Lasers from our imaging lab

Facilities

Practical skills are an important part of studying physics, so we make sure that you have all the space and equipment you need to develop the skills of a professional scientist.

We're based in the Hicks Building, where our student have access to a range of specialist technology, from the telescope on the roof to our Quantum Information Lab, the only one of its kind in the UK. It's all right next to the Students' Union and down the road from the 24/7 library facilities at the Information Commons and The Diamond.

Teaching laboratories

In our teaching labs, students are trained to use essential experimental tools so that they have the skills to complete their own research projects in third and fourth year. This includes equipment such as tensiometers for measuring the thermodynamic properties of liquids and solids, vacuum systems for measuring optical properties of metals, and telescopes for students on our Physics and Astronomy courses. You'll also learn to use specialist computer software for collecting and analysing data.

Students in one of our teaching labs

Lecture and tutorial spaces

Lectures take place in the Hicks Building and other lecture theatres across the University campus, close to the accommodation and Students' Union. They are recorded so you can return to them later. You'll also have small group teaching sessions in our seminar rooms and staff offices, so you can look at problems more closely, and there are meeting rooms you can book to work on group projects with other students.

Students taking part in a tutorial session

Research facilities

There are a range of research projects available in third year, so that students can complete projects in facilities such as the electronics laboratory in The Diamond, or our Quantum Information Laboratory. Fourth year projects can be based in one of the research laboratories where professional scientists work on their research: this includes facilities for testing solar devices, and imaging and microscopy tools for analysing biological samples.

A student working in the Quantum Information Laboratory

Independent study spaces

There are bookable computers available in the department, and 1,600 computers available through the University's library services, including at The Diamond and Information Commons, which are open to students 24/7.

The University of Sheffield's state-of-the-art library services were voted joint first in the UK in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017.

The Diamond

Telescopes

There are two telescopes on our roof: a robotic 0.25m telescope and a computer-controlled 0.40m telescope. Physics and Astrophysics students learn to use them in first and second year, and can use them in third and fourth year projects. In addition we share a 0.5m telescope on La Palma with the University of Durham, which is used for remote observing and our annual observing field trip, plus we have access to several research telescopes, including a 2m telescope in Thailand and the Gravitational Wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) on La Palma.

A student working at the telescope on the roof of the Hicks Building

Observatory

A student working in the Diamond's electronics lab

Students working in a materials science lab

Students working in a biological imaging lab

Students working on an Atomic Force Microscope

A student and a technician in the physics workshop