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Please also refer to the department's comprehensive research overview (PDF).


Our mission

To create new knowledge and applications in Physics, and to educate students in Physics, within the context of UCT.

Our vision

UCT Physics will be unambiguously recognised both nationally and internationally as the leading Physics Department in Africa for its outstanding research and teaching.

Our strategic goals

  • Produce research which has significant international impact, maximising our opportunities and resources.
  • Deliver teaching programmes of exceptional quality, recognising the research themes within the Department.
  • Provide a departmental environment within which both staff and students flourish.
  • Sustain an effective public profile of the Department. 

The RW James Building houses laboratories equipped for nuclear physics, solid state and nanophysics, and physics education research. Additional facilities available to the Department are provided by iThemba Laboratories for Accelerator Based Sciences (200 MeV cyclotron and a 5 MeV Van de Graaff accelerator).

Research themes

The research themes within the department span a wide range of physical dimensions but are neatly captured within 5 themes: High energy physics, nuclear physics, nano-scale physics, industrial-scale physics and physics education. high-energy physicsnuclear physicsnano-scale physicsindustrial-scale physics and physics education research.