Environmental Physics Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.

About the group

Environmental physics is the application of the principles of physics to the natural environment. As a special interest, member-driven group, our members are drawn from sectors of the physics community as diverse as geomagnetism and agriculture. 

Physics cannot be considered in isolation when considering environmental problems. It does, however, play a pivotal role to:

  • local and global monitoring
  • understanding the world we live in
  • recognising our effect on the planet

What the group does

Our role is to:

  • promote physics in the environmental sciences
  • provide a forum for the discussion of physics as it applies to the environment
  • encourage the development and application of physical methods to environmental research
  • promote the education and training of physicists in the environmental sciences through meetings and contacts with educationalists at all levels

Would you like to join this group?

Group physics competition

Our annual essay competition recognises excellence in communicating the significance, value and rewards of engaging with environmental physics. 

Entries can cover any aspect of environmental physics including but not limited to: 

  • waste
  • energy
  • hydrology
  • plant physics
  • the built environment
  • atmosphere and climate

The competition is open to Institute members and non-members and entries from students are particularly welcome. 

Essays are judged on writing quality and content. They should be:

  • original
  • accessible 
  • no more than 2000 words

Essay content can be purely scientific or adopt a policy-related or other perspective. 

Include a short biography with your current education level and a few sentences about your interest in environmental physics. 

Collaborative entries are welcome if the contributing authors are clearly identified in the entry and biographies.


Email your entry to: env.essay@physics.org

Post your entry to:

Environmental Physics Group Chair (Essay Competition)
c/o Science Support Officer
The Institute of Physics
37 Caledonian Rd
London N1 9BU

Read the current newsletter (PDF, 534KB) for more on the essay competition.



Secondary category

  • Rose McGown
    Cracking the climate system: The difficulties of modelling fluid flow

Runner up

  • Laura Machin
    Management of Radioactive waste from Nuclear Fission and Fusion Technologies

Group events

Find group events on the IOP events portal or in our current newsletter (PDF, 534KB).


May 2019 (PDF, 534KB)
January 2018 (PDF, 579KB)
February 2017 (PDF, 7.81MB)
Summer 2014 (PDF, 11.9MB)
Spring 2014 (PDF, 0.98MB)
Summer 2013 (PDF, 965KB)
Spring 2013 (PDF, 965KB)
Autumn 2012 (PDF, 720KB)
Spring 2012 (PDF, 580KB)

Committee and contacts

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