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Undergraduate study 2011

Physics


Key facts Physics at Hull | 1

Degree course

UCAS code

MPhys/BSc Single Honours | 6

3-year BSc and 4-year MPhys degrees

BSc (3-year)

MPhys (4-year)

Applied Physics

F310 BSc/AP

F313 MPhys/AP

Physics

F300 BSc/P

F303 MPhys/P

Physics with Astrophysics

F3F5 BSc/PAP

F3FM MPhys/PAP

Physics with Nanotechnology

F3F9 BSc/PhyNan

F3FX MPhys/PhNa

Physics and Philosophy

FV35 BSc/PP

BSc Joint Honours | 14 Careers and further study | 16

4-year BSc degrees including a foundation year Physics

F301 BSc/P4

Entry requirements • Normally within the range of 280–320 points, including A level Physics and Mathematics (except Applied Physics, where Mathematics can be replaced by another science subject). • A mix of A and AS levels is also acceptable. • Other qualifications, such as BTEC Nationals, OCR Nationals, Access to HE Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Scottish qualifications and Irish Leaving Certificates, are welcomed. Some diplomas and overseas qualifications may permit entry to the second or third year of our degree courses. • The University encourages applications from people of all backgrounds. We consider applicants on the basis of academic qualifications at Level 3 (A level or equivalent) and/or on the basis of other relevant knowledge and skills. Admissions tutors may interview some applicants. • Applications for F301, which includes a foundation year, will be considered on an individual basis. • Applications from overseas candidates are always welcome, and these will be considered individually. Entry to the second or third year is possible for suitably qualified applicants.

Further information If you have specific questions or wish to discuss any aspects of the physics courses, please write to Admissions Tutor Physics University of Hull Hull, HU6 7RX 01482 465501 admissions-physics@hull.ac.uk

Dates of semesters Semester 1 27 Sep – 16 Dec 2011

Semester 2 30 Jan – 11 May 2012


Physics at Hull This pamphlet outlines the various physics courses available in our department, its facilities, its research, its students and the careers open to them. The department has a particularly strong reputation for its teaching and research, and our degree courses are accredited by the Institute of Physics. We offer the following degrees:

Three-year BSc and four-year MPhys • • • • •

Applied Physics Physics Physics with Astrophysics Physics with Nanotechnology Physics and Philosophy (BSc only)

Four-year BSc including a foundation year • Physics Our modern and well-equipped teaching laboratories are set in the centre of the University’s beautiful and spacious Hull Campus. We pride ourselves on the quality and the uniquely personal, friendly and supportive nature of our teaching. The best way for you and your family to find out about the courses and the facilities that we offer is to visit the department. We welcome the opportunity to meet you (we will subsidise your travel costs) and to show you our laboratories and discuss our courses with you. Most of all, we would like to give you the opportunity to talk to our current students about their experiences and aspirations. All applications are treated on an individual basis. Our uniquely personal approach to teaching and learning begins at the application stage.

Why Hull? • Sir Brynmor Jones Scholarships worth up to £6,000 over an MPhys (£4,500 over a BSc) automatically awarded to all highly qualified undergraduates • Scholarships of up to £2,000 per year available for international students • Teaching rated as excellent by the Quality Assurance Agency • International reputation for research • Flexibility of choice within a modular course structure through free electives (see inner back cover) • Excellent teaching laboratories • Small-group teaching in tutorials • Development of communication and presentational skills integrated with your other learning • Final-year project in one of our research groups

www.hull.ac.uk

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Degree studies At Hull, you will have an academic supervisor and tutor who will act as an experienced guide on any issue that you wish to discuss, whether to do with your course or something extramural. Our degree courses are made up of many interrelated elements. Central to them are lecture classes which introduce you to the different topics but which differ from school lessons in that you have far more responsibility for your own learning. That is one reason why the university experience is so enjoyable. You will have to develop the ideas presented in lectures, research into background material and practise the application of concepts to new situations. Of course, we help through tutorials in which small groups of students meet with their academic supervisor for discussion of particular issues (and sometimes for letting off steam on other matters). There are also tutorial classes for mathematics where questions can be discussed collectively. Complementary to all these other methods of learning are the laboratory classes which, as your course develops, feature experiments tackled on an open-ended basis and also experimental or computational projects, often carried out in association with departmental research groups. Writing reports and developing presentation skills are an important part of your training too.

