28 August 2012

The Department of Physics has been granted an Athena Swan Bronze Award.

For further details, please see the full Story at

The beliefs underpinning the Athena Swan Charter are:

15 August 2012

An eccentric class of materials known as topological insulators (TIs) has caught the interest and imagination of physicists, materials scientists, and technologists alike, as it permits loss-free electricity conduction at room temperature. TIs are insulating in the inside, but conduct electricity on their surfaces. The current that it carries has some special properties that arise from the quantum nature of the material. The motion and spin are locked together: the path of the surface electrons determine their spin and in turn is determined by it.

6 August 2012

An international collaboration led by Oxford physicists reported today in Physical Review Letters experimental measurements of how ions influence each other’s behaviour in a hot-dense aluminium plasma, leading to an effect called ionization potential depression (link to article). These results shed new light on a half-century-old debate regarding one of the most challenging properties to measure in such extreme systems.

31 July 2012

Summer 2012

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.

24 July 2012

In the first week of July members of the Biological Physics group, with colleagues from the Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology at the University of Warwick, presented their research at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. The “Mini Motors” stand brought together their interests in biological nano-scale transport and spanned naturally occurring motors, such as kinesin and the bacterial flagellar motor, to building synthetic motors from DNA.

23 July 2012

Congratulations to Yulin Chen (Condensed Matter) who has been awarded the prestigious Outstanding Young Researcher Award of the International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers, with the following citation:

20 July 2012

STFC have announce the 2012 round of Ernest Rutherford Fellowships. These are prestigious 5 year fellowships which may be held in any of the science areas supported by STFC. See oxford physics opportunities for further details about applying to hold one of these fellowships here.

18 July 2012

Congratulations to Yulin Chen (Condensed Matter Physics), who was awarded the prestigious OYRA award with the following citation:

"For his pioneering contribution in advancing our knowledge of topological insulators using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, for the realization of the topological insulating state of Bi2Te3, and the discovery of the massive topological surface state in magnetically doped topological Bi2Se3."

4 July 2012

University of Oxford physicists working both at CERN and in Oxford are today celebrating their part in the discovery of a new particle. An excess of collision events has been observed by both the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN. The signals are consistent with those expected from the long-anticipated Higgs boson. Each experiment has separately observed a "5-sigma" excess, meeting the gold standard of confidence in discovery of a new particle.

3 July 2012

Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Katherine Blundell has been awarded the Bragg Medal "For promoting engagement in and learning of physics both by carrying research in astronomy into schools in developing countries and by helping graduate students and postdocs in the UK to talk to schoolchildren about their science."