Featured News

11 July 2013

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have, for the first time, determined the true colour of a planet orbiting another star.

If seen up close this planet, known as HD 189733b, would be a deep azure blue, reminiscent of Earth’s colour as seen from space. But that's where the similarities end. This "deep blue dot" is a huge gas giant orbiting very close to its host star. The planet's atmosphere is scorching with a temperature of over 1000 degrees Celsius, and it rains glass, sideways, in howling 7000 kilometre-per-hour winds.

11 July 2013

The Science and Technology Facilities Council have announced the 2013 round of Ernest Rutherford Fellowships. These are prestigious 5 year fellowships which may be held in science areas supported by STFC; principally particle physics, astrophysics, planetary physics and accelerator physics. If you are interested in applying for one of these fellowships to be held in the Oxford Physics Department please see http://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/about-us/fellowship-opportunities for further information.

1 July 2013

Professor Peter Norreys has been awarded the 2013 Payne-Gaposchkin Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics for his pioneering contributions to the physics of fast particle generation and energy transport in relativistic laser-plasma interactions.
Further details can be seen at http://www.iop.org/about/awards/subject/payne_gaposchkin-/medallists/page_60384.html

1 July 2013

Dr Jo Dunkley has been awarded the 2013 Maxwell Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics for her contributions to determining the structure and history of our Universe. Further details can be seen at

24 June 2013

On Monday 24th June, BBC4, 21:00 hours, Professor Robert Taylor will feature on this series, talking from the Lindemann Lecture Theatre about measurement with Professor Marcus du Sautoy.

9 June 2013

Richard Passmore, a current student within Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics at The University of Oxford, has won a prestigious scholarship to attend summer camp at the International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program (SSP13).

30 May 2013

Steven Balbus, Savilian Professor of Astronomy, and John Hawley (University of Virginia, USA), have been jointly awarded the 2013 Shaw Prize "for their discovery and study of the magnetorotational instability, and for demonstrating that this instability leads to turbulence and is a viable mechanism for angular momentum transport in astrophysical accretion disks." The Shaw Prize is widely considered to be among the highest honours in astronomy. Further details can be found at http://www.shawprize.org

21 May 2013

A new study led by Oxford University concludes that the latest observations of the climate system's response to rising greenhouse gas levels are consistent with conventional estimates of the long-term 'climate sensitivity', despite a "warming pause" over the past decade. However, the most extreme rates of warming simulated by the current generation of climate models over 50-100 year timescales are looking less likely, according to the paper published online by Nature Geoscience.

25 March 2013

Europe's Planck satellite has compiled the most detailed map ever of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The map gives a picture of how the Universe looked just 380,000 years after the Big Bang, and shows the seeds of cosmic structure.

The team behind the mission, including scientists from Oxford, report results giving a more accurate recipe for the composition of the Universe and the relative amounts of dark matter and dark energy, and bolsters evidence for inflation in the early Universe.