Transfer between courses The structure of our courses is designed to allow you the maximum degree of choice and flexibility. As a result, transfer between courses is possible up to the end of the second year. For example, students without A level Mathematics can enter on the Applied Physics degree but can then change to any of the degree courses at the end of Year 1. However, if you think that you may wish to pursue an MPhys course it is advisable to apply for this at the outset, to signal that possibility and avoid any subsequent problem with funding.

Assessment This is based on a combination of examinations and continuous assessment which takes into account taught modules, laboratory performance and project work. Degree examinations in the BSc courses are taken at the end of each semester in the second and third years, and in the MPhys courses at the end of each semester in the second, third and fourth years.

We pride ourselves on the quality and the uniquely personal, friendly and supportive nature of our teaching.

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Admissions Our normal entry requirements are shown on the inside front cover of this pamphlet and will usually range from 280 to 320 UCAS tariff points, including passes in A level Physics and Mathematics. For the BSc in Applied Physics (F310), however, A level Mathematics is not a mandatory requirement as the necessary material is introduced during the first year of study. Students on Applied Physics can transfer to one of the other courses at the end of the first year, subject to satisfactory progress.

Second- and third-year entry Applicants with suitable qualifications will be considered for direct entry to the later years of our degree courses.

International students We welcome applications from non-UK students, and each will be considered individually.

Alternative qualifications In addition to the qualifications mentioned above there are other ways in which entry requirements can be satisfied – see the inside front cover of this pamphlet.

Scholarships and bursaries Sir Brynmor Jones Scholarships, worth up to £6,000 over an MPhys (£4,500 over a BSc), are automatically awarded to all students who obtain AAB at A level, including A level Physics and excluding General Studies. Students attaining equivalent standards (or better) in other qualifications can apply for the same award. Scholarships of up to £2,000 per year are available to suitably qualified international students.

Admissions enquiries Professor Mary O’Neill Admissions Tutor Physics University of Hull Hull, HU6 7RX T 01482 465501 F 01482 465606 E m.oneill@hull.ac.uk If you have a UCAS personal ID, please quote it in all correspondence.

www.hull.ac.uk

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Star quality Students on our Physics with Astrophysics courses learn how to use fundamental physics, including relativity and quantum mechanics, to study celestial objects and phenomena. On the four-year MPhys, they can spend some or all of their third year at an overseas university or observatory.


MPhys/BSc Single Honours Our degree courses not only provide a thorough training in the basic concepts of physics but also foster the important skill of being able to apply these to established and new areas in research, technology, engineering and science. We also stress the relevance and practical consequences of modern physical theories in such topics as quantum mechanics and solid state physics. Our graduates thus have the analytical abilities to tackle complex situations in contemporary science and, equally importantly, are able to initiate whatever practical work is required. A Single Honours degree is awarded on completion of each of the following courses. • • • •

Applied Physics Physics Physics with Astrophysics Physics with Nanotechnology

The course duration is normally four years for the MPhys and three years for the BSc. We do, however, offer a four-year BSc which includes a foundation year, after which the course is identical to the three-year BSc. The MPhys courses build on the solid foundation of basic physics taught in the BSc and extend this in scope and depth. In the fourth year you will be exposed to the research environment of the department and will gain experience relevant to careers in scientific and technological industries at the leading edge of research. After graduation, and a prescribed training period, you will be eligible to seek Chartered status (CPhys) through the Institute of Physics.

Project work In the final year of all courses you will carry out a major experimental project, usually related to your option choice. This involves working with a research group in the department or possibly with local industry. Recent final-year projects include • • • • • • • • • • •

We emphasise the relevance and practical consequences of modern physical theories in such topics as quantum mechanics and solid state physics.

