28 January 2015

Professor Roger Cowley, 1939-2015

The Physics Department is sad to announce the death of Professor Roger Cowley.
Roger was Dr Lee’s Professor of Experimental Philosophy and Fellow of Wadham College from 1988 to 2007.
He served two spells as Chairman of Physics, from 1993 to 1996 and then from 1998 to 2002.

The 9th Hintze Lecture - Professor Scott Ransom - Millisecond Pulsars, Magnetars, and Black Holes: The Wickedly Cool Stellar Undead

20 Nov 2014 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU

Professor Scott Ransom US National Radio Astronomy Observatory will give the 9th Hintze Lecture.

"Millisecond Pulsars, Magnetars, and Black Holes: The Wickedly Cool Stellar Undead"

Abstract: The most massive stars burn the fastest and brightest and die spectacularly, exploding as supernovae and leaving behind some of the most fantastic objects in the Universe: neutron stars and black holes.

2 October 2014

Jena Meinecke: American Physical Society October Woman Physicist of the Month

Each month, the American Physical Society's Committee for the Status of Women in Physics recognizes a female physicist who is making an impact in the physics community. Jena Meinecke, a graduate student in Atomic and Laser Physics, is October's Woman Physicist. Full story at

3 September 2014

Important changes to email for Physics Department users


From September 2014, all new staff and graduate sudents are expected to use email accounts on the campus network email service (nexus). To access this service you need to use your University Single Sign On (SSO) rather than your physics specific account.

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

26 June 2014

Black hole trio holds promise for gravity wave hunt

The discovery of three closely orbiting supermassive black holes in a galaxy more than four billion light years away could help astronomers in the search for gravitational waves: the ‘ripples in spacetime’ predicted by Einstein.

An international team, including Oxford University scientists, led by Dr Roger Deane from the University of Cape Town, examined six systems thought to contain two supermassive black holes.

Martin Wood Prize Lecture 2014

26 Jun 2014 - 2:00pm
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
Specialised / research interest

"Development of an advanced scanning transmission electron microscope for material science research" by Dr Naoya Shibata, The University of Tokyo


Understanding the atomic-scale structures of surfaces and interfaces is essential to control the functional properties of many materials and devices. Recent advances in aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) have made possible the direct characterization of localized atomic structures in materials, especially at interfaces.

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