3 July 2012

On Monday 2nd July, the Lindemann Theatre in the Clarendon Laboratory hosted the 'Horizon' BBC film crew, where Robert Taylor (Professor of Condensed Matter) and Marcus du Sautoy (Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics) filmed an episode that was all about temperature scales and the role of Lord Kelvin. They included demonstrations of the transition from normal to superfluid helium and the triple point of nitrogen.

2 July 2012

Prof Graham Ross FRS has been awarded the 2012 Dirac Medal of the UK Institute of Physics for his theoretical work in developing both the Standard Model of fundamental particles and forces and theories beyond the Standard Model that have led to many new insights into the origins and nature of the universe.

26 June 2012

Oxford University Computing Services' OxTALENT program has awarded First Prize in the Student IT Innovation category to Mihran Vardanyan for his development of the iCosmos cosmology calculator.

21 June 2012

The IceCube telescope buried beneath the South Pole has failed to detect any high energy neutrinos accompanying exploding fireballs in space, undermining a leading theory of how cosmic rays are born (Nature 484:351,2012).

18 June 2012

The Particle Theory Group is pleased to welcome Dr Guido Bell as a Royal Society University Research Fellow from October 2012. Guido did his undergraduate studies at Aachen (including an year abroad in Toulouse and another in Granada). He obtained his PhD from Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich in 2006 and has held postdoctoral positions in Karlsruhe and Bern. His research is focussed on quantum chromodynamics, in particular the technically challenging computation of higher order corrections.

14 June 2012

Dr Joseph Conlon has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant to study supersymmetry breaking directly in string theory.

16 May 2012

Physics has long been a male-dominated subject. To fulfil the department's scientific mission, it is vital that we use the full potential of the population and redress that imbalance. Since 2010, the department has been developing a portfolio of new and existing actions to improve the employment conditions and practice for all staff and students. Good practice benefits everyone, but disproportionately benefits women. These actions, and the critical assessment that led to them, are described in our application for an Athena Swan Silver Award.

15 May 2012

Dr Andrei Starinets was awarded the 2011 Maxwell Medal of the UK Institute of Physics for his work on the gauge-gravity correspondence which relates quantum gauge theories to gravitational systems.

The medal is awarded for outstanding contributions to theoretical Physics, mathematical or computational Physics. Dr Starinets joins other distinguished past winners from the Rudolf Peierls Centre: Prof Richard Dalitz (1966), Sir Roger Elliott (1968), Prof Anthony Leggett (1975), Prof Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith (1979), Prof James Binney (1986) and Dr John Wheater (1993).

4 May 2012

Professor Julia Yeomans runs a research group in theoretical soft matter physics and has recently been awarded an Advanced Grant of 1.5 million Euros from the European Research Council. This prestigious grant will enable Professor Yeomans group to investigate questions that combine hydrodynamics and statistical physics, such as how bacteria can mix a fluid or the design of super-water-repellent surfaces.

2 May 2012

A new space mission, involving Oxford University scientists, will explore Jupiter and its icy moons to reveal fresh insights into the habitability of the 'waterworlds' orbiting the giant planets in our solar system and beyond.

On 2 May 2012, at a meeting in Paris, ESA's Science Programme Committee voted to go ahead with the project, the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), the first European-led mission to the outer solar system, and the first spacecraft destined to orbit an icy moon. The JUICE spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2022, arriving in the Jupiter system in 2030.