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Department of Physics

News

Physics and scale: from attophysics to atoms, biology and the Universe.

Organisers: Martin WardAlex LenzTom Lancaster
Dates: Tuesday 4th - Wednesday 5th July, 2017. 
Venue: Department of Physics, Durham University

As part of the Durham Institute of Advanced Study theme of Scale, this one day workshop will explore the notion of scale in physics from an interdisciplinary perspective. It will cover the history, notions and uses of scale from the smallest lengths accessible in particle physics, via the emergence of phenomena at intermediate scales, and on to the large-scale structure of space and time. Although accounts of scale in subfields of physics are plentiful, there is a surprising lack of coherent discussion linking the concepts across the subject and beyond. This is particularly true of cutting-edge research, where many close links in the use of scaling remain unexploited. This workshop is intended to fill that gap, extending the discussion beyond physics to make contact with philosophy, aesthetics and the life sciences.

The workshop will feature around 8 introductory and general presentations from scientists and philosophers on various aspects of scale, including measurement, history, our understanding of scale and the use of scaling in fundamental particles, statistical physics, cosmology and the life sciences. Speakers will be encouraged to present leading edge examples from their subfields which are not yet be widely known, but which form the basis of links across physics.


The Queen honours leading Durham University space scientist

Professor Carlos Frenk

A world-leading Durham University space scientist has been honoured by The Queen for his work on the origins of the Universe and engaging the public in science.

More about The Queen honours leading Durham University space scientist


Winton sponsors prizes in Physics and Mathematical Sciences at Durham University

Durham University is delighted to announce that Winton has sponsored five academic prizes in the University’s Departments of Physics and Mathematical Sciences.

 

The prizes being sponsored from the 2017/18 academic year are:

  • Winton Doctoral Prize in Physics;
  • Winton MSc Prize in Physics;
  • Winton Poster Prizes in Physics;
  • Winton Doctoral Prize in Mathematical Sciences;
  • Winton MSc Prize in Mathematical Sciences.

 

Professor Patrick Hussey, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Durham’s Faculty of Science, said:

“We are delighted that Winton have chosen to support a number of new postgraduate prizes in our Departments of Physics and Mathematical Sciences, which will celebrate the academic excellence so prevalent within our student community here at Durham.”

 

 

Winton

Winton is an investment management and data science company. The firm was founded in 1997 on the belief that the application of the scientific method offers the best approach to investing. Winton’s investment decisions are driven by statistical inference based on the empirical analysis of data, rather than instinct or intuition. By finding patterns in large volumes of data, Winton’s researchers build intelligent investment systems which evolve over time. Today Winton advises on over $30billion of client assets for many of the world’s largest pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, banks and fund platforms. The firm employs more than 450 people in 9 offices around the globe.

 

Winton’s philanthropic arm, Winton Philanthropies, is a supporter of UK science research.

For more information on the prizes available please follow the links to the Departmental websites below:

www.dur.ac.uk/physics/

www.dur.ac.uk/mathematical.sciences/


Dr Mathilde Jauzac awarded first prize at the inaugural University Research Staff Awards

Image of Dr Mathilde Jauzac receiving her award

Dr Mathilde Jauzac from the University's Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy has been awarded first place at Durham University's first ever Research Staff Awards. This new competition recognises the significant contribution made by Durham’s c.a 500 contracted research staff via nomination from their line managers or mentors. Mathilde beat off stiff competition from over 40 competitors for her research efforts: she personally leads Durham’s effort to exploit the deepest images of galaxy clusters ever taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. 

More about Dr Mathilde Jauzac awarded first prize at the inaugural University Research Staff Awards


Durham University astronomical research points to ancient origin for the 'Cold Spot'

A supervoid is unlikely to explain a 'Cold Spot' in the cosmic microwave background, according to new research led by Postgraduate Student Ruari Mackenzie and Professor Tom Shanks of the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy at Durham University. Their results, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, have attracted attention in the national press as they leave room for more exotic explanations, such as a collision between universes and the potential for this Cold Spot to be ‘the first evidence for the multiverse – and billions of other universes that may exist like our own.’

