News

Hybrid metal halide perovskites at atomic resolution
30 October 2020

For the first time, researchers from Oxford’s Departments of Physics and Materials have managed to image hybrid metal halide perovskites with atomic-scale resolution providing new insights into these wonder-materials. A paper published in Science shares the groups’ findings about the materials’ remarkable self-healing powers; the findings further our critical understanding of how such perovskites work and are an essential step closer to the commercial production of perovskite solar cells.

Institute of Physics' Rosalind Franklin Medal
30 October 2020

The Physics of Life UK Network (PoLNET) steering group has been awarded the Institute of Physics’ Rosalind Franklin Medal and Prize.

The medal is in recognition of the network bringing physicists and biologists together to stimulate new, adventurous partnerships at the interface between physics, the life sciences and medicine.

Headshot Simon Hooker
29 October 2020

Professor Simon Hooker from the University of Oxford’s Department of Physics has been awarded the Institute of Physics’ Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Medal and Prize in recognition of his distinguished contributions to plasma physics.

Pioneering contributions

The award recognises in particular Professor Hooker’s pioneering contributions to the development of high-power plasma waveguides and their application to laser-driven plasma accelerators.

Headshot Becky Smethurst
29 October 2020

Dr Becky Smethurst from the University of Oxford’s Department of Physics has been awarded the Mary Somerville Medal by the Institute of Physics. The medal, awarded for exceptional early career contributions to public engagement within physics, is in recognition of the success of Becky’s YouTube channel, Dr Becky.

OSIRIS-REx getting a sample from asteroid Bennu
23 October 2020

A team of researchers from Oxford’s Department of Physics is celebrating after what looks to have been a successful sample collection for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. The team closely tracked the probe as it made contact with asteroid Bennu having worked as part of the mission since 2012.

Devonian Mural from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago showing a tetrapod near the surface of the water
20 October 2020

Pioneering research, published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, into ancient tides during the Late Silurian - Devonian periods (420 million years ago - 380 million years ago), suggests that large tides may have been a key environmental factor in the evolution of bony fish and early tetrapods, the first vertebrate land-dwellers.

Jack Paton headshot
12 October 2020

It is with great sadness that the Department of Physics announces the death of Jack Paton on 2 October 2020, aged 82.

A screen shot of a video call between participants at this year's summer school
7 October 2020

‘Ensuring that our doors are open to all is something that we are continually working on,’ says Kathryn Boast, Access Officer for the Department of Physics. ‘Showing young people what it means to be a physicist – or someone who supports a physicist’s work – is an important aspect of demystifying this world and that’s why, in spite of COVID-19, we went ahead with our annual summer school this year.’

Screen shot of participants in this year's Department of Physics summer school
7 October 2020

Physics can be a hard sell. Just like its stablemate, maths, people can be quick to write it off as not for them – but yet is everything and everywhere. It’s fascinating. It’s life and the universe. And, yes, it is also quite hard. Faced with such an uphill battle, how does the Department of Physics outreach team ‘reach out’ to school children and community groups to convince them otherwise? To encourage different voices into the field? What does the team do to achieve its objectives of increasing diversity in STEM for school children and increasing access for disadvantaged students?

Roger Penrose headshot
6 October 2020

As the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics are announced as Roger Penrose from the University of Oxford and Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and the University of California, Los Angeles respectively, we look at the significance of their ground-breaking work.

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