26 April 2012

The prize is awarded annually to the candidate who has displayed excellence in the execution of the scientific method as witnessed by the award of Doctor of Philosophy in Plasma science from a UK or Irish university. The thesis content should exhibit significant new work and originality, clearly driven by the nominee, be well explained and demonstrate a good understanding of the subject. The prize consists of £500 in cash plus an expenses paid trip to the annual IOP plasma physics conference, where the recipient will be asked to give an invited talk.

23 March 2012

The first observation of a cosmic effect could give astronomers a new tool for understanding the forces behind the Universe's formation and growth, including the enigmatic phenomena of dark energy and dark matter.

An international team led by Princeton University, and including Oxford University scientists, has detected the movement of distant galaxy clusters via the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (kSZ) effect, which has never before been seen.

19 March 2012

Oxford Physics researcher Andrew Steele will be competing in the UK final of FameLab on Wednesday evening. His three-minute talk on a scientific topic will be pitted against those from nine other national finalists, selected at heats around the country.

The final will take place at the Royal Institution in London, for those who can’t make it to the capital, it should also be viewable as a live stream online.

15 March 2012

Dr Kevin O'Keeffe was awarded the Cavendish Medal for the excellence of his research at the "SET for Britain" poster competition held on 12th March in the House of Commons.

9 February 2012

During the course of his 3 year Fellowship, Douwe will address an exciting problem in polymer dynamics – how polymers and biopolymers move through nano-pores. This is an important and topical problem due to its relevance to biomolecular transport across cell membranes, and the rapid development of experimental techniques in this area that could be used in DNA sequencing.

8 February 2012

In an article highlighted on the home page of the Physical Review Letters web site, Roger Johnson and co-workers report the highest magnetically-induced ferroelectric polarisation ever observed in a multiferroic, bringing these materials one step closer to applications in information technology. Magnetism and ferroelectricity are widely used properties to store digital information - for example in computer hard disks and chip-and-pin cards.

28 January 2012

Professor Andrew Boothroyd has been awarded the 2011 Institute of Physics Superconductivity Group Prize for his contributions to our understanding of the interplay between magnetism and superconductivity using neutron scattering techniques. Recent important contributions include studies on iron-based superconductors that show that the spin excitation spectrum extends to sufficiently high energies to mediate high-Tc superconductivity and on magnetic stripes that show they are a key ingredient in understanding the magnetic scattering in the copper oxide superconductors.

26 January 2012

An international research team lead by Dr G Gregori with fellow Oxford physicists Prof A R Bell, Dr C Murphy and Dr B Reville (from Atomic and Laser Physics) have used a laser to create magnetic fields similar to those thought to be involved in the formation of the first galaxies; findings that could help to solve the riddle of how the Universe got its magnetism.

26 January 2012

Extreme conditions of temperature and pressure found in stars have been recreated on Earth using the world's brightest X-ray source.

An international team, led by Oxford University scientists, studied how solid matter responded to X-ray laser pulses produced by the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) based in Stanford, California. The team focused the X-rays onto a spot 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair, heating a metal foil to two million degrees Celsius within a fraction of a trillionth of a second.

12 January 2012

We are immensely sad to report the death of our much-loved colleague Professor Steve Rawlings. Further details about Steve's career and contribution to the department can be found here.

Steve has for many years been a creative and inspirational colleague, and we shall miss him greatly. We ask for your forbearance at this busy and difficult time.

The heartfelt condolences and sympathies of all of us go out to his wife and family.