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.

View all pictures of the week


L'Aquila after the quake

10 June 2013

The aftermath of the l'Aquila earthquake. Credit: Joanna Faure Walker (UCL IRDR)

Early in the morning of April 6, 2009, an earthquake hit the central Italian town of L'Aquila. Although the shock was not particularly strong, at 5.8 on the Richter scale, the historic fabric of the town suffered severe damage, and almost 300 died. In this photo, the devastation by the local prefecture (government office) is clear to see.

In the aftermath, huge controversy erupted with the prosecution of several Italian seismologists who were accused of giving false reassurance in the run-up to the quake.

Predicting, quantifying and expressing the risks of natural disasters like earthquakes is a complicated area. UCL's Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction specialises in the cross-disciplinary study of disasters and risk, their causes, and how governments, people and culture react to them.

IRDR's annual conference takes place this Friday (14 June 2013), covering a range of fascinating topics relating to risk and disasters. All welcome, but please register online first.

Photo credit: Joanna Faure Walker (UCL IRDR)


High resolution images

This image can be reproduced freely providing the source is credited

Page last modified on 07 jun 13 15:03