Asian representation in Times Higher Education's physical sciences top 50 has doubled since last year, with two additional countries from the region represented in the 2012-2013 table.
The National University of Singapore enters, as does China's Peking University. The former ranks particularly highly for its international outlook, while the latter scores top marks for industry income.
Peking's School of Physics, more than 100 years old, currently boasts 15 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences among its 200 faculty, and reports that it has enjoyed investment of more than 200 million yuan (£20 million) in recent years.
However, institutions from the US continue to dominate, occupying eight of the top 10 places and 27 overall.
The number one spot is taken by the California Institute of Technology. Despite its small size, Caltech's staff and graduates have been awarded more than 30 Nobel prizes over the years.
Princeton University, which was joint first last year, has dropped to third, with the University of California, Berkeley rising one place to second. Berkeley comes top for research volume, income and reputation.
The UK has maintained two institutions - the universities of Cambridge and Oxford - in the top 10, with Cambridge rising one place. However, the number of UK universities in the top 50 has fallen from eight to six.
The top non-Anglo-Saxon institution is ETH Zurich-Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, which maintains 11th position.
Germany and France have both increased their presence in the ranking. The latter now has four representatives thanks to Universite Paris-Sud's entrance (joint 36th). A third German institution, Georg-August- Universitat Gottingen, debuts two places higher.
Australia and Canada are also represented in the table.