News

15 December 2016

Physics World's choice for the 2016 Book of the Year is Why String Theory? by Joseph Conlon.

Abstract, mathematically complex and (so far) unsupported by direct experimental evidence, string theory attracts plenty of criticism. Yet it remains an incredibly active area of research, with thousands of physicists and mathematicians around the world working on strings and related ideas. The reasons for its continued popularity are eloquently presented in Joseph Conlon's book Why String Theory?

1 December 2016

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.

29 November 2016

This immersive 360 degree video lets you join in a planetary observing trip using some of the world's best telescopes in Hawaii.

To view on a regular screen, you can click and drag in the video frame to look in any direction. For an immersive experience, view the video using a virtual reality headset.

7 November 2016

It is with great sorrow that we mourn Edmund 'Ted' Wilson, who died on November 3rd 2016 after a short illness.

Ted was born on 18 March 1938 in Liverpool, the son of school teacher John Wesley Wilson and nurse Anna Wilson. He was a great accelerator physicist and an inspired and inspiring teacher. He was an engaging and entertaining companion, being one of those people who, while being quite serious about everything, never take themselves too seriously; he lived life to the full, doing as much good as he could along the way.

28 October 2016

Condensed Matter Physics is delighted to announce that Joel Spratt has been awarded the Arthur Cooke Prize 2016 for distinguished work by a first year research student in Condensed Matter Physics.

25 October 2016

The early 1960s witnessed a wealth of elementary particles described in terms of simple combinations of a few more elementary units, dubbed quarks. The known mesons and baryons could all be described as states of quark-antiquark or three quarks. However, it was not understood why certain more elaborate combinations, such as (two quarks + two antiquarks) or (four quarks + one antiquark) had not been observed. It has taken nearly half a century, but these "exotic" particles are now beginning to be seen and understood.

25 October 2016

The gamma-ray band of the electromagnetic spectrum probes some of the most extreme environments in the Universe. Photons of these very-high energies can only be produced by the interactions of subatomic particles that have been accelerated to almost the speed of light. This acceleration occurs in a surprisingly wide variety of astrophysical sources: close to black holes and neutron stars, in the blast waves of supernova explosions, and in the relativistic jets of active galaxies.

25 October 2016

From the earliest commercial production of electronic image sensors for television in the 1950s, to the diverse application of specialist silicon image sensors for the Hubble space Telescope to digital dentistry this talk will outline the manufacturing technology and changes through 60 years at e2v. Somewhat surprisingly, there are today lessons to be learned, and technologies to be applied from this to the emerging new platform technology of ultra-cold atom sensing and metrology.

25 October 2016

Janus particles are micro- or nano-scale particles whose surfaces have two or more distinct physical properties. Such asymmetry results in interesting self-assembly properties, but homogeneous Janus particles can be difficult to synthesize. The protein BslA (Bacterial Surface Layer A) is a small (~4 nm) protein produced by the bacterium Bacillus subtilis that has a hydrophilic ‘body’ to which is appended a surface-exposed hydrophobic ‘cap’.

25 October 2016

Everything around us, everything each of us has ever experienced, and virtually everything underpinning our technological society and economy is governed by quantum mechanics. Yet this most fundamental physical theory of nature often feels as if it is a set of somewhat eerie and counterintuitive ideas of no direct relevance to our lives. Why is this?

One reason is that we cannot perceive the strangeness (and astonishing beauty) of the quantum mechanical phenomena all around us by using our own senses.