On 11 February 2016, the weekly seminar of the Particle Theory Group in the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics was devoted to a celebration of the work of Richard H Dalitz FRS (1925-2006) who founded the group in 1963.
Henry Snaith has been named one of Thomson Reuters most influential scientific minds for 2015 on the basis of 24 recent papers, mostly on perovskite solar cells, that were highly cited in 2013-14. The full report can be found here.
The Eddington Medal is awarded by the Royal Astronomical Society for investigations in theoretical astrophysics. Tony Bell has been awarded the 2016 medal for his work on the acceleration of energetic particles by shock fronts occurring in supernova blast waves, active galaxies, the solar wind and elsewhere in the Universe. Acceleration by shocks is thought to be the main source of cosmic rays arriving at the Earth.
The Royal Astronomical Society has awarded the Winton Capital Award in astronomy for 2016 to Dr Ralph Schoenrich of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics. The prize of £1000 is given annually to the post-doctoral researcher working in the UK whose career show the most promise within 5 years of their PhD examination. Dr Schoenrich works to understand the structure and history of our Galaxy. He has both pioneered new ways to model Galactic evolution and invented new techniques for analysing survey data.
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.
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.
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.