Five cool things about our Cosmology & Astronomy research
Research at Durham isn’t just confined to life here on Earth.
Sharing our 350-year-old library with the world
We’re proud to be home to the earliest public library in the North East of England, Cosin’s Library, established in 1669 by John Cosin, Bishop of Durham for the benefit of the local community.
(17 Dec 2019) » More about Sharing our 350-year-old library with the world
Enduring interest in the fate of the Scottish Soldiers
In the six years since we found a mass grave of 17th century prisoners on Durham University land, our Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project has captivated thousands of people across the world.
Air pollution and the ethics of recommending facemasks
Record levels of air pollution have been measured in some parts of the world posing a danger to human health.
Five thousand eyes on the sky
A cutting-edge new telescope instrument designed and built by an international team including Durham University has taken its first observations of the night sky.
(18 Nov 2019) » More about Five thousand eyes on the sky
India’s National Academy of Sciences honours Durham researcher
One of our leading researchers is to be honoured by India’s oldest science academy.
National Energy Champion award for geothermal researcher
Research into the potential of using geothermal energy as a low-carbon heat source has won a national award for one of our leading researchers.
Is Planet 9 really a black hole?
Is there a black hole in our solar system?
(10 Oct 2019) » More about Is Planet 9 really a black hole?
Observing the Cosmic Web
The Cosmic Web is believed to contain huge threads of gas that connect multiple galaxies across the universe.
(4 Oct 2019) » More about Observing the Cosmic Web
Durham UK lead on hydrogen fuel research
We’re leading a national research project to decarbonise transport through hydrogen-fuelled vehicles and technology.
(30 Sep 2019) » More about Durham UK lead on hydrogen fuel research
Thousands of meltwater lakes mapped on East Antarctic Ice Sheet
More than 65,000 meltwater lakes have been discovered on the edge of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet by our researchers.
The heat beneath our feet
Old coal mines could provide us with a source of low-carbon heat for many years to come, according to geothermal energy expert Dr Charlotte Adams, who is the new President of the Geology section at the British Science Association.
Here, Charlotte, who is a member of our Durham Energy Institute, explains more about her research into how water stored in flooded abandoned mines could provide cleaner energy for homes and businesses.
(17 Sep 2019) » More about The heat beneath our feet
Developing cheaper and more efficient solar power
Our scientists have helped to solve a puzzle that could lead to cheaper and more efficient solar power.
(16 Sep 2019) » More about Developing cheaper and more efficient solar power
A new home for the archive of ‘Radical Jack’
A political firebrand, a radical reformist and a leading society figure – the life and times of John George Lambton, first Earl of Durham, were truly captivating.
Durham University is now the new home to the archives of Lord Durham, as he was also known, whose energetic support for political reform earned him the nickname ‘Radical Jack’.
(30 Aug 2019) » More about A new home for the archive of ‘Radical Jack’
Smart surfaces as a solution to global challenges
Professor Jas Pal Badyal, a Fellow of the Royal Society, is widely considered a leader in the field of surface science. Here he talks about the students in his team, their inventions and tackling global challenges.
(22 Aug 2019) » More about smart surfaces as a solution to global challenges
Revealing quasars’ true colours
Our astronomers have identified a rare moment in the life of some of the universe’s most energetic objects.
(7 Aug 2019) » More about Revealing quasars’ true colours
Five cool things our surface scientists do
Surface science can make a big difference to our health, well-being and environment.
(5 Aug 2019) » More about Five cool things our surface scientists do
Malaysian Minister of Education visits Durham
The University has hosted a visit by the Malaysian Minister of Education to celebrate a new partnership that will see an important collection of diplomatic papers digitised for study in South East Asia.
(26 Jul 2019) » More about Malaysian Minister of Education visits Durham
Measuring the expanding universe
Our physicists will help create a 3D map of galaxies to learn more about the universe’s accelerating expansion.
(17 Jul 2019) » More about Measuring the expanding universe
Chameleon Theory could change our thoughts on gravity
Einstein’s theory of General Relativity is world famous – but it might not be the only way to explain how gravity works and how galaxies form.
