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Picture of the Week

LUX dark matter detector

Detecting dark matter

The kind of matter and energy we can see and touch – whether it is in the form of atoms and molecules, or heat and light, only forms a tiny proportion of the content of the Universe, only about 5%. Over a quarter is dark matter, which is totally invisible but whose gravitational attraction can be detected; while over two thirds is dark energy, a force that pushes the Universe to expand ever faster.
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Mathematical and Physical Sciences Picture of the Week

LUX dark matter detector

Detecting dark matter

The kind of matter and energy we can see and touch – whether it is in the form of atoms and molecules, or heat and light, only forms a tiny proportion of the content of the Universe, only about 5%. Over a quarter is dark matter, which is totally invisible but whose gravitational attraction can be detected; while over two thirds is dark energy, a force that pushes the Universe to expand ever faster.
More...

Published: Apr 14, 2014 4:42:21 PM

Antimicrobial surface

Kills germs fast

Researchers in UCL's Chemistry department have developed an antibacterial surface that could help cut down on hospital–acquired infections. Scientists have known for some time that certain dyes, when illuminated with strong light, have an antibacterial effect. This is a promising technology as, unlike antibacterial fluids that sit on a surface and can be easily wiped away, the germ–killing properties are part of the surface itself. More...

Published: Apr 7, 2014 2:06:32 PM

Seeing in 4D

Seeing in 4D

Jason Lotay (UCL Maths) and Lilah Fowler (UCL Slade School of Fine Art) recently held a public workshop on maths and art, exploring the geometry of 4 dimensions through drawing, folding and making shapes. More...

Published: Mar 31, 2014 1:36:40 PM

X-ray  mirror

X-ray vision

UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory is often in the news thanks to its involvement in high-profile space missions. The lab has built and tested much of the instrumentation aboard missions such as the Herschel Space Observatory, Gaia and the forthcoming ExoMars rover. More...

Published: Mar 24, 2014 2:38:00 PM

SKA

World's biggest telescope

Last week, the UK government pledged £119 million towards the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). This go-ahead means that work on the world's biggest radio telescope can begin in earnest. More...

Published: Mar 17, 2014 3:49:31 PM

Arctic ice trends

The changing Arctic

Earth's climate is gradually changing. One of the most noticeable ways it changes is in the behaviour of ice, whether that is snow and glaciers on mountains, or sea ice in polar regions.  More...

Published: Mar 10, 2014 1:27:00 PM

Sulphur crystals. Photo: UCL Museums & Collections - UCL Geology Collections

Brimstone

The yellow crystals in this geological sample are nuggets of pure sulphur - or brimstone, as it is known to the more biblically minded.
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Published: Mar 3, 2014 2:20:16 PM

Solar storm

Solar storm

This image shows the Sun in far ultraviolet light, as seen from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, a NASA spacecraft. These wavelengths cannot be observed from the surface of the Earth, as the high-energy short wavelength radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere. More...

Published: Feb 24, 2014 2:24:19 PM

VST view of Gaia. Credit: ESO

A far flung outpost of UCL

Disguised in a crowded field of stars, the tiny white dot highlighted in these two images is the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite, carrying on board a scientific instrument designed at UCL. Gaia lifted off in December 2013, on a mission to survey the precise locations of a billion stars in the Milky Way. More...

Published: Feb 17, 2014 10:48:38 AM

Native copper (Photo: UCL Geology Collections)

Native copper

It might not look like much more than an unusually knobbly rock, but this sample from UCL's geology collections is actually a lump of naturally occurring copper. Most metals are only found combined with other elements (often oxygen) in nature. But a handful do occur in their native (uncombined) forms. More...

Published: Feb 10, 2014 11:36:55 AM

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