Why choose this programme option?
This programme option has been phased out and does no longer admit new students. The programme option is continued as Nuclear and particle physics.
An experimental specialisation could include developing and participating in experiments – either at the Physics Department or at a larger laboratory abroad. Students participate in data analysis and interpretation of results, as well as hardware-based detectors and electronics projects, or technical software development projects. To a large extent, we can tailor a course of study to suit the individual student’s wishes and interests. The field has a highly international nature and experiments are conducted at, for example, CERN (Genève), RHIC (Brokhaven), OCL (Oslo), JYFL (Jyväskylä), ANL (Argonne) and JINR (Dubna).
A theoretical specialisation could include both theoretical particle physics and nuclear physics, or certain fields within cosmology and astrophysics. Extensive international collaboration also has decisive importance in theoretical physics.
Particle physics and nuclear physics are primarily about the study of the smallest building blocks in the universe (quarks and leptons), the forces that operate between them, and the simplest systems they comprise (hadrons and atomic nuclei). This means that the physics in this field of study is utterly central to understanding the development of the universe, from early phases following the Big Bang to subsequent development of the heavier elements. This knowledge is essential for describing many astrophysical observations – for example supernova explosions, star formation, and the life and death of stars.
Much of the physics that we study in this field is also highly relevant to newer methods of medical diagnosis and therapy. The Cyclotron Laboratory at the Department of Physics is part of the PET network in Norway and currently plays a central role in the production and testing of radioactive isotopes for several hospitals.