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We explore and exploit the effects and techniques of quantum mechanics with a focus on advanced real-world applications with societal and economic impact. Using our unique capabilities in experimentation, modelling and analysis we undertake world-leading research across our range of interests which include quantum interactions and atomic, molecular, optical and plasma physics as well as theoretical condensed matter, surface physics and biophysics.  We collaborate with colleagues in the School of Engineering and Innovation in research into applications of non-equilibrium plasma to manipulate the composition and microstructure of thin films and with colleagues in the School of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences in our research into physics allied to medicine.  We have an extensive range of collaborations with researchers elsewhere in the UK as well as abroad supported by EPSRC and COST actions among others.  


The Cold atoms for Quantum Technology group use laser cooling to prepare samples of atoms, in order to study their quantized motion and quantum properties.  In the area of Molecular Physics, we have seveal lines of research:  the  Computational molecular physics  group develops and applies software to study molecular processes which involve correlated multi-electron dynamics, the Laboratory Astrophysics group looks at processes of Astronomical interest and  the Molecular clusters group explores photon, ion, and electron-driven processes in molecules and clusters. Our Theoretical condensed matter and biophysics research covers a wide range of interests from stroke and artificial tissue to the properties of superconductors, low dimensional materials and quantum simulators. 

Physics Discipline members contribute to the Open University’s teaching on a large range of modules and have been at the forefront of many innovations in distance education.  We are proud to work in association with the OpenScience Laboratory, which won the 2014 Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year Award.

More details about our work is given under the groupings listed on the right.