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Physics is the why. It helps us to observe, understand, and explain connections in our world and the wider universe. Physics, at its core, is the study of matter, energy, and forces in the natural and technological world.

Physicists explore concepts and measurements of space and time from the subatomic to the cosmological and from femtoseconds to billions of years.

Physics is inextricably linked to other sciences; this interdependence leads to incredible developments in fields as diverse as medicine, sustainable energy, and human space exploration of the Solar System.

Students will study the fundamental aspects of complex systems through theory, experimentation, and computer simulation, and develop rigorous mathematics-based models focused on the interactions between objects, forces, and fields.

Making the most of your university experience

University is as much about the people you meet as the subjects you learn. Through the very active UTAS Maths and Physics Society (MAPS) you can get together with like-minded students, navigate the exciting challenges that come with undergraduate study, and make great friends along the way. Our students are deeply engaged with the community and provide strong academic and social support to each other.

The student-run MAPS hosts game and movie nights, and BBQs each semester. They regularly defeat staff at society-run trivia evenings.

For more Information, please check out the society’s Facebook page, or stroll along the 3rd floor corridor of the Maths and Physics building.

Why study Physics?

Physics is the fundamental science, linking observations of phenomena in the material world to a deep understanding of cause and effect, through the language of mathematics. From the microscopically small to the astronomically huge, and at every scale in between, the toolbox of a trained physicist provides the understanding and skills needed to tackle the jobs of the present and the future.

Physics will open up diverse and interesting career opportunities when you study it at the University of Tasmania.

Physics, astronomy, and mathematics are the oldest academic disciplines. New ideas in physics are used to shed light on other scientific fields, and to suggest new approaches to progress in such diverse areas as philosophy and economics, medicine and technology, green energy and broader sustainability.

Your study builds on basic explanations of the behaviour of everyday objects to more complex and challenging systems, identifying key universal physical principles and symmetries that span the various disciplines.

Studying with us extends well beyond theory with access to our extensive laboratories even as an undergraduate. From supercomputers to our continental-scale array of radio telescopes, we ensure your education prepares you for the real world no matter where your passion for physics takes you.

Mathematics is the link between physical theory and experiment, and statistics gives you the practical means to compare the two and make meaningful tests. The analysis of financial markets, astrophysical observations, coding and cryptography, the design of computer networks, and weather and climate modelling all rely on the work of mathematicians. Our students work closely with mathematicians throughout their degrees in order to gain critical physics skills in these areas.

Discover more about studying Mathematics

Careers

Physics is a fundamental underpinning for sciences and industries all over the world, so your career options are as vast as your imagination.

While there is an enormous range of career options out there, the greatest thing about studying physics at the University of Tasmania is that you don’t need to know what you want to do when you start. During your studies, you will get to know our fantastic teaching staff and students, as well as make international industry contacts due to our long-standing research connections. Studying at the University of Tasmania will open up access to a wide network and will provide you with the vital skills you need to pursue your dream career.

You are eligible for membership into the Australian Institute of Physics with our Bachelor or Science and Bachelor of Science with Honours degree programs.

Physicists are found across academia, government, industry, and NGOs, in areas as diverse as:

  • Technology including start-ups
  • Green energy
  • Government policy advisory boards
  • Aerospace and defence
  • Climate change
  • Teaching
  • Astrophysics & Cosmology
  • Antarctic studies
  • Meteorology / Forecasting
  • Geophysics / Planetary Systems
  • Space Exploration (e.g., NASA)
  • Observatories & Accelerators

Research

We conduct research across a broad spectrum of astrophysical and geophysical topics. Physics at the University of Tasmania has deep roots in physical optics, cosmic ray physics, and radio astronomy, where our scholars have made pioneering contributions over several decades. We undertake research addressing fundamental questions about gravity, the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets, the ultimate fate of dying stars, and the interaction between waves, ice, and the solid Earth.

Discover more about our research

Our Facilities

Physics operates multiple telescopes for groundbreaking research in galactic and extragalactic astronomy and for geodetic very long baseline interferometry experiments.

Our state of the art facilities used by staff and students for research and study are:

Many physics staff members conduct research using nationally- and internationally-operated facilities that provide world-class instrumentation and technical expertise. Tasmania's pioneering history in radio astronomy is celebrated at the Grote Reber Museum.

Grote Reber Museum

Physics researchers develop and use international and national infrastructure to study our own dynamic planet and the Solar System with the aid of spacecraft signals.

Geophysics instrumentation

We work with high performance computing centres such as the Tasmanian Partership for Advanced Computing in simulation and data processing.

Computation in Physics