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Monte Carlo simulations of hard discs laser ablation and processing of materials holography using a diode laser source textural analysis in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) telescopic observation of man-made satellites the Higgs boson: particle fact or mathematical fiction? insect adhesion and friction negative refractive index metamaterials nanoparticle behaviour at liquid interfaces in a magnetic field solar observations and predictions improved conductivity of hole injection polymers for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) • optoelectronic properties of liquid crystals


www.hull.ac.uk

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Physics (F300/F303) Physics is at the heart of everything. It is an exciting and wide-ranging discipline, central to all technology from new energy sources to modern medical techniques. The revolutions in communications and computers have been brought about by creative and imaginative physicists with the knowledge to innovate and the skills to deliver. These degrees provide excellent training in fundamental scientific principles, in practical, organisational and computing skills, and in self-discipline. It is just these qualities that make our graduates so attractive to scientific and high-tech companies and to a broad spectrum of employers. The main elements of modern physics are introduced through a combination of theoretical, mathematical and applied topics designed to give insight into the many fascinating aspects of the physical world, such as quantum phenomena, particle and nuclear physics, magnetism and superconductivity. Training in experimental methods forms an integral part of Years 1 and 2, but in Year 3 of the BSc and Year 4 of the MPhys it is possible to choose between theoretical study and, on the other hand, experimental project work in collaboration with a research group.

Third year (Semesters 5 and 6) MPhys and BSc In Year 3 you take advanced theoretical, practical and technological topics reflecting the wide range of modern physics, including nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, magnetism, superconductivity, acoustics, optical communications and photonic devices. BSc students undertake a research project, while MPhys students study the use of computer simulations in modern research and begin to develop the advanced research skills required of scientific project leaders.

Fourth year (Semesters 7 and 8) MPhys In Year 4 of the MPhys course you study advanced specialist topics including black holes, general relativity, magnetic resonance imaging, spectroscopy, plasmas and observational and stellar astrophysics. The department’s research is reflected in specific modules dealing with the emerging field of nanotechnology – covering quantum well physics and devices, bio-inspiration and soft matter physics – and with the applications of lasers in basic science and micro-scale materials processing. Throughout the year you develop a research project applying and extending your skills in one of the department’s research groups.

First and second years (Semesters 1–4) MPhys and BSc In the first two years you take core physics modules including quantum, relativistic, particle and classical physics, the solid state, light, fields and matter. Key skills are developed alongside and are also integrated within these courses to expand your knowledge of computers, data analysis and mathematics. You can also choose to take a module each year outside the department, selecting from a wide range of offerings that include studying a language such as Mandarin or Russian or learning about psychology, business or computing.

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Foundation-year degree Physics (F301) This four-year BSc course is designed for students whose background or qualifications would not normally permit direct entry to degree-level study in the department. The first year has foundation courses in physics, mathematics and chemistry and an option choice. After this introductory year, students follow the same syllabus as the F300 Physics course or can transfer to the first year of any of our other degree courses.


www.hull.ac.uk

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Applied Physics (F310/F313) This course, like the Physics degrees, commences with studies of basic physical laws and principles. Basic mathematical skills are introduced in the first year of study, making it possible to pursue this course without necessarily having A level Mathematics. In the later years, studies concentrate on the application of physics in a range of technological and engineering situations of industrial and scientific interest. The concepts of modern physics are used, emphasising experimental techniques and applications; and finalyear project work will usually reflect the applied nature of the course – for example, possibly tackling research problems of direct relevance to technology development. By concentrating on the technological and engineering applications of physics, graduates of the Applied Physics courses have a head start in a range of industrial and scientific careers as well as being highly sought after by scientific and high-tech companies.

First and second years (Semesters 1–4) MPhys and BSc In the first two years you take core modules including quantum, relativistic and classical physics, the solid state, light, fields and matter. Key skills are developed alongside and integrated within these courses to expand your knowledge of computers, data analysis and mathematics. Students without A level Mathematics get tutorial support in maths. You can also take a module each year outside the department, from a wide range which includes studying a language such as Mandarin or Russian or learning about psychology, business or computing. Students without A level Mathematics may transfer to one of our other degree courses at the end of Year 1, subject to satisfactory progress.

