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Season's Greetings

Posted: 20 Dec 2013

To all Physics Alumni and Friends of the Department, Happy Christmas and a New Year full of wonder and discovery...with our very best wishes.

Physics Carol Service

Posted: 13 Dec 2013

Our Physics Carol Service is on Friday afternoon, 20th December at 4:30 in the University Church, High St (entrance also from Radcliffe Square), Oxford.
Families and friends, including children particularly welcome. After the service everyone is invited to wine and mince pies in the de Brome Chapel in the north side of the Church.
If you'd like any more information please contact Jim Williamson.

Physics Industry Day

Posted: 14 Nov 2013

Oxford University Physics Department Industry Day

Oxford Physics welcomed Industry to the Department, and a variety of activities took place to engage and network with companies that came from as far as Yorkshire.

You can read more here, and if you would like to learn more about potential collaborations, please contact Martine Harvey.

'Waiting for Higgs', now on video.

Posted: 11 Nov 2013

'Waiting for Higgs'

Prof Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith gave a lecture last Friday, and it is now available to watch on video for those who could not assist.

This lecture was part of the Physics Colloquium, which offers lectures to members of the University (staff and students) as well as alumni, on Fridays during term time, at 4:15 pm.

'The Planetary Weather Report'

Posted: 07 Nov 2013

Dr Leigh Fletcher is a current member of staff in the sub-department of Atmospheric, Oceanographic and Planetary Physics (AOPP), and he writes a personal blog named 'The Planetary Weather Report'

If you have any questions or comments, you can write to him directly by email.

Would you like to contribute to the next newsletter?

Posted: 24 Oct 2013

Would you like to contribute to the next Physics newsletter?

We have started producing the next newsletter, due out in Spring 2014. Alumni contributions are greatly appreciated, and add an incredible value to this publication.

If you have stories, articles, photos or anything you'd like us to consider for publication, please email or phone Val Crowder, Alumni Relations Officer, for an informal chat.

Deadline for consideration to be part of the next issue is November 15th.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Rhodes scholars and Physics Alumni visited the Department

Posted: 17 Oct 2013

At Nicholas Kurti's Lab: Rhodes Scholars and Physics Alumni during their visit to commemorate 110th years of Rhodes House last September.

Rhodes House 110th Anniversary Celebrations

Posted: 09 Sep 2013

Rhodes House is celebrating its 110th years with a series of events. On Wednesday 18th September, some Rhodes scholars will visit the Department for a tour and lectures...and later there will be a drinks reception for all Rhodes physicists.

If you would like to find out more about it, please check the link below, otherwise, please contact Val Crowder

Take a look at the latest Physics newsletter

Posted: 29 Aug 2013

The latest edition of the Physics newsletter is available here

We hope you enjoy reading it, and to hear your comments, suggestions and articles, if you'd like to contribute for the next issue.

Physics Open Day - Alumni Weekend

Posted: 05 Aug 2013

Department of Physics Open Day - Saturday 21st of September

We will have an open café, hands on exhibitions, posters, the opportunity to chat with current members of staff, and have a fantastic time at Physics.
Please book for the following free events (email Val Crowder . All will take place at the Martin Wood Complex (next to the Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Rd, OX1 3PU):

1pm - Tour of the Department of Physics (maximum 20 people). Duration 45 minutes approx.
2.15pm - Dr Ranah Irshad, ‘ Exploring the Universe’.

Dr Geoff Smith (1938-2013)

Posted: 08 Jul 2013

A message from the Head of Department, Dr John Wheater:

Dear All,

I am very sorry to have to inform you of the death on the 25th June of Dr Geoff Smith. He was a university lecturer in Astrophysics for many years, a fellow of St Cross College, taught for Magdalen and for many years was a stalwart of the Physics cricket team.

The funeral was on Thursday 4th July in Appleton Church.
A link to the Tribute written by Fiona Smith, and delivered by her at the funeral.

Physics Flash Talks

Posted: 27 Jun 2013

A showcase of research at Oxford Physics through exciting 10 minute presentations delivered by graduate research students.

Alumni Summer Garden Party

Posted: 25 Jun 2013

The first Garden Party took place last Saturday. It was a lovely occasion in spite of the weather and more than 180 people met at University Parks for afternoon tea and Pimms.
We had guests who matriculated in 1951 to leavers of 2013, and it was lovely to meet so many people.

