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News from UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences

UCL researchers awarded two ERC Consolidator Grants

Giuseppe Battaglia, Professor of Molecular Bionics (UCL Chemistry) and John Morton, Professor in Nanoelectronics and Nanophotonics (UCL London Centre for Nanotechnology) have both been awarded prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grants.

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Ultrasound imaging needle to transform heart surgery

Heart tissue can be imaged in real-time during keyhole procedures using a new optical ultrasound needle developed by researchers at UCL and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

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Probing the nature of the neutrino using SuperNEMO

One mile beneath a mountain in the French Alps, an international team involving UCL scientists is hoping to unlock more secrets of the mysterious neutrino using a new, cutting-edge experiment called SuperNEMO.

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Jupiter’s X-ray auroras pulse independently

Jupiter’s intense northern and southern lights pulse independently of each other according to new UCL-led research using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatories.

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SMILE mission gets £3 million boost

A space mission called SMILE (Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer), jointly developed by the European Space Agency and the Chinese Academy of Sciences with major UK involvement from UCL, has received additional funding from the UK Space Agency.

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New X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer enters trial phase in UCL Chemistry

UCL’s Chemistry department has used a multi-user EPSRC grant to purchase a new X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS). The XPS is available for use by all UCL researchers, and promises new opportunities for research in the Faculty for Mathematical and Physical Sciences and beyond. 

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Catching the first light from a gravitational wave event

Light and gravitational waves produced by the same event – a pair of neutron stars exploding – have been detected for the first time by a huge international collaboration involving UCL researchers.

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UCL Mathematics students in winning team at the 2017 Financial Mathematics Team Challenge in Cape Town

Top students from across the world competed in the 4th annual Financial Mathematics Team Challenge (FMTC) which was held this summer in Cape Town. The event, which is jointly organised by UCL Mathematics and the University of Cape Town (UCT), was won by a team which included UCL student Yann Guguen, who worked on the FMTC project Realistic Risk Parity and called the FMTC “an amazing experience”. 

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UCL-led team develops fast HIV diagnostic tool

A team led by Professor Rachel McKendry (UCL London Centre of Nanotechnology) have published new research showing promising developments towards a mobile phone-connected diagnostic tool that can detect HIV in seconds. 

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UCL academics presenting at New Scientist live

Numerous UCL academics will be presenting at New Scientist Live this week, the second annual