Featured News

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

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?

25 October 2016

On September 14 2015, the two LIGO gravitational wave detectors in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana registered a nearly simultaneous signal with time-frequency properties consistent with gravitational-wave emission by the merger of two massive compact objects. Further analysis of the signals by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration revealed that the gravitational waves detected by LIGO came from the merger of a binary black hole system. This observation, followed by another one in December 2015, marked the beginning of gravitational wave astronomy.

4 October 2016

Michael Kosterlitz, who carried out his DPhil at Brasenose College between 1966 and 1969, was today named a Nobel Laureate for his pioneering work to help reveal the secrets of exotic phases of matter that were hitherto unknown.
Professor Kosterlitz, now of Brown University in the US, shared half the prize with Professor Duncan Haldane of Princeton University, USA, with the other half going to Professor David Thouless of the University of Washington, USA.

8 September 2016

Tim Palmer was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the University of Bristol at the University Congregation on 21st July 2016. In his acceptance speech, Tim noted the important role that collaboration with scientists around Europe had played in his career. He warned of the damage that Brexit may cause in the future, in particular for UK scientists’ ability to play leadership roles in collaborative EU projects.

19 July 2016

Congratulations to Henry Snaith who has been awarded the Royal Society Kavli Medal and lecture winner 2017. This award is made for excellence in all fields of science and engineering relevant to the environment or energy. Henry receives this award for his discovery and development of highly efficient perovskite solar cells which promise to dramatically increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar energy. You can view the citation here.

19 July 2016

Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award winner 2016

The Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award 2016 is awarded to Professor Jo Dunkley for her research in the cosmic microwave background and her innovative project to support and encourage girls studying physics.

Professor Dunkley will be presented with a medal of silver gilt at the Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture in November 2016.

13 July 2016

The Department of Physics at the University of Oxford has been named a champion of gender equality as part of the Institute of Physics' Project Juno initiative.

Project Juno aims to address the long-standing issue of women being under-represented in physics at UK and Irish universities by recognising and rewarding actions to address the issue and embed better working practices for all.

13 June 2016

Physics Newsletter Spring 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).

4 May 2016

The 56th Cherwell-Simon Lecture will be delivered by Prof Lisa Randall, Frank B Baird Jr, Professor of Science, Harvard University at 16:30 on Friday 13 May 2016.

Title: "Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe".

Prof Randall will explore a speculative hypothesis in which the comet that may have triggered the mass extinction of dinosaurs was dislodged from the Oort cloud at the edge of our solar system by a disk of dark matter.