How a tiny bug inspires surfaces that don’t get wet
A tiny bug is the inspiration for research that could one day provide clean water or help ships sail more efficiently.
Giving women a voice in disaster risk reduction
Women in Nepal are having a say in how to reduce the risk of disasters like fires and landslides.
(3 Jul 2019) » More about Giving women a voice in disaster risk reduction
Permanent headstone marks Scottish soldiers resting place
The headstone has been installed at the grave of the 17th Century Scottish soldiers buried in Durham City, providing a permanent marker of their resting place.
Reducing the plastic mountain
Every single minute, a truck load of plastic ends up in our oceans, killing millions of animals every year. This is only going to get worse unless we do something about it.
(26 Jun 2019) » More about Reducing the plastic mountain
A simple mesh to clean up oil spills
Oil spills happen frequently ranging from large ones like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster to smaller ones on industrial sites. All have a damaging impact on the environment and wildlife.
(24 Jun 2019) » More about A simple mesh to clean up oil spills
US military bigger polluter than most countries
Surprised by the headline? No wonder when discussions about greenhouse gas emissions tend to focus on statistics for countries, not institutions. But research from our Department of Geography, in partnership with Lancaster University, found that the US military’s carbon footprint is so big it out ranks that of most countries in the world.
(19 Jun 2019) » More about US military bigger polluter than most countries
A city that's more afraid of tigers than earthquakes
People living in one of Nepal’s biggest cities are more worried about attacks by tigers and rhinos than a repeat of the earthquake that caused devastation a little over four years ago.
From food flavourings to biofuels, metals are key
We all know that metals like iron and calcium are essential for a healthy body - but our pioneering scientists estimate that almost half of life’s processes depend upon various metals interacting with living cells.
(17 May 2019) » More about from food flavourings to biofuels, metals are key
Star award for dark matter research
A Durham astrophysicist has been named as a rising star of research and innovation for her work on the mysterious substance that makes up a large part of the universe.
(7 May 2019) » More about Star award for dark matter research
Students showcase research at Westminster
Our students have visited Parliament to show how technology normally used to explain the mysteries of the universe can create clearer X-ray images of humans.
(7 May 2019) » More about Students showcase research at Westminster
Online course brings Scottish soldiers project to the world
Durham University has launched an online archaeology course to give people around the world the chance to study one of its most captivating research projects, relating to the fate of the prisoners from the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.
Saving coffee using space technology
We drink two billion cups of coffee every day – 95 million cups in the UK alone.
(29 Mar 2019) » More about Saving coffee using space technology
Improved housing in Africa could prevent disease
Housing in sub-Saharan Africa has dramatically improved and could help in the fight against diseases such as malaria.
(28 Mar 2019) » More about Improved housing in Africa could prevent disease
Ancient royal charter discovered in Durham
An ancient royal charter might not be what everyone expects to find when they come to work, but for one of our visiting fellows that’s exactly what happened.
(26 Mar 2019) » More about Ancient royal charter discovered in Durham
Making water more sustainable
Water is a precious and vital resource that is under threat from climate change and growing demands.
(21 Mar 2019) » More about Making water more sustainable
Plan to grow North’s chemicals sector
Did you know that the North of England’s research strengths in chemical and process industries could help to contribute more than £20billion to the UK economy over the next 20 years?
(18 Mar 2019) » More about Plan to grow North’s chemicals sector
Training the next generation of global problem solvers
Tropical diseases, water and food security, and flooding are some of the issues being tackled by our new training centre dedicated to global challenges.
World top six ranking for space science
Durham University’s astrophysicists have been ranked joint sixth in the world for the quality and influence of their research in space science.
(19 Feb 2019) » More about World top six ranking for space science
Medieval thinking meets modern research
Imagine being able to step back in time and see how a great mind of the past understood our world, or experience how food and drink tasted hundreds of years ago.
Well, research led by Durham University is allowing people to do just that.
