Physics aims to describe how things are, and why, and it tries to describe various phenomena that occur in nature in terms of simpler ones. The ultimate aim is to explain why our world is as it is.
Physics covers a wide range of phenomena, from the smallest sub-atomic particles, to the largest galaxies. Included in this are the most fundamental objects from which all other things are composed of. Because of this, physics is sometimes said to be the "fundamental science". In addition to addressing fundamental concepts, physics affects the way we view the world, and it plays an important role in other fields of science, not least chemistry or biology. It is often the basis for many new types of inventions or applications.
The culture of physics has a higher degree of separation between theory and experiment than many other sciences. Theorists seek to develop mathematical models that both agree with existing experiments and successfully predict future results, while experimentalists devise and perform experiments to test theoretical predictions and explore new phenomena. To address larger questions, theorists and experimentalists often work together with a common goal, as is the case at large facilities, e.g. CERN. Some physicists work successfully in both disciplines or in non-traditional multi-disciplinary fields of science.
The Department of Physics pursues research primarily within the following areas:
Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) PhysicsBiological PhysicsCondensed Matter PhysicsNonlinear Physics, Plasma Physics, and RelativityPhotonicsPhysics Education ResearchSpace PhysicsStatistical Physics and Networks
Some of our laboratories comprise LaserLab Umeå.
The research is supported by a number of agencies and foundations, including the European Research Council, the Swedich Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Kempe Foundation, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the Wallenberg Foundation. We gratefully acknowledge their support.
A list of our latest publications can be found here.