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

The gamma-ray band of the electromagnetic spectrum probes some of the most extreme environments in the Universe. Photons of these very-high energies can only be produced by the interactions of subatomic particles that have been accelerated to almost the speed of light. This acceleration occurs in a surprisingly wide variety of astrophysical sources: close to black holes and neutron stars, in the blast waves of supernova explosions, and in the relativistic jets of active galaxies.

25 October 2016

From the earliest commercial production of electronic image sensors for television in the 1950s, to the diverse application of specialist silicon image sensors for the Hubble space Telescope to digital dentistry this talk will outline the manufacturing technology and changes through 60 years at e2v. Somewhat surprisingly, there are today lessons to be learned, and technologies to be applied from this to the emerging new platform technology of ultra-cold atom sensing and metrology.

25 October 2016

Janus particles are micro- or nano-scale particles whose surfaces have two or more distinct physical properties. Such asymmetry results in interesting self-assembly properties, but homogeneous Janus particles can be difficult to synthesize. The protein BslA (Bacterial Surface Layer A) is a small (~4 nm) protein produced by the bacterium Bacillus subtilis that has a hydrophilic ‘body’ to which is appended a surface-exposed hydrophobic ‘cap’.

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.

22 September 2016

The following lectures will be given at 3.30pm on Fridays in the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road (unless otherwise stated). Tea will be served in the Physics Common Room at 4.30 pm.

The aim of the colloquia series is to share with members of the department the latest information on physics research and developments. Undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, faculty members and support staff are all encouraged to attend these lectures.

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.

5 September 2016

One hundred and fifty members of the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Collaboration held their annual summer meeting in Oxford in July, 2016 co-hosted by the Sub-departments of Astrophysics and Particle Physics. This was the first time LSST-DESC had held a meeting outside the U.S.

Pages