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Third year (Semesters 5 and 6) MPhys and BSc In Year 3 you take advanced theoretical, practical and technological topics reflecting the wide range of modern physics, including nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, superconductivity and acoustics, and study the application of these ideas in materials evaluation using X-ray, neutron and electron analytical techniques. BSc students undertake a research project, while MPhys students study the use of computer simulations in modern research and begin to develop the advanced research skills required of scientific project leaders.

Fourth year (Semesters 7 and 8) MPhys In Year 4 of the MPhys course you study advanced specialist topics in physics, including black holes, general relativity, magnetic resonance imaging, spectroscopy, plasmas and observational and stellar astrophysics. The department’s research interests are reflected in specific modules dealing with the emerging field of nanotechnology – covering quantum well physics and devices, bio-inspiration and soft matter physics – and with the applications of lasers in basic science and micro-scale materials processing. Throughout the year you develop a research project applying and extending your skills in one of the research groups in the department.


‘As soon as I visited the University of Hull on the open day, I felt really comfortable and I knew that this was where I wanted to study. ‘I had always enjoyed physics at school, so Applied Physics really appealed to me – it is a really varied course, with a great balance of lectures, tutorials and practical work. ‘The department is very friendly, and you get to know everyone really well, including the lecturers, who are always more than happy to help you with any problems. Yes, the course is fairly intensive, but ultimately a degree in physics from Hull sets you up for a career in industry, or even for a PhD. ‘I was lucky enough to be offered a PhD in the department, so it was easy to decide to spend another three years here!’ Stephanie Cockcroft BSc Applied Physics

www.hull.ac.uk

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Physics with Astrophysics (F3F5/F3FM) Physics is at the heart of everything, and its laws are thought to be applicable anywhere in the universe. Astrophysicists use fundamental physics, including relativity and quantum mechanics, and are able to apply these ideas to both the very small and the very large. As well as learning at the forefront of human knowledge, astrophysicists are able to contribute to the development of new technology for applications in fields such as communication, transport, miniaturisation and medicine. The challenges of space travel reflect many of the technological challenges facing us, including the development of new energy sources and materials, advances in computer power and novel methods of communication. MPhys students have the option of spending one semester of their third year at University College Cork, and so benefit from the astrophysics expertise at this institution.

First and second years (Semesters 1–4) MPhys and BSc In the first two years you take core physics modules delivered through lectures, practicals and small-group tutorials. Topics covered include quantum, relativistic and classical physics, the solid state, light, fields and matter. Key skills are developed alongside and are also integrated within these courses to expand your knowledge of computers, data analysis and mathematics. You can also choose to take a module each year outside the department, selecting from a range of modules which includes studying a language such as Mandarin or Russian or learning about psychology, business or computing.

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Third year (Semesters 5 and 6) MPhys and BSc In Year 3 you take advanced theoretical, practical and technological topics that reflect the wide range of modern physics including quantum mechanics, nuclear physics and space physics. A speciality module deals with plasmas and the theoretical and observational aspects of astrophysics. BSc students carry out a research project, while MPhys students study computer simulation of physics problems and begin to develop research skills related to project planning.

Fourth year (Semesters 7 and 8) MPhys In Year 4 of the MPhys course you study topics such as general relativity, black holes and advanced quantum mechanics to gain a deeper understanding of astrophysical concepts. There are also courses in nanotechnology, optical spectroscopy, the application of lasers in basic and applied sciences, and the physics and application of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) techniques. Throughout the year, you have the opportunity to develop either a practical- or theoreticalbased research project, usually in the area of astrophysics.


Physics with Nanotechnology (F3F9/F3FX) The Physics with Nanotechnology courses explore novel technology and the central role played by physical scientists in this revolutionary field. You will explore how particles, atoms, molecules and even biomolecules can be manipulated to produce smart new materials. Alongside courses in the fundamental physics of the nanoworld, you will study the science of tomorrow’s world, with its unimaginably minute information systems, sensors and technology. As well as being highly sought after by scientific companies, graduates of these courses have a head start in careers in high-tech industries and in entrepreneurial research.

