Understanding physics in business

Businesses underpinned by a knowledge and understanding of physics.

Physics is central to the economies of the UK and Ireland. Whether through the application of novel research and technologies, or through the skills and abilities of physics-trained workers, physics drives businesses and innovation. The IOP works to promote, characterise and understand the roles that physics knowledge and expertise play in driving economic growth and commercial success.

Physics is a driver of innovation, the results of which can be seen in all areas of industry. Technologies such as the laser, found in numerous industrial and commercial sectors, have their roots in physics research and development. Cutting-edge research – based in the UK – has produced new materials like graphene, which is now being utilised in corporate R&D labs around the world, and physics-trained people are at the heart of a diverse range of sectors, from communications and transport to film and computer games.

Physics Works: visual effects
PhysicsWorks: Visual Effects
Physics and physicists have been at the centre of a slew of recent films, such as Oscar-winning sci-fi epic Interstellar
Physics Works: Sport
PhysicsWorks: Sport
Engineers have long understood that an object’s shape and aerodynamics are critical to how quickly and efficiently it moves
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PhysicsWorks: Physics in motion
Whether travelling by plane, train or automobile, technologies based heavily on physics are underpinning much of the transportation industry
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PhysicsWorks: Physics at your fingertips
Touchscreens are transforming communication and commerce, enabling new and innovative services and business models
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PhysicsWorks: How physics drives the supermarket industry
Physics technologies are at the heart of modern supermarket checkouts and stock-management systems
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PhysicsWorks: How physics is driving the computer games industry
The UK is one of the world’s largest producers of computer games and worldwide demand for physics-based programming looks set to increase