More about Durham University astronomical research points to ancient origin for the 'Cold Spot'


Chancellor of the Exchequer’s visit highlights Durham’s strengths in research and industrial partnerships

Durham University’s contribution to the UK economy and links with industry have been highlighted by a visit from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

More about Chancellor of the Exchequer’s visit highlights Durham’s strengths in research and industrial partnerships


Nuffield Summer Student Chantal Goulder wins National Science Prize at Big Bang Fair in Birmingham

Image of Chantal Goulder collecting her prize

Budding scientist Chantal Goulder has a bright future after winning a national science prize.

Chantal, a student of Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington won one of the UK Senior Science awards at the National Big Bang Fair, held in Birmingham, earlier this year.

Chantal undertook a Nuffield placement in the Physics Department at Durham University during Summer 2016 under the supervision of Dr Marc Etherington in the Organic Electroactive Materials (OEM) group.

More about Nuffield Summer Student Chantal Goulder wins National Science Prize at Big Bang Fair in Birmingham


Fully funded doctoral studentships to be made available in new Centre for Doctoral Training

We are pleased to announce the availability of up to 11 fully-funded four year doctoral studentships, as part of a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Data Intensive Science supported by STFC through the Industrial Strategy Talent Fund. The CDT is built around the research programmes of the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) and the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP) and also the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy (CEA) and the Center for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI). The studentships include a six month secondment with one of our industrial partners. 

 


Durham to lead research programme in quantum science

Professor Simon Cornish has been awarded a five-year EPSRC Programme Grant to head a consortium of researchers exploring “Quantum Science with Ultracold Molecules”. The research vision for the programme is to achieve full quantum control of cold and ultracold molecules in order to advance the science of complex quantum systems and underpin new quantum technologies. The work builds upon a long-standing collaboration between Prof. Cornish and Prof. Jeremy Hutson in the Department of Chemistry, which has established Durham as a world-leading research centre in the field of ultracold molecules – see for example Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 255301 (2014). The other members of the consortium are Prof. Jeremy Hutson (Durham University), Prof. Dieter Jaksch (Oxford University), and Prof. Ed Hinds, Dr. Mike Tarbutt and Dr. Ben Sauer (all Imperial College London). In addition, the programme is fortunate to include two prominent visiting researchers from the USA, Prof. Lincoln Carr (Colorado School of Mines) and Prof. Paul Julienne (Joint Quantum Institute, NIST and the University of Maryland) – both experts in the theory of ultracold molecules.


Level 3 Poster Prize winners 2017 receive their awards

More about Level 3 Poster Prize winners 2017 receive their awards


Materials that emit rainbows

Mechanochromic luminescent (MCL) materials change their color in response to a change in their environment, like pressure and temperature. To date, most MCL materials only change between two colors, limiting their applications. The international research team comprising of chemists at Osaka University and physicists at Durham University has developed tricolor-changing MLC materials. Not only that, the developed materials exhibited efficient thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) and allowed high performance organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) devices. The findings can be read about in Chemical Science.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-02-materials-emit-rainbows.html#jCp


Professor Carlos Frenk will receive the 2017 Max Born Medal and Prize

Professor Carlos Frenk has been awarded the 2017 Max Born Medal and Prize of the IOP and the German Physical Society, which is given for outstanding contributions to physics. Frenk, who is director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at the University of Durham, receives the award for his work on cold dark matter, being one of the originators of the Cold Dark Matter (CDM) theory for the origin of galaxies and other cosmic structures.


ALMA discovers dew drops surrounding dusty spider’s web

Astronomers have spotted glowing droplets of condensed water in the distant Spiderweb Galaxy – but not where they expected to find them.

More about Astronomers have spotted glowing droplets of condensed water in the distant Spiderweb Galaxy – but not where they expected to find them.


CDT Student Francis Ridgeon wins regional 3 Minute Wonder Competition

CDT student Francis Ridgeon won the Institute of Physics, North East regional 3 Minute Wonder Competition.

More about CDT Student Francis Ridgeon wins regional 3 Minute Wonder Competition