The School of Physics, with 27 academic staff members, 50 postdoctoral researchers and over 100 postgraduate research students, is the largest school of physics in Ireland. The main research areas are Nanotechnology, Scientific Computing and Photonics with activities ranging from spin-electronics, to carbon nanotubes and semiconductor lasers. There are also research groups working on soft-condensed matter and astrophysics with a new section on bio-nano Physics, making the School an exciting and vibrant academic environment. Several staff members of the School have research programmes in CRANN, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (www.crann.tcd.ie). This is a highly interdisciplinary centre jointly funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and industry sponsors including Intel and HP. CRANN provides several new state of the art facilities required to explore the world of nanoscience. The Photonics group is linked with the CTVR, Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain Research (www.ctvr.ie), which is working in close collaboration with Bell Labs Ireland in the development of modern telecommunications.
The international reputation of the School is based on several recent research achievements such as the discovery of magnetic order in graphite from meteors, breakthroughs in light amplification by fibres and waveguides and the synthesis and characterisation of novel diluted magnetic semiconductors. In addition, School of Physics researchers are leaders in the production of graphene and the investigation of static and dynamical properties of foams. Our researchers have also developed advanced computational methods for modelling quantum transport in atomic structures. In astrophysics, the School has a world-leading reputation in the study of solar and stellar activity, and has extensive collaborations with ESA and NASA. A recent achievement is the reconstruction of solar coronal mass ejections in 3D, hence improving our ability to predict their arrival times at Earth.
The School maintains an extensive network of international collaborations in Europe, USA and Japan. Student exchange and extended visiting periods abroad are not unusual during the duration of a Ph.D. degree, and contribute to widen the student knowledge and experience. In addition, the School of Physics generates many patents and five spin-off companies have been established from its research. The School has an annual research budget of 10 million and registers about 25 new postgraduate research students every year. Typically, for these students, the School, through research funding, provides financial support to cover living expenses and tuition fees. The School organises research training and educational programmes for all its postgraduate students. Graduate students are actively engaged in the life of the School and make an important contribution to its success. Regular seminar series, induction courses and technical training are among the various activities offered to the students. Typically a Ph.D. degree takes between three and four years, while a M.Sc. takes between one and two years.