+ core multipurpose machine.

Condensed matter theorists are full participants in the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics, which organises colloquia workshops and other events, many related directly to condensed matter.

Facilities

You will have access to the resources of some of the top facilities in Europe and the UK. COSMIC is a cross-disciplinary centre for optical characterisation, control and imaging of complex materials, which offers world-class equipment and a far-reaching research network.

We host the UK Centre for Astrobiology, where scientists study the responses of molecules to life in extreme environments – including the space environment. The Centre also simulates extraterrestrial environments, and maintains a subsurface biology laboratory 1.5km underground at the Boulby Mine in Yorkshire.

Our ability to probe the structures and properties of materials at extremes of pressure and temperature has been boosted by the creation of the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions. Wet labs are available for work at biological hazard containment level 1, and upgradeable to containment level 2.

Among the powerful resources accessed by our computer simulators and theorists is a 5 teraflop IBM BlueGene supercomputer hosted by the EPCC. We are also participants in EPSRC’s ‘RealityGrid’ e-Science Testbed Project (part of a national initiative in grid Computing).

Career opportunities

Our graduates have pursued highly diverse and successful careers in academia and industry.

Further information

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