Fourth year (Semesters 7 and 8) MPhys In Year 4 of the MPhys course you study advanced specialist topics in physics, including black holes, magnetic resonance imaging, spectroscopy, general relativity, plasmas and astrophysics. The department’s research interests are reflected in specific modules dealing with the emerging field of nanotechnology – covering quantum well physics and devices, bioinspiration and soft matter physics – and with the applications of lasers in basic science and micro-scale materials processing. Throughout the year you develop a research project, usually related to nanotechnology, applying and extending your skills in one of the research groups in the department.

First and second years (Semesters 1–4) MPhys and BSc In the first two years you take core physics modules including modern materials and quantum, relativistic and classical physics alongside courses reflecting the explosion of interest in nanoscale devices. Key skills are developed alongside and are also integrated within these courses to expand your knowledge of computers, data analysis and mathematics. You can also choose to take a module each year outside the department, selecting from a wide range of options which include studying a language such as Mandarin or Russian or learning about psychology, business or computing.

Third year (Semesters 5 and 6) MPhys and BSc In Year 3 you take advanced theoretical, practical and technological topics reflecting the wide range of modern physics, including nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, magnetism, superconductivity, acoustics, optical communications and photonic devices. You also specialise in nanotechnology, including the use of nano materials, devices and analytical techniques. BSc students undertake a research project, while MPhys students study the use of computer simulations in modern research and begin to develop the advanced research skills required of scientific project leaders.

www.hull.ac.uk

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BSc Joint Honours Joint Honours degree courses allow you to study two disciplines in equal proportion. Students are registered as members of the lead department. The course described below is administered by, and students are allocated a personal tutor from, the Department of Physics. A special induction session is held in the first week of study so that students may become fully integrated members of both departments.

BSc Physics and Philosophy (FV35) Physics is at the heart of everything, and its laws are thought to be applicable anywhere in the universe. It can describe the beginning of space and the possibility of time travel. Philosophy frees the intellect and offers an alternative, but no less rigorous, route to understanding the nature of the universe and our place in it. The Physics and Philosophy degree course is taught jointly by the Departments of Physics and Philosophy and brings together the most rigorous and fundamental subjects in the arts and the sciences.

First year (Semesters 1 and 2) In Year 1 the physics modules cover experimental physics and mathematical techniques, quantum and classical physics and an introduction to the nature of light, fields and matter. In philosophy, you are introduced to basic ideas and principles and the methodologies used in philosophy today and throughout history. You also choose an optional module covering Greek philosophy, social and political thought or the foundations of empirical thought.

Second year (Semesters 3 and 4) In Year 2 the scientific and philosophical subjects introduced in Year 1 are further developed and refined. In physics, you study the thermodynamic description of physical change and the classical, quantum and relativistic descriptions of nature. In philosophy, you study the nature of the scientific method and the limitations of science in explaining how the universe works. Additionally, you have the option to develop your philosophical understanding by studying ways of knowing; minds, brains and behaviour; the philosophy of law; moral philosophy; nations and cultures; meaning and truth; and explaining gendered selves.

Third year (Semesters 5 and 6)

The Physics and Philosophy degree course brings together the most rigorous and fundamental subjects in the arts and the sciences.

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Year 3 is based almost entirely on a wide range of optional modules, reflecting your changing and developing interests in physics, philosophy and their overlap. After core modules in particles and fields, you can choose to study advanced topics in physics including experimental applied science such as lasers and nanotechnological devices as well as fundamental ideas of the physical description of the universe and change. In philosophy, you can study pleasure, pain and the will; Wittgenstein on knowledge and certainty; gender, science and knowledge; virtues and vices; environmental philosophy; Kant; Aristotle’s moral philosophy; common experience and knowledge; and an introduction to contemporary European thought.


www.hull.ac.uk

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Careers and further study Our degree courses concentrate on the application of basic physics to a wide range of research, technological and engineering situations of industrial, scientific and medical interest. They are designed to train students for careers in industry and elsewhere. The shortage of people with sound education in the basic methods of physics is becoming increasingly evident, and our graduates have moved into industrial research and development, particularly in areas of high technology such as laser systems engineering, telecommunications, optoelectronics, IT/computing or advanced materials and medical applications. Others have progressed to work for the MSc or PhD, or into research and development with government organisations. Yet others have used their technical background to build careers in teaching and lecturing, as well as in such diverse areas as finance, accountancy, general management training and consultancy.

