Featured News

5 November 2013

The Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, yesterday announced that the University of Oxford was one of 15 Universities to be awarded part of £100m of new NERC investment in Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs).

The Department of Physics is one of the core departments of the Oxford DTP in Environmental Research, offering a novel training environment across three broad science streams, including a Physical Climate Science stream of high relevance for Physics undergraduates considering graduate research in Climate Physics.

14 October 2013

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for devising a mechanism to generate mass in gauge theories, and for predicting the existence of a new scalar boson resulting from this mechanism.
Nearly 50 years after the seminal papers written separately by Peter Higgs and by Francois Englert and Robert Brout, a boson with properties consistent with their predictions was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.

10 October 2013

Prof Balbus was presented with the prestigious 2013 Shaw Prize for Astronomy at a ceremony in Hong Kong last month. See photos & videos of the ceremony at http://www.shawprize.org/en/

A TV documentary leading up to the awards can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wv4grOMgIU

29 August 2013

Summer 2013

Our latest Department newsletter is now available to download in PDF format here. 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.

31 July 2013

Tim Palmer has been elected to the 2013 class of American Geophysical Union Fellows (AGU).
The Fellows program recognizes AGU members who have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by a committee of Fellows. The primary criterion for evaluation of scientific eminence is a major breakthrough or discovery, paradigm shift, or sustained impact.

30 July 2013

Our all new and improved ATLAS smart-phone and tablet app has just been released. The new App is called Collider and it allows you to play games, view events, and hunt for the Higgs Boson on your hand-held device. Following on from LHSee, the application now also features improved graphics, and additional games.

24 July 2013

Frank Close has been awarded the Royal Society's 2013 Michael Faraday Prize for his excellent work
in science communication. For more details see http://royalsociety.org/awards/medallists/2013/

His popular books, lectures and appearances on the broadcast media have brought fundamental science to a wide audience and inspired many young people to continue their study of science.

19 July 2013

Today at the European Physical Society meeting in Stockholm, the international T2K collaboration announced definitive observation of muon neutrino to electron neutrino transformation. In 2011, the collaboration announced the first indication of this process, a new type of neutrino oscillation, then; now with 3.5 times more data this transformation is firmly established. The probability that random statistical fluctuations alone would produce the observed excess of electron neutrinos is less than one in a trillion.

16 July 2013

Professor James Binney, Head of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, has been awarded the medal of the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris. Professor Binney received the medal at the end of June from Professor Laurent Vigroux, Director of the IAP, at a ceremony in the 17th century Observatoire de Paris.

11 July 2013

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have, for the first time, determined the true colour of a planet orbiting another star.

If seen up close this planet, known as HD 189733b, would be a deep azure blue, reminiscent of Earth’s colour as seen from space. But that's where the similarities end. This "deep blue dot" is a huge gas giant orbiting very close to its host star. The planet's atmosphere is scorching with a temperature of over 1000 degrees Celsius, and it rains glass, sideways, in howling 7000 kilometre-per-hour winds.