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Department of Physics and Astronomy

A close up of Ernest Rutherford's desk

History and heritage

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has an outstanding historical record of achievements, from Ernest Rutherford and the detection of the atomic nucleus, to the recent discovery of graphene.

Our tradition of excellence has been established by many eminent teachers and researchers, including 11 Nobel Prize winners, such as Rutherford, Bohr, Bragg, and Blackett. Our most recent Nobel Laureates are Professors Andre Geim and Sir Konstantin Novoselov, who were awarded the prestigious honour in 2010 for their pioneering discovery of graphene.

Our history in pictures