Postgraduate opportunities Research Although undergraduates are usually involved in research only during their finalyear projects, the scientific interests of the staff are naturally reflected in the overall teaching. We have an international reputation for our work in the areas of lasers and their applications, semiconductor device physics, soft matter physics, organophotonics and nanotechnology. This research is funded from a range of sources including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and government and industrial establishments both at home and abroad. Our work also benefits from strong interdisciplinary links within the University and with other groups at the national and the international level. We offer research supervision and training leading to the degrees of MSc and PhD in experimental physics and theoretical studies, including the computer modelling and simulation of complex physical processes. Our postgraduates are eagerly sought after by employers and commonly find placements in universities, research establishments, industry or commerce, both in the UK and abroad.

Taught MSc The department offers a taught postgraduate course in Physics leading to an MSc. This one-year course is based on taught modules taken in Semesters 1 and 2 and a full-time research project leading to the submission of a dissertation in Semester 3.

Our graduates have moved into research and development with government organisations, or into industrial areas such as laser systems engineering, telecommunications and optoelectronics.

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Free Elective Scheme Studying for a degree at the University of Hull is a unique experience. We aim to provide you with an education that offers both depth and breadth of knowledge. To meet these ends the University has developed an optional Free Elective Scheme. This scheme enables the majority of undergraduate students to take one module a year from outside their main course of study.

Admissions policy Admissions information provided in this pamphlet is intended as a general guide and cannot cover all possibilities. Entry requirements are generally stated in terms of A

So, how does it work?

level grades and/or UCAS points,

Each year you take 120 credits’ worth of modules.

but we encourage applications from people with a wide range of

SEMESTER 1

SEMESTER 2

20 credits

20 credits

20 credits

20 credits

other qualifications and/or experience. Some further details of the various entry routes are included in our general prospectus. Please contact the Admissions Service (see below) with any

20 credits

specific queries about admissions.

20 credits

Disclaimer

Here you take modules from your main course of study.

Here you have the option to take a free elective or another module from your main course of study.

This publication is intended principally as a guide for prospective students. The matters covered by it – academic and

What sort of subjects can I take? You can take almost any free elective module from outside your main course of study, usually at your home campus. You can even take a module from another faculty. You should discuss your choice of free electives with your supervisor.

What are the main reasons for participating? • The scheme gives you the opportunity to study a subject without having to commit yourself to taking further modules in that subject area. • By taking a free elective you are able to follow up your interests as part of your degree. • With a broader education you may acquire extra skills that will help you when you enter the employment market.

otherwise – are subject to change from time to time, both before and after students are admitted, and the information contained in it does not form part of any contract. While every reasonable precaution was taken in the production of this brochure, the University does not accept liability for any inaccuracies.

Address For general enquiries, please write to Admissions Service University of Hull Hull, HU6 7RX T 01482 466100 F 01482 442290 E admissions@hull.ac.uk

Picture credits Cover image: ©iStockphoto.com/theasis Pages 4–5: ©iStockphoto.com/Manfred_Konrad Page 14: ©iStockphoto.com/dra_schwartz Page 15: ©iStockphoto.com/BeholdingEye


In the most recent National Student Survey, 100% of Physical Sciences students at Hull praised our staff’s ability to explain things. So when the big questions come along – about quantum phenomena, relativity, black holes, nanotechnology and chaos theory, for example – we’ve got the big answers.

Change the way you think.

www.hull.ac.uk


UG Physics 2011