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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory

The efficient and sustainable generation, storage, transmission and use of energy is arguably the key challenge facing society in the 21st century, and is one in which physics can play a vital role. For most of the devices and systems that we rely on in our daily lives, such as computers, electricity grids, solar cells or batteries, the efficiency with which these devices use, transmit or store energy is still significantly lower than what is theoretically possible based on established physical limits. In all these areas there are exciting opportunities for developing new advanced energy materials and devices that increase efficiency significantly and in this way reduce the cost and improve the sustainability of energy systems. At the same time this field of physics provides a context for exciting science as it creates opportunities for conceiving and testing new physical principles and paradigms that use energy in novel, more efficient ways. This is a highly interdisciplinary field of physics with close links to chemistry, materials science, engineering and even biology.

Research areas:

  • Energy generation
  • Energy transmission
  • Energy storage
  • Energy usage