Latest Mathematical & Physical Sciences News

Reef built by animals 550 million years ago discovered

Publication date:

Researchers fossil hunting in Namibia

Newly found fossils show animals built living reefs twenty million years earlier than previously thought.

Climate scientists need professional body, says UCL policy commission

Publication date:

Time for Change Report

Climate scientists need to establish a professional body to help define their roles, values and practices to satisfy society’s needs, and to provide guidance to improve their training and development, according to a report published today by the UCL Policy Commission on the Communication of Climate Science. 

Queen’s Birthday Honours for the UCL community

Publication date:

David Fish

A number of people from the UCL community have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Hunt for extraterrestrial life gets massive methane boost

Publication date:

Extrasolar planet HD189733b rises from behind its star. Is there methane on this planet? (Credit: ESA)

A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system, more accurately than ever before, has been developed by UCL researchers.

New Quantum Science & Technology Institute opens at UCL

Publication date:


UCL is today inaugurating a new Quantum Science & Technology Institute (UCLQ). The new institute will coordinate and support research into quantum science and technology across UCL, helping to develop this fast-advancing field of research.

Statistical analysis unveils the hidden patterns in Eurovision voting

Publication date:


Voting for the Eurovision Song Contest has been scrutinised by statistics experts at UCL and Imperial College London, who have found that musical talent is unlikely to be the only element that wins scores – but that the contest is not ‘stitched up’ at the UK’s expense. 

Scientists develop world’s first light-activated antimicrobial surface that also works in the dark

Publication date:

Samples of silicone with the various dyes infused

Researchers at UCL have developed a new antibacterial material which has potential for cutting hospital acquired infections.

UCL researchers set to take their research to parliament

Publication date:

SET for Britain group

Sixteen researchers from around UCL have been shortlisted to present their research to a panel of expert judges and over 100 MPs in this year’s SET for Britain competition.

Safer and more sustainable materials for manufacturing

Publication date:


A £10.3 million grant has been awarded to researchers today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to find safer, more sustainable materials for manufacturing.

Quantum mechanics explains efficiency of photosynthesis

Publication date:


Light-gathering macromolecules in plant cells transfer energy by taking advantage of molecular vibrations whose physical descriptions have no equivalents in classical physics, according to the first unambiguous theoretical evidence of quantum effects in photosynthesis published today in the journal Nature Communications.

ALMA spots supernova dust factory 160,000 light years away

Publication date:


UK scientists have used the ALMA telescope to help capture the remains of a recent supernova - or exploding star – that is brimming with freshly formed dust 160,000 light years from Earth.

ESA’s Billion Star Surveyor: UCL’s contribution

Publication date:

Gaia payload module

On Thursday 19 December at 09:12 GMT, a satellite designed to unlock the secrets of the birth and evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy will be launched by the European Space Agency.

Research Images as Art/Art Images as Research: winners announced

Publication date:

Muscle Fibres of the Heart

A striking image showing the spiral structure of heart muscle fibres in minute detail is the overall winner of this year’s Research Images as Art/Art Images as Research competition, run by the UCL Graduate School.

Astronomers discover first noble gas molecules in space

Publication date:

Crab Nebula

Noble gas molecules have been detected in space for the first time in the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, by astronomers at UCL.

GREAT3 challenges researchers to find new methods for measuring weak gravitational lensing

Publication date:

Lensing quiz

Think you can figure out a way to unlock one of the biggest secrets of the universe? The recently launched third Gravitational Lensing Accuracy Testing challenge (GREAT3) is giving researchers the opportunity to do just that.

UCL top in research council income

Publication date:

UCL researchers and those who support their grant applications to research councils are to be congratulated, writes Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research).

First results from world’s most sensitive dark matter detector

Publication date:

LUX photomultipliers

After its first run of more than three months, operating a mile underground in the Black Hills of South Dakota, a new experiment named LUX has proven itself the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world.

Striking research images sought for UCL competition

Publication date:

Twitter languages of London

Does your research produce images that have aesthetic and artistic appeal? If so, consider entering the annual ‘Research Images as Art / Art Images as Research’ competition and exhibition.

New material for quantum computing discovered out of the blue

Publication date:

Blue quantum

A common blue pigment used in the £5 note could have an important role to play in the development of a quantum computer, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature.

Iron in the Earth’s core weakens before melting

Publication date:


The iron in the Earth’s inner core weakens dramatically before it melts, explaining the unusual properties that exist in the moon-sized solid centre of our planet that have, up until now, been difficult to understand.

ExoMars Rover uses PanCam to explore Atacama Desert

Publication date:

PanCam Tenerife

This week saw the most ambitious test yet of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Rover, when - remotely controlled by scientists in the UK - it explored the Atacama Desert in South America.

Peter Higgs & François Englert win Nobel Prize for Physics

Publication date:

Peter Higgs

Peter Higgs and François Englert have won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics, for their work in the 1960s that led to the concept of a mass-giving particle now known as the Higgs Boson. 

Another Way of Seeing: contemporary art responds to astronomy

Publication date:


An exhibition of installations made in response to planetary science goes on display today at UCL.

Exoplanets, all-sky surveys, the aurora borealis and the search for extra-terrestrial life are just some of the themes that are represented in the installations made by seven contemporary artists.

Reflecting on Earth's albedo

Publication date:

Probe V satellite

A new project, led by scientists at UCL, is helping to build better simulations of weather and climate by mapping how much sunlight is being absorbed and reflected by the Earth.

UK scientists begin 5 year quest to solve cosmic detective puzzle

Publication date:

Dark Energy Camera

A five year quest is underway to solve the cosmic detective puzzle of why the expansion of the universe is speeding up.

Search UCL News