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Physics

6 places per year. Applicants can choose between Physics and joint schools in Physics and Philosophy. Students who are admitted to study Physics (or Mathematics) can opt to take Mathematics and Physics in the fourth year.

Why Study Physics at St Hilda's?

At St Hilda's, you will be taught by experienced tutors who are also leading research scientists. Professor Gwenlan is a particle physicist, involved in experiments at CERN including the discovering of the Higgs boson. Professor Yeomans, who is a Fellow of the Royal Society, is a theoretical physicist working at the interface between physics and biology

We are an international school, with physicists from all over the world. A highlight of the year is the 'Physics Picnic', held to celebrate the end of exams.

Subject Tutors

The core tutorial teaching team at St Hilda's consists of:

- Professor Claire Gwenlan

- Professor Julia Yeomans

Additional teaching is provided by:

- Dr Christopher Pollard

- Dr Luke Jew

 

After St Hilda's

More than 40 per cent of Physics graduates go on to study for a higher degree, leading to careers in universities or in industry or in research and development, technical consultancy, manufacturing and science education. Many others enter professions unrelated to Physics, such as finance and business, where the analytical and problem-solving skills they have developed are highly sought after.

Hear from our students

As part of their course, physics undergraduates have to take one short option each year. These are designed to be fun and interesting introductions to non-core physics topics. In Trinity Term of 2020, the exams for these short options were cancelled due to lockdown. Instead, the Physics department asked colleges to check that students had engaged with the material in ways of our choice. At St Hilda's, we took the unusual approach of an “Online Short Options Party”. The students were tasked with creating something fun to explain a concept from their chosen short option to a general audience.

A prize was awarded to one student for their video on tidal locking, explaining why tidal locking means we only ever see the same side of the moon. Another went to a video presentation introducing Fourier transforms. Part of the  “Functions of a complex variable” short option, this  is a very powerful branch of mathematics that can be used to solve otherwise unsolvable problems. First prize went to a video demonstrating a table-top experiment via TikTok that explores ideas around surface tension.  Find out more about these and other prize winners.