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The Department has a 40-year track record of internationally renowned academic research which attracts external funding, in the form of research grants and contracts, in excess of £5 million per annum. The main Physics building accommodates the Radio & Space Plasma Physics, X-ray & Observational Astronomy, Condensed Matter Physics and Theoretical Astrophysics Groups, as well as national centres for supercomputing, radar sounding and X-ray astronomy. A purpose built Space Research Centre (SRC) houses the Space Research Group and provides laboratories, clean rooms and other facilities for Instrumentation Research, Earth Observation Science and the Bio-imaging Unit. Follow the links below for more details of these groups.

Current space projects include the X-ray camera for the SWIFT gamma-ray burst mission launched November 2004 and the MIRI instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope. The SRC had a major role in the Beagle 2 Mars lander, will provide an instrument of the Bepi-Colombo Mercury mission and expects to be a key player in the future ESA Aurora programme for planetary exploration.

The department has strong links with the Diamond synchrotron light source: the largest scientific facility to be built in the UK for nearly 30 years. The construction of the £250M synchrotron began in March 2003, and, by January 2007 the Diamond light source will be offering cutting edge research facilities to scientists in the UK and abroad.

Material from the Department of Physics and Astronomy is also available from arXiv and the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System.

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