14 October 2013

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for devising a mechanism to generate mass in gauge theories, and for predicting the existence of a new scalar boson resulting from this mechanism.
Nearly 50 years after the seminal papers written separately by Peter Higgs and by Francois Englert and Robert Brout, a boson with properties consistent with their predictions was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.

10 October 2013

Prof Balbus was presented with the prestigious 2013 Shaw Prize for Astronomy at a ceremony in Hong Kong last month. See photos & videos of the ceremony at

A TV documentary leading up to the awards can be viewed at

24 September 2013

Ferroelectrics are insulating materials with an electrical polarisation that can be switched by an applied voltage. Ferroelectricity cannot occur in metals because it would be screened by the conduction electrons.

18 September 2013

University of Oxford graduate students have led the first two papers for Supersymmetry using the full data-set from the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

9 September 2013

Sent on behalf of Professor Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith

Dear Colleagues & Alumni,

Lady Mitchell

I am sorry to report that Lady (Margaret) Mitchell, widow of Sir William (Bill) Mitchell – one time Dr Lee’s Professor, died on Sunday 25 August.

The funeral will be a private family affair. There will however be memorial service in Somerville Chapel at 2 p.m. on Monday 7 October.

Chris Ll S

Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith FRS
Director of Energy Research Oxford University
President SESAME Council

6 September 2013

Oxford scientists working as part of have contributed to a special report for the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society entitled “Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a climate perspective” released 5th Sep 2013. Overall, 18 different research teams from around the world contributed to the peer-reviewed report that examined the causes of 12 extreme events that occurred on five continents and in the Arctic.

29 August 2013

Summer 2013

Our latest Department newsletter is now available to download in PDF format here. Have a look at 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.

5 August 2013

Oxford Physics Department is holding an Industry Day on the 23rd October. Guests will get to find out more about the research going on in the department and arrange 1:1 meetings with academic experts. There will be a range of talks, including one from an industry perspective.

Further details about the event can be found here.

31 July 2013

Tim Palmer has been elected to the 2013 class of American Geophysical Union Fellows (AGU).
The Fellows program recognizes AGU members who have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by a committee of Fellows. The primary criterion for evaluation of scientific eminence is a major breakthrough or discovery, paradigm shift, or sustained impact.

30 July 2013

Our all new and improved ATLAS smart-phone and tablet app has just been released. The new App is called Collider and it allows you to play games, view events, and hunt for the Higgs Boson on your hand-held device. Following on from LHSee, the application now also features improved graphics, and additional games.