PhD in Physics

Faculty of Natural Sciences

PhD in Physics

Researcher setting up equipment in the laser lab. Photo.

PhD programme in Physics

About the programme

The PhD-program in physics provides an education within experimental and theoretical physics and aims at giving the candidates a broad professional background in physics. The candidate can focus the program towards a variety of topics based on ongoing research activities at the Department of Physics.


Research areas


Biological polymers and bionanotechnology

Bionanotechnology is a branch of nanotechnology which uses biological starting materials, utilises biological design or fabrication principles or is applied in medicine or biotechnology

Medical physics and technology

The overall aim of our research is to develop and improve diagnostic tools and to improve therapy. The research is primarily focused on cancer, arthrosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Improving diagnosis is done by developing new applications and methods, and characterizing new parameters based on molecular and medical imaging.

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

The transmission electron microscopy research group is active in broad range of projects within the field of materials physics including nanoscale structural studies and their connection to macroscopic physical properties.

X-ray physics

Using advanced X-ray scattering techniques, we study a long range of functional and structural materials. The laboratory consists of two setups for X-ray scattering and diffraction, and one for X-ray imaging.

Materials theory

Recent developments in computer hardware and computational algorithms have made it possible to study electronic structure and dynamics of systems with up to several thousand atoms.

Optoelectronic materials

Our group is interested in the interaction of light and matter, and the possibilities for making both passive and active devices from them.  

Soft and complex matter

We study the physics of soft and complex matter, i.e. composite or non-composite materials with easily deformable nano- /meso-structures, by application of external fields, such as flow fields (nano-/micro-fluidics), mechanical forces, electric or magnetic fields, or by thermal fluctuations. A main physical model system for the laboratory is clay, which are nano-layered silicate patchy particles, which can form soft and complex structures through spontaneous or guided self-assembly of particles.

Atmosphere physics

Studies of the influence of solar radiation and particles on atmospheric dynamics and chemistry.

Laser physics

We have advanced instruments in the NTNU Laser Lab. Research here is done both on solid state laser based on crystals and fiber laser.

The advantage with fiber laser is that it is more sensitive and therefore gives more reliable results than crystal based laser. It can also be made more compact and more durable and used for more practical applications. Crystal based laser is a strong challenger in its flexible construction and a generally wider spectrum of operation. NTNU has sophisticated equipment and experience that is used to create lasers with different properties, pulses, wavelength and colours etc.

Astroparticle physics

Astroparticle physics is a new field of research at the intersection of particle physics, astronomy, and cosmology.

Computational physics

Center for Quantum Spintronics (QuSpin) - SFF

The principal goal of the center is to describe, characterize and develop recently identified quantum approaches to control electric signals in advanced nanoelectronics, conceptually different from those existing today. Our vision is to trigger a revolution in low-power information and communication technologies in an energy-efficient society.

Porous Media Laboratory (poreLab) - SFF

PoreLab works to advance the understanding of flow in porous media. Starting from a sound basis in physics, we aim for a better description of flows that range from geological to biological and technological, using experimental, theoretical and computational methods. 

More information about research at the Department of Physics

PhD education

PhD education

A Philosophiae doctor degree (PhD) is the highest level of formalized education in Norway. The goal of a PhD education is to enable the candidate to conduct original research at a high international level.

The PhD degree is awarded after examination of a thesis. The original contribution to knowledge required of candidates must be consistent with at least three years of supervised research and significant parts of the work should be worthy of publication at international levels.

The PhD candidate will be able to solve complex research problems independently using creative solutions that will have a social and economic impact on society.


PhD physics


Degree: Philosophiae doctor (PhD)
Duration: 3 years, 180 ECTS
Programme code: PHFY
Language of instruction: English

City: Trondheim
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Department: Department of Physics
Contact person: Anne Sæther

Useful PhD links

Blog posts about PhD studies


My PhD - Blog posts

- Technology and natural sciences

Programme description

Programme description

Description of the PhD programme in Physics (PDF)

Including overall learning goals