The School of Physical Sciences is home to some of the brightest minds in science.

We have more than 350 people spread across teaching, research and professional activities; titleholders and visitors; and a large cohort of higher degree research students.

We are one of four schools in the Faculty of Sciences. The school office is located in the Physics building at the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace campus.


Chemistry image

Department of Chemistry

Chemistry is the broadest of the applied sciences. We are involved in teaching and international research focussing on chemistry in all its forms. This includes understanding how to develop new processes and chemicals including plastics, fuels and pharmaceuticals.

The chemistry major is the study of all the disciplines required to contribute to areas such as manufacturing, medicine and environmental science and can complement other areas such as biochemistry, biotechnology and biophysics.

At the forefront of innovative chemistry education and research, the Department of Chemistry is also one of the longest running disciplines at the University of Adelaide.

Chemistry occupies the Badger and Johnson laboratories in the north-western corner of the North Terrace campus.

Seminars Research 

Earth sciences banner

Earth science honours New Zealand trip - Image courtesy Alex Butter

Department of Earth Sciences

Making new discoveries, facilitating important scientific activities and training researchers of the future. Our earth scientists are working across fundamental applied projects in environment, energy and minerals.

We also undertake award-winning research in fundamental earth sciences spanning the traditional disciplines.

Our teaching encompasses the earth science majors and palaeontology majors in the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science (Advanced) and honours programs; as well as the Master of Science (Earth Science) postgraduate suite of degrees.

We also coordinate the undergraduate mineral geoscience degree and administer the National Exploration Undercover School (NExUS), a prestigious summer school for the next generation of Australian exploration geologists.

Seminars Research

Environment and sustainability degrees  Earth Science Prizes  Scholarships

Physics banner image

Davis Station, Antarctica. Image courtesy Nick Chang

Department of Physics

The discipline of physics at the University of Adelaide was established in 1886 and its history is one of the oldest at the University.

Physics is the most basic and fundamental science and is crucial to our understanding of the world around us, the world inside us and the world beyond us. It is concerned with exploring the laws under which our universe operates at both the macro and micro levels.

Our researchers contribute to projects which range from studies of the structure of sub-atomic matter; to the development of novel optical and photonic systems; to medical physics and geophysics; to the investigation of the atmosphere using a network of sites that stretch from the equator to the Antarctic; and to the investigation of the structure of the universe and extreme astrophysics. 

Physics forms the basis of many other sciences, including chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astronomy. Problem solving and critical thinking skills learnt in physics can be applied to areas such as finance, biology, software development, engineering and medical sciences.

Physics leads to great discoveries and technologies that have and will change our lives - from healing joints, to curing cancer, to developing sustainable energy solutions.

Seminars Research

Professional staff 
Senior Executive Officer Lisa Laws
Executive Assistant to Head of School Jacqui Hull
Faculty Management and Research Accountant Candice Lo
Academic Support Officer Wayne England
Technical staff
School Health, Safety & Wellbeing Officer Jessica Gilson
Senior Analytical Facilities Officer (Chemistry) Matthew Bull
Analytical Facilities Officer (Earth Sciences) to be advised
Technology Officer  Ramona Rogers
Technical & Facilities Support Officer Peter Apoefis
Technical Officer to be advised
Senior Teaching Support Officer
Catherine Margach
Senior Teaching Support Officer
Jesse Teo
Senior Teaching Support Officer
Matthew Bull
Teaching Support Officers
Earth Sciences

Katie Howard

Fionnuala Sheehan

Teaching Support Officer
Adrian Giffen
Teaching Support Officer
Adrian Selby
Fleet & Field Trip Officer  to be advised
Petroleum, Organic & Isotope Geochemistry, Biochemistry Facility Manager Tony Hall