Did you ever wonder why your smart phone battery needs to be recharged? Or why planets and stars don’t crash into each other? From particles to planets, from crystals to chaos, from quanta to quasars and from superconductors to supernovae, physics can explain and answer many of our questions and curiosities.
Physical Sciences (TR063) at Trinity is a four year degree programme for students who like to solve problems. Whether it is studying galaxies, examining the potential of new lasers or investigating next generation nanomaterials, this degree pathway will prepare you for a lifelong career of solving problems in research, industry or business.
In the School of Physics our presence at the forefront of cutting-edge research allows us to contribute to ground- breaking advances relevant to society today. Our interdisciplinary approach to research requires national and global collaborations - an approach that influences our teaching and students mindset. In your fourth year of this programme, you will develop specialist research knowledge by carrying out a Capstone research project in our state-of-the-art facilities or with one of our collaborators in Ireland or abroad (e.g. US, UK, France, Germany, China and Australia).
As well as practical knowledge of the subject, our programme is designed to help you to develop many other transferable skills valued by both employers and the wider community. These range from critical thinking and problem-solving skills to understanding complex mathematical/physical behaviour. Every year, graduates from all our degree courses drawn from a range of sectors of industry, business and society are invited back to share their experiences with our current students. Our student societies host a career fair for students so you can meet employers. The School of Physics annual Alumni Careers Networking evenings enable you to hear from a range of graduates what they are doing in their careers today.
Our physics degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics, the professional body for physicists in Ireland and the UK. This opens up a pathway to become a ‘Chartered Physicist’ (CPhys). Since 2017, Trinity is also a member of LERU, a League of European Research Universities in recognition of our outstanding education, research and innovation; something that you will experience first-hand in our physics programmes.
In first and second year, you will study foundation topics in physics including classical and quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, special relativity, and thermodynamics through our lectures, tutorials and computational and experimental laboratory classes. This will be hand-in-hand with the study of Mathematics and your choice of approved modules from other science subjects. These strong foundations in physics and mathematics will allow you to study more advanced topics in the physics, astrophysics and nanoscience degree programmes in later years.
In third and fourth year, all students study central topics such as quantum mechanics, statistical physics and condensed matter physics. In addition each student must opt to specialise in one of our three moderatorships:
Physics: Advanced topics include magnetism, semiconductor devices, materials and electronic structure, superconductivity, nanoscience, modern and non-linear optics, nuclear physics and structure, high energy physics and optional topics (energy science, thin films, polymers, ultramicroscopy of nanostructures, and theoretical methods).
Physics and Astrophysics: Specialised astrophysics topics include stellar and galactic structures, planetary and space science and cosmology together with nuclear physics and structure, and high energy physics.
Nanoscience: Advanced topics include nanoscience, condensed matter physics, specialist courses in thin films, polymers, ultramicroscopy of nanostructures, solid state chemistry, electrochemistry, photochemistry, all emphasising nanomaterials.
All have tailored practical courses developing appropriate laboratory, experimental, computational and analysis skills as well as participation in research-level final year Capstone projects carried out in a research laboratory in Trinity or in another university, research institute or astrophysical observatory (e.g. US, UK, France, Germany, China and Australia).