The Times Higher Education World University Rankings' Physical Sciences table judges world class universities across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The ranking of the world's top 50 universities for physical sciences employs 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available, which are trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.

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Top 50 physical sciences universities

Rank Institution Location Overall score
1 Harvard University United States
93.5
2 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) United States
92.4
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States
91.7
4 Princeton University United States
90.3
5 Stanford University United States
90.1
6 University of California, Berkeley United States
88.5
7 University of Chicago United States
86.1
8 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
84.4
9 Yale University United States
84.1
10 University of Oxford United Kingdom
82.2
11 ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich Switzerland
80.5
12 Cornell University United States
80.4
13 Imperial College London United Kingdom
80.3
14 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) United States
79.6
15 University of Washington United States
79.1
16 University of California, Santa Barbara United States
78.6
17 Columbia University United States
75.7
18 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany
75.0
19
The University of Tokyo
Japan
73.6
20 Northwestern University United States
71.9
21 University of Michigan United States
71.8
22 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Germany
70.8
23 École Polytechnique France
70.4
24 University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign United States
69.5
25
University of Toronto
Canada
68.3
26 Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech) Republic of Korea
67.6
27 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
67.5
28 University of Melbourne Australia
66.9
29 Universität Heidelberg Germany
66.7
29 University of Colorado Boulder United States
66.7
31 Boston University United States
66.6
32 Rice University United States
66.4
33
University of British Columbia
Canada
66.2
34 Carnegie Mellon University United States
65.9
34 University of Adelaide Australia
65.9
36
The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
65.8
37 University of Sussex United Kingdom
65.6
38 University of California, Santa Cruz United States
65.5
39 University of Zürich Switzerland
65.3
40 Royal Holloway, University of London United Kingdom
65.1
41 University of California, Irvine United States
64.7
42 Peking University China
64.6
43
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Hong Kong
64.4
43 University of California, San Diego United States
64.4
46 Lund University Sweden
63.9
47 Brown University United States
63.8
48 William & Mary United States
63.5
49 Ohio State University United States
63.1
50 Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) United States
63.0

America finds the formula to rule the Earth

14 October 2010

Of the 43 current and former Harvard University academics to have won a Nobel Prize, most have come from the physical sciences.

In 1914, T. W. Richards won the chemistry prize for his research on the atomic weight of chemical elements; more recently, Roy J. Glauber took the prize for physics in 2005. And there have been more than a dozen other awards in chemistry and physics for Harvard scholars in between.

The physical sciences are yet another field dominated by American universities, with Harvard at the top. The US takes eight of the top 10 places in the subject table, with only the universities of Cambridge (eighth) and Oxford (10th) challenging its hegemony.

Europe, including the UK, takes about a quarter of the top 50 places, with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich in 11th place. Asia's top university in the physical sciences is Japan's University of Tokyo in 19th place.