Theoretical physics

News involving the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics

20 August 2014

Ramin Golestanian wins the 2014 Holweck Medal

The Holweck Medal for 2014 has been awarded to Professor Ramin Golestanian "for his pioneering contributions to the field of active soft matter, particularly microscopic swimmers and active colloids." The gold medal and a prize of Eu3000 is awarded by the Société Française de Physique, and will be presented to Professor Golestanian at a ceremony in Paris on August 27.

Massive Black Holes and Galaxies

24 Jul 2014 - 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
General public (Age 12+)

Prof. Reinhard Genzel
MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching
University of California, Berkeley

Evidence has been accumulating for several decades that many galaxies harbor
central mass concentrations that may be in the form of black holes with masses
between a few million to a few billion time the mass of the Sun. I will discuss
measurements over the last two decades, employing adaptive optics imaging and
spectroscopy on large ground-based telescopes that prove the existence of such
a massive black hole in the Center of our Milky Way, beyond any reasonable

25 June 2014

Prof Steve Simon wins MPLS Excellence in Teaching Award

Congratulations to Prof Steve Simon, who has been awarded a 2014 MPLS Divisional Teaching Award.

The MPLS Divisional Teaching Award Scheme celebrates success, and recognises and rewards excellence in teaching. Awards are available to all those who teach, including graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and learning support staff. The Teaching Award Scheme is administered by the MPLS Divisional Office and awards are made, on merit, across the departments by a cross-departmental panel chaired by the Associate Head of Division (Academic).

Special Seminar : Detection of B-mode Polarization at Degree Scales using BICEP2, Clem Pryke

17 Jun 2014 - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Denys Wilkinson Building, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH
Specialised / research interest

Special Seminar : Clem Pryke, University of Minnesota & Co-lead, BICEP2

The BICEP2 collaboration has recently reported detection of B-mode polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropy. BICEP2 observed for three years from the South Pole in Antarctica making an ultra deep map at 150 GHz of a 380 square degree patch of sky. Extracting the B-mode of the polarization pattern a >5 sigma excess is found over the standard cosmological model at angular scales of a few degrees. Internal consistency tests demonstrate that systematics are small compared to the observed excess.

3 June 2014

Joseph Conlon wins 2014 OUSU Outstanding Tutor Award

Congratulations to Dr Joseph Conlon, who has been awarded the 2014 Oxford University Student Union (OUSU)'Outstanding tutor' Award for Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS).

The Oxford University Student Union Teaching Awards are an opportunity to recognise really great teaching, and student support in Oxford.

2014 Halley Lecture

10 Jun 2014 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
General public (Age 14+)

University of Oxford
Halley Lecture

"How the Universe Evolved From Smooth to Lumpy -- the Physics of Galaxy Formation"

Professor Eliot Quataert
University of California, Berkeley Astronomy Department

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 at 5pm
(to be seated by 4.50pm)

Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
Clarendon Laboratory
Parks Road, Oxford


This lecture will be followed by a Drinks Reception in the foyer of the Martin Wood

Abstract: The infant Universe was remarkably smooth compared to what we see around us today, with only tiny differences in its proper

1 May 2014

Physics newsletter 2014

Spring 2014

Our latest Department newsletter is now available to download in PDF format here (the file may not display correctly with Firefox/Chrome pdf viewers -- in this case save it to a file and open it with e.g. Acrobat reader or Preview). Have a look at the wide range of work that we do in front-line research, teaching, public outreach and school education. We would welcome contributions to future newsletters from undergraduate or postgraduate alumni and previous members of the physics department.

The 10th Dennis Sciama Memorial Lecture

7 May 2014 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
General public (Age 14+)

The 10th Dennis Sciama Memorial Lecture

Professor James Binney
Department of Physics, Merton College and All Souls Visiting Lecturer, University of Oxford

Galaxies and the intergalactic medium

Cosmology tells us that most "ordinary" matter such as we are made of is not in stars or in the interstellar media of galaxies. So it must lie between galaxies. In rich clusters of galaxies it is so dense and so hot that its thermal X-ray emission has long been detected.

13 March 2014

Oxford scientist takes his research to Parliament

Dr. Mitya Pushkin, a PDRA at the University of Oxford, hailing from Minsk, Belarus is attending Parliament to present his physics research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain on Monday 17 March.

Mitya’s poster on research about fluctuations and mixing that occur in suspensions of of swimming microorganisms, such as bacteria and algae, will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind. Mitya has carried out this work in collaboration with Prof. Julia M.

26 February 2014

Oxford thesis wins European Physical Society Award

The Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society has awarded Edmund Highcock its prize for the best PhD thesis of 2012. Edmund, whose supervisor was Alex Schekochihin, is currently a Fellow by Examination of Magdalen College and works in the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics. His thesis was entitled "The zero turbulence manifold of fusion plasmas".