Student news

Alex Savin, a third year DPhil student in Prof Peter Norreys group in Atomic and Laser Physics, received the runner-up student presentation prize for his talk at the International Conference on High Energy Density science (ICHED 2019) conference in University College Oxford in April 2019. Alex's paper was entitled "Energy Absorption in the Laser-QED Regime" and described the interaction of multi-petawatt laser pulses with solid targets.

Congratulations to Professor Achillefs Kapanidis and Mr Bo Jing, CEO of Oxford Nanoimaging who have been named as BBSRC’s Innovator of the year 2019 – an award celebrating excellent research which demonstrates impact.

The first results from the ExoMars mission supported by the UK Space Agency reveal the effects of a massive, global dust storm on the Red Planet.
British instruments reveal secrets of martian sky

Over the last year the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) spacecraft followed the onset of the storm and monitored how the increase in dust affected the water vapour in the atmosphere - important for understanding the history of water on Mars.

Peter Norreys, Oxford’s Professor of Inertial Fusion Science, is chairing the “International Conference on High Energy Density Science” in University College Oxford on behalf of the Institute of Physics plasma physics group from 1st – 5th April 2019. The 120 registered participants from all over the world will be coming to Oxford discuss a range of topics ranging from the behaviour of matter under extreme pressures, laboratory plasma astrophysics, progress in inertial confinement fusion through to high laser electric field phenomena.

On Wednesday, 20 March 2019, The Institute of Physics announced the launch of The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship bursary scheme to support full or part-time graduate students who wish to study PhD physics and come from under-represented and minority groups.

Sometimes satellites can provide an unexpected view of events. On the 18th December 2018 a huge meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the northern Pacific Ocean, an event that – due to its isolated location – attracted very little attention at the time. American military satellites that look for bright flashes detected the meteor as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere and this enabled scientists at NASA to calculate its trajectory[1].

Oliver Humphries and Sam Vinko from Oxford Physics were part of one of the first user experiments to take place at the European XFEL, the flagship x-ray free-electron laser facility currently being commissioned at DESY in Hamburg, Germany. The first user results were reported at the annual XFEL User meeting on 23 January.

Congratulations to Sir Alex Halliday who has been knighted for services to Science and Innovation in the New Year's Honours list for 2019.

Alexander Halliday FRS, Visiting Professor of Geochemistry at the Department of Earth Sciences and recently Head of Oxford’s Mathematical Physical and Life Sciences Division, is knighted for services to science and innovation.

To see the full list please click here

The Royal Astronomical Society has given the Galaxy Zoo team – including the volunteers who have made the project the success it is – their Group Achievement Award for 2019.

Citation for the 2019 RAS Group Achievement Award:

Congratulations to Prof. Michael Johnston who will be awarded the Harrie Massey Medal and Prize in December.

This is a silver medal from the Institute of Physics which is awarded in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Physics (