Blackett Laboratory

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Blackett Laboratory,
Imperial College London
Blackett Laboratory Front-On, Prince Consort Road.png
The front of the laboratory, from Prince Consort Road
Established1961 (Department since 1906 (1906))
Head of Department
Professor Michele Dougherty[1]
FacultyImperial College Faculty of Natural Sciences
LocationPrince Consort Road, London, United Kingdom
51°29′58″N 0°10′45″W / 51.49944°N 0.17917°W / 51.49944; -0.17917Coordinates: 51°29′58″N 0°10′45″W / 51.49944°N 0.17917°W / 51.49944; -0.17917
CampusSouth Kensington
Blackett Laboratory is located in Albertopolis, South Kensington
Blackett Laboratory
Location in Albertopolis, South Kensington

The Blackett Laboratory (named after Patrick Blackett) is part of the Imperial College Faculty of Natural Sciences and has housed the Department of Physics at Imperial College London since its completion in 1961.[3][4] The building is located on the corner of Prince Consort Road and Queen's Gate, Kensington, and the department ranks 11th on QS's 2018 world university rankings.[5]


The Physics facility at Imperial College London was initially in the Royal College of Science, built in 1906, which also housed the Chemistry Department. From 1906 to 1932 the head of the Physics Department was Prof. H. L. Callender, famous for his work on the properties of steam.[6]

G P Thomson (son of J J Thomson) replaced Callender in 1932, and P. M. S. Blackett became the new head of the Physics department around 1953. The new Physics building was started at about the same time. Physics continued in the new “old” RCS building until the new Physics building was finished in 1961. The new Physics building subsequently became the Blackett Laboratory.[6]

A view of the laboratory from the main walkway



The Department offers both undergraduate and postgraduate level studies, as well as a number of short courses for practising engineers.


The department offers three year BSc and four year undergraduate MSci courses[7]. The department has connections with universities in Europe, allowing undergraduate master's students to study-abroad during their course. All students graduating with an undergraduate degree from the department are also awarded the Associateship of the Royal College of Science, ARCS.


Taught postgraduate courses [8] last for one year lead to a MSc. The department also offers research degrees [9], leading to either a MRes or PhD. All students graduating with any of the postgraduate degrees (MSc, MRes, PhD) are also awarded the Diploma of Imperial College, DIC.


The college ranks 9th on the Times Higher Education natural sciences subjects rankings,[10] and the department in particular ranks 11th in the world, and 3rd in the UK after Cambridge and Oxford, on the QS World University Rankings.[11] Domestically, the department ranks 5th in the Complete University Guide's 2019 physics rankings.[12]


The laboratory has connections to many physicists who had studied or taught at the department:


  1. ^ "Head of Department's Office | Faculty of Natural Sciences".
  3. ^ Narcross, Jon (2014–2016). "Imperial's Blackett Lab recognised as an historic site in physics research". Imperial College. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  4. ^ Blackett ..."helped establish world-class laboratories at the University of Manchester and Imperial College London" Rebekah Higgitt 22 April 2016 at Accessed 28 January 2017
  5. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018 - Physics & Astronomy | Top Universities".
  6. ^ a b department history at Accessed 28 January 2017
  7. ^ "Department of Physics | Study".
  8. ^ MSc Physics
  9. ^ Department of Physics | Study
  10. ^ "World University Rankings 2018 by subject: physical sciences".
  11. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018 - Physics & Astronomy | Top Universities".
  12. ^ "Physics & Astronomy - University Subject Tables 2019".
  13. ^ alumni stories, faculty-of-natural-sciences at Accessed 28 January 2017
  14. ^ news at Accessed 28 January 2017