For this event, we emailed invitations to everyone who - according to our database records - lives 150 miles around Oxford and has a valid email.

'God's philosophers - How the medieval world laid the foundations of modern science' a book by alumnus Dr James Hannam

Posted: 09 Jun 2013

Alumnus news. Today: Dr James Hannam.

After leaving Oxford in 1993 where he’d graduated in physics under Professor Neville Harnew, Dr James Hannam has been an accountant and a historian of science. His book God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science was published in 2009.

Lectures by Lord Cherwell

Posted: 28 May 2013

'You might be interested to know that I am old enough to have gone to lectures by Lord Cherwell. He got round to the topic of his lectures by the third week, by which time most of the class had deserted him, but he reminisced about his early life, and the advice his father gave him, around the turn of the 20th century. "Don't study physics, my boy; they have found everything of importance, and now they are just filling in the details". Luckily he ignored the advice'.

Contributed by Eric Crook, Balliol College (1954)

Thanks Eric!

Alumni Reunion in Madrid

Posted: 02 May 2013

During the Alumni Reunion in Madrid, held last week (26-28 April) the Department of Physics reconnected with a lot of alumni and friends who met in the Spanish capital.

Besides the core programme (the event was organised by the central University Alumni Office)the Chairman and a few members of the Department hosted a spcial event for Physics Alumni at the Real Observatorio de Madrid a fantastic place near Parque del Retiro, in central Madrid.

Alumni event in London at the Oxford & Cambridge Club

Posted: 02 May 2013

The University Alumni Office is organising a professional networking event at the Oxford & Cambridge Club (London) on Wednesday 22nd May, 'Careers in Science Communication'.
Among the speakers, Dr Chris Lintott (Astrophysics, Department of Physics) will share his experiences.

Please have a look here for full details.

or visit the facebook page here

Note that this event is not organised by the Physics Department.

Why physicists think big - by Steve Morris (University College, 1989)

Posted: 16 Apr 2013

Why physicists think big

About the author: [i]Steve Morris read Physics at University College, Oxford and graduated in 1989 with first class honours. He spent ten years working for the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Harwell, Oxfordshire, before starting his own internet company.

Cherwell-Simon Lecture on “Emergent Law” by Prof Robert Laughlin, Stanford University, Nobel Prize in Physics 1998.

Posted: 11 Apr 2013

This year’s Cherwell-Simon Lecture on “Emergent Law” will be held on Friday 3rd May 2013 (16.30 pm, Martin Wood Lecture Theatre).
The speaker will be Prof Robert Laughlin, Stanford University, Nobel Prize in Physics 1998.

If you should be interested to meet with the Professor (he will have some availability on the 2nd and 3rd of May 2013 and possibly very limited availability on the 1st ), please do let me Corinna know.
It would be very helpful if you please could state your availability and what you would like to discuss with him.

Phone: +44 (0)1865 272225
Email: corinna.dahnke@phys

Halley Lecture - 'Building stars, planets and the ingredients for life between the stars' Prof Dr E.F. van Dishoeck

Posted: 11 Apr 2013

Please note that we request that you are seated by 4.50pm. If the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre is full there will be seating in the Lindemann Lecture Theatre that will be video linked to the talk.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

2013 Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race Dinner in NYC

Posted: 09 Apr 2013

Join Oxford & Cambridge alumni and friends (this Thursday 11 April) at the 80th Annual Dinner celebrating the 159th Boat Race, at the Harvard Club (New York, USA).

*Dress Code: Black tie or Boat Club Blazer*

Full details and how to register here.

Follow the Oxford North America Office on facebook here.

Holywell Manor Festival - This event welcomes Students & Alumni (it is not organised by the Department)

Posted: 08 Apr 2013

On Saturday 27 April 2013, the Holywell Manor Festival will bring together leaders from academia, politics, the arts and more for an exciting day of discussion, performance and commemoration - all nestled within the beautiful surrounds of Holywell Manor, the graduate residence of Balliol College. We invite all Oxford students and alumni to come enjoy a stimulating day of distinguished speakers, live music, and informal discussion.

Please find a full list of speakers and event details at our website:

Mrs Giana Kurti will be 100 years old - a message from Professor Harry Jones

Posted: 08 Apr 2013

(a copy of a message circulated around the Department for alumni who may read this blog and are interested in signing the card or sending regards)

'Dear all,

On 15th April next, Mrs Giana Kurti, the widow of the late Prof Nicholas Kurti CBE FRS, will be one hundred years old. For those of us with long careers in Physics in Oxford, many owe a lot to Nicholas Kurti. His flamboyant but distinguished leadership and his highly esteemed position in Physics, especially low temperature physics, benefited many of us until his death at the age of 90 in 1998.

Alumni European Reunion, 26-28 April, Madrid (Spain)

Posted: 08 Mar 2013

26-28 April 2013, Madrid

This year’s European Reunion draws from Madrid’s rich history to bring you a spectacular weekend of talks, tours and dinners.

You can have a look at the core programme, and register here

The Chairman of the Department of Physics will be hosting a visit and guided tour in English to the Royal Observatory (at Parque del Retiro), followed by short informal lectures and a drinks reception on Saturday 27th, from 16:30 hs onwards, before gathering with the rest of the A


Posted: 28 Feb 2013

Did you know we have a Facebook page where we list many events around the Department, but also those in which our staff & students are involved, taking place in and outside our buildings.

Visit our page and let us know if you have any events relevant to the Physics community (current as well as alumni) that you would like to advertise.

Alternatively, email here.

'The Shed' needs your help

Posted: 27 Feb 2013

We have received an email from 'The Shed' asking for help in sending their message out there, perhaps you'd like to be involved?
Below a copy of their email:

'Dear Shed Supporters,

We are now offering business support to over 20 student entrepreneurs, working alone or in teams on their fledgling ideas. By the end of Trinity Term we will support them to produce a working business plan.

Manga artist visit to Physics

Posted: 19 Feb 2013

Last week we had the visit of renowned manga artist from Japan, Riko Miyagi, who was in Oxford doing research for her characters.
She gave an informal lecture where she explained how she goes about developing her work, what materials she uses to draw and the way she thinks how they would look visually.
The public engaged with a few questions and she did some live drawing too...showing the incredible skill and patience required for manga.
Riko is a top designer from the Shueisha publishing group, the biggest in Japan.

After her talk, she visited some labs around the Department and met som

Visit to Trinity College Archives

Posted: 08 Feb 2013

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting Trinity College Archives Room, as Clare Hopkins showed me photographs and shared stories of what life would have been at College during the 40's...

I was doing a bit of research for the upcoming Physics Newsletter, as one of our Alumnus who was here during/around WWII has sent us a great article that we'll include in the next issue...

Where you at Trinity?

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Media fellowships from the British Science Association

Posted: 05 Feb 2013

Up to ten Media Fellowships are awarded each year by the British Science Association.
Applications open until 11 March 2013. Media Fellows spend three to six weeks over the summer working with a media host: national press, broadcast or internet media.
The Fellows gain a greater awareness and understanding of their workings of the media and produce accurate and well-informed news pieces.

Videos from Stargazing Oxford are available now

Posted: 04 Feb 2013

Videos and podcasts of the event that took place early this month, can be found here:

Oxford on iTunesU:

Web site:

Royal Institution membership, special discounts for Alumni

Posted: 31 Jan 2013

We met Kerry-Ann from the RI last week, and she kindly offered this to all alumni, which is a fantastic oportunity to have access to incredible speakers and events...
Here are some of the basic details, if you want to know more or become a member, there is a number below.

Membership offer for all alumni

• 20% off Ri membership
• 20% off 14-10 Club membership
• 20% off combined Ri and 14-10 Club membership
• Alumni can register online and use code OUA1 or call +44 (0) 20 7409 2992

You can see the events planned for the next coming months, on the attached file (look to the right in

Physics Colloquium - Staff, Students & Alumni welcome

Posted: 31 Jan 2013

Did you know that through term time, there are great lectures on some Fridays, 4:15pm at the Martin Wood lecture Theatre?

Today, IoP comes to Oxford

Posted: 30 Jan 2013

The Institute of Physics will be running this FREE event to find out a bit more about teaching as a career.
It's open to physics students of all years.
Come along for refreshments and freebies, as well as a wealth of information about training routes, applications, funding, 'golden hellos', IOP Teacher Training Scholarships (£20,000) and what to expect from a PGCE, as well as how the IOP can support and help you now and if you become a trainee teacher!

More information: click here.