26 July 2011

The Oxford Particle Physics group is playing a key role in the search for the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider. The most recent search results were presented by the ATLAS collaboration at the European Physical Society meeting in Grenoble. These intriguing results show an excess of events that would be consistent with decays of Higgs bosons to pairs of W particles.

24 July 2011

One of our recent papers, 'Investigation of the role of plasma channels as waveguides for laser-wakefield accelerators' has been selected to appear in the New Journal of Physics' "Best of 2010" collection.

Further details on this paper may be found here.

18 June 2011

Oxford Physics has produced the first edition of an annual newsletter, aiming to describe the wide range of work that we do in front-line research, teaching, public outreach and school education. We would welcome contributions to future newsletters from undergraduate or postgraduate alumni and previous members of the physics department.

15 June 2011

The T2K experiment, whose primary purpose is to study neutrino interactions at a large distance from their source, has detected 6 electron neutrino candidate events based on the data collected before March 11, 2011. For the first time, it was possible to observe an indication that muon neutrinos are able to transform into electron neutrinos over a distance of 295 km through the quantum mechanical phenomena of neutrino flavor oscillations.

14 June 2011

The latest exoplanet discoveries made by the Corot satellite will be presented at a meeting at the Institute of Physics on 15 June by Dr Suzanne Aigrain. Corot is a satellite developed by the French Research agency CNES. It uses the transit method to find planets around stars, making very accurate brightness measurements of stars to detect the dips in brightness that occur when planets pass in front of a star, blocking out a fraction of the starlight.

14 June 2011

An international team, including Oxford University scientists, has discovered ten new planets. Amongst them is one orbiting a star perhaps only a few tens of million years old, twin Neptune-sized planets, and a rare Saturn-like world.

The planets were detected using the CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and Transits) space telescope, operated by the French space agency CNES. It discovers planets outside our solar system – exoplanets – when they ‘transit’, that is pass in front of their stars.

9 June 2011

Is the Milky Way a typical galaxy? What can we learn about it from looking at its nearest neighbours, the Magellanic Clouds? Comparing a giant numerical simulation of millions of galaxies, with observations of galaxies from the largest survey of the sky carried out to date, an international team of astrophysicists including Oxford's Phil Marshall set out to answer these questions.

8 June 2011

We are very pleased to announce that the Oxford City Council Planning Committee has granted planning permission for the Clarendon Laboratory 2 (CL2) building with a unanimous vote, subject to ratification by the full Council.

2 June 2011

Andy Eyre's DPhil thesis "On the Dynamics of Tidal Streams in the Milky Way Galaxy" was the runner up in the competition for the 2010 Michael Penston Prize for the best astronomy thesis submitted to a UK university during 2010. Andy was a member of the Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics and rebuilt the Centre's computer system in parallel with completing his thesis.

25 May 2011

A gamma-ray burst detected by NASAʼs Swift satellite may be the most distant object known in the Universe. The burst marked the explosion of a massive young star at a time when the Universe was only about half a billion years old (compared to its present age of 13.7 billion years). The discovery paper was led by Antonino Cucchiara (formerly Penn State, now at UC Berkeley) and is presented in the Astrophysical Journal by an international team of astronomers, including Oxford astronomers Philipp Podsiadlowski and Christian Wolf.