Three members of Oxford Physics - Professor Justin Wark, Dr Sam Vinko, and Dr Orlando Ciricosta have shared in the 2015 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics. This award from the American Physical Society, established in 1981, recognises a particular recent outstanding achievement in plasma physics research, and is considered one of the premier prizes in the field. The award was presented to them this November at the annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, held in Savannah, Georgia.
On 15 June 2015, V404 Cygni (V404 Cyg), a binary system comprising a sun-like star orbiting a black hole, woke up. A huge outburst of energy across the electromagnetic spectrum ‘lit up’ the sky. The last such outburst was 1989. Dr. Kunal Mooley carried out an intensive observing campaign with the AMI telescope at Cambridge to monitor V404 Cyg. This work, carried out in close collaboration with Professor Robert Fender of the Oxford Astrophysics sub-department, has helped paint a stunning picture how black holes can launch relativistic jets.
Different branches of science typically deal with very different concepts and research subjects that seldom overlap. Though once in a while, a common idea can emerge, propagate across different fields, and lead to rare discoveries appreciated by scientists in all fields, showing the generality, profoundness, and beauty of science.
Three million euros for European Plasma Research Accelerator with eXcellence in In Applications (EUPRAXIA) project
The European Union supports the development of a novel plasma particle accelerator with three million euros from the Horizon2020 program. The EU project EuPRAXIA will produce a design study for a European plasma research accelerator focussing on applications of the new technology. Plasma acceleration promises to shrink costs and size of particle accelerators for science, medical applications and industry significantly.
Condensed Matter Physics is delighted to announce that Mr Han Peng, first year postgraduate student, has been awarded the Arthur H Cooke Memorial prize 2015 for distinguished work by a first year research student in Condensed Matter Physics.
Well done Han.
Winner: Kylash Rajendran, “The Goal"
Runner up: Nathalie Schaller
Winner: Ben Bronselaer
Runner up: Joe Hitchen, “The Pacific Ocean meets Isabela Island"
Winner: Peter Read, “Going, going, gone … "
Runner up: Bethan White, "Double exposure of the lunar eclipse taken from Brill”
The winners and runners-up can be viewed in this attachment. The winning photos from each category will also be framed and displayed in the department.
Congratulations to the prizewinners at the AOPP Retreat! We had a very high standard of talks and posters but the following stood out in particular for presenting novel physics results in a very clear and engaging presentation.
Best talk: Tobias Thornes for his talk on forecast skill using imprecise computing Runner up: Tomos David for his talk on entropy measures of evolving oceanic flows
Best poster: Cheikh Mbengue for his poster on storm tracks and climate change Runner up: Hannah Christensen for her poster on a new skill score for probabilistic forecasts
An exotic particle – the Weyl fermion, has recently been discovered in a compound called tantalum arsenide (TaAs) by an international collaboration of scientists lead by Oxford physicists.
The Weyl fermion is an intriguing chiral massless particle, which was named after the mathematician and physicist, Hermann Weyl in 1930s. Over the past century, it has been the research subject of high energy physicists, and various interesting particles in the universe, including neutrinos, were speculated as Weyl fermions. However, none has been confirmed unfortunately.
The Physics Department is sad to announce the death of Professor Harry Jones.
Harry, who was 70 in February, joined the department in 1968 and served Oxford Physics for 44 years before formally retiring in 2012. He was well known around the world for his great expertise in superconducting magnets, which formed the basis of high magnetic field work done in the Clarendon Laboratory over very many years. His legacy is kept alive by the newly formed Oxford Centre for Applied Superconductivity.
Our condolences go to his wife Linda, and to his wider family.