(15 Feb 2019) » More about Medieval thinking meets modern research
New PhD opportunities in science and engineering
Smart surfaces, recyclable plastics and new medicines are some of the subjects students will be able to study and research, thanks to a £5.3 million funding boost.
(5 Feb 2019) » More about New PhD opportunities in science and engineering
Putting clean growth on the map
The Durham Energy Institute’s (DEI) work on geothermal energy has featured on an interactive map showcasing innovation across small businesses and organisations in the UK.
(17 Dec 2018) » More about Putting clean growth on the map
How surface science can solve big challenges
Did you know that more than a billion people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water? And that the majority of mobile phones carried by doctors and nurses in hospitals carry infections?
(13 Dec 2018) » More about How surface science can solve big challenges
Bioenergy crops could damage biodiversity
Increasing the use of bioenergy is seen as one of the most important ways in which countries could help to meet climate change targets. However, researchers are warning that this could be just as damaging for global biodiversity as climate change itself.
(11 Dec 2018) » More about Bioenergy crops could damage biodiversity
Fracking causes earthquakes by design: can regulation keep up?
Miles Wilson, PhD Candidate, Gillian Foulger and Jon Gluyas (all Department of Earth Sciences) and Richard Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Internationalisation, Newcastle University explain that fracking is intended to bring about the very process which results in earthquakes.
One million international visitors attend Walking with the Buddha Exhibition
Over the summer a Durham University team co-curated an exhibition with the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in Taiwan, which was visited by one million people, from 25 different countries.
Astronomers identify far flung galaxies
Astronomers have captured a spectacular image of a massive galaxy cluster embedded among nearly thousands of previously unseen galaxies scattered across space and time.
(13 Sep 2018) » More about Astronomers identify far flung galaxies
Protecting against volcanic ash
A first of its kind study, led by Dr Claire Horwell of the Department of Earth Sciences and Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, has found that industry-certified particle masks are most effective at protecting people from volcanic ash, whilst commonly used surgical masks offer less protection.
(11 Sep 2018) » More about Protecting against volcanic ash
Earthquake research could improve seismic forecasts
The timing and size of three deadly earthquakes that struck Italy in 2016 may have been pre-determined, according to new research that could improve future earthquake forecasts.
(23 Aug 2018) » More about Earthquake research could improve seismic forecasts
Physicists reveal oldest galaxies
Some of the faintest satellite galaxies orbiting our own Milky Way galaxy are amongst the very first that formed in our Universe, physicists have found.
(17 Aug 2018) » More about Physicists reveal oldest galaxies
Are summer droughts and wildfires a sign of things to come?
Outstanding partnership helps reduce power outages
Power outages caused by trees falling on power lines are being reduced as a result of a research partnership involving a Durham University Research Fellow and an international company.
(17 Jul 2018) » More about Outstanding partnership helps reduce power outages
European dogs wiped out ancient American breeds
The arrival of Europeans to the Americas, beginning in the 15th Century, all but wiped out the dogs that had lived alongside native people on the continent for thousands of years, according to new research published in Science.
(6 Jul 2018) » More about European dogs wiped out ancient American breeds
Archaeologists reveal castle’s medieval secrets
Medieval mysteries, hidden beneath the grounds of a 900-year-old British castle, have been uncovered during a major archaeological excavation.
(3 Jul 2018) » More about Archaeologists reveal castle’s medieval secrets
Cataclysmic collision shaped Uranus’ evolution
Uranus was hit by a massive object roughly twice the size of Earth that caused the planet to tilt and could explain its freezing temperatures, according to new research.
(3 Jul 2018) » More about Cataclysmic collision shaped Uranus’ evolution
Understanding Antarctic ice sheet changes
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet was able to re-grow after shrinking but the process is not fast enough to combat the impact of today’s climate change, according to research involving Durham University.
(18 Jun 2018) » More about Understanding Antarctic ice sheet changes
Exhibition tells the story of 17th Century Scottish soldiers
The story of the Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers, whose remains were discovered in two mass burial sites in Durham City in 2013, is the subject of a major new exhibition at Durham University’s Palace Green Library.
Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers reburied in Durham
The remains of Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers, discovered during construction work at the University’s Palace Green Library in 2013, have been reburied in Durham City.
Could a Multiverse be hospitable to life?
A Multiverse – where our Universe is only one of many – might not be as inhospitable to life as previously thought, according to new research.
(14 May 2018) » More about Could a Multiverse be hospitable to life?
Warning signs: how early humans first began to paint animals
Research into manufacture of life-saving drug wins industry-sponsored award
Durham University chemists have won a national award for research that could increase the availability of an effective treatment for a strain of meningitis in less developed countries.
Dark matter might not be interactive after all
Astronomers are back in the dark about what dark matter might be, after new observations showed the mysterious substance may not be interacting with forces other than gravity after all.
(6 Apr 2018) » More about Dark matter might not be interactive after all
Landslide modelling helps earthquake first responders
(28 Mar 2018) » More about Landslide modelling helps earthquake first responders
Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults
The risk of man-made earthquakes due to fracking is greatly reduced if high-pressure fluid injection used to crack underground rocks is 895m away from faults in the Earth’s crust, according to new research.
Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans, study suggests
Researchers have found the first major evidence that Neanderthals, rather than modern humans, created the world’s oldest known cave paintings – suggesting they may have had an artistic sense similar to our own.
UK fracking industry would need strict controls to minimise spill risk
Strict controls would be “a necessity” to minimise the risk of spills and leaks from any future UK shale gas industry, according to new research.
International medal for surface scientist
A chemist whose research is helping to harvest clean drinking water and has waterproofed millions of mobile phones has been awarded a major international honour.
(30 Jan 2018) » More about International medal for surface scientist
Formation of human tissue to improve drug testing and reduce animal research
Innovative three dimensional (3D) cell culture technology is giving scientists the ability to grow realistic human tissues for more effective drug testing while reducing the need for animal research.
New image brings people face to face with Seventeenth Century Scottish soldier
The face of one of the Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers who was imprisoned and died in Durham following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 has been revealed through a remarkable new digital reconstruction.
We could use old coal mines to decarbonise heat – here's how
Illuminating the Universe
Durham University is one of the world’s leading centres for research into the origins and evolution of the Universe.
(14 Nov 2017) » More about Illuminating the Universe
Multi-million pound boost to help improve energy technology
A newly announced research centre will see Durham University join forces with two of North East England's other universities to help improve energy technology at an atomic level.
Why the US withdrawal from UNESCO is a step backwards for global cultural cooperation
Professor Robin Coningham, UNESCO Chair on Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, explains why this will result in few benefits.
Reformation Rebels: The surprising histories of Benedictine monks in exile
Sixteenth and seventeenth century Benedictine monks refused abstinence, died in duels, went off to war and spread illegal Catholic doctrine, a new study has revealed.
Durham scientists play key role as construction starts on world’s largest telescope
Construction work has begun on the world’s largest visible to infrared telescope – and Durham University is playing a key role.
Exploring geothermal energy potential
(4 Jul 2017) » More about Exploring geothermal energy potential
Little Cub gives astronomers rare chance to see galaxy demise
A primitive galaxy that could provide clues about the early Universe has been spotted by astronomers as it begins to be consumed by a gigantic neighbouring galaxy.
Scottish soldiers commemorated in Durham
The seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers, who were imprisoned and died in Durham following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, were commemorated with a series of events in the City on Friday 12 May 2017.
(12 May 2017) » More about Scottish soldiers commemorated in Durham
Pioneering work in chemistry receives prestigious recognition
Professor Jas Pal Badyal FRS from Durham University has been named as the Royal Society of Chemistry Tilden Prize winner for 2017 for his pioneering work on the functionalization of solid surfaces and deposition of nanocoatings.
Durham enters partnership with iconic Palace Museum
Durham University and China’s Palace Museum have signed an agreement, bringing together these two world-renowned centres of research and cultural excellence for the first time. The agreement, which is the first between the Palace Museum and an English university, builds on Durham University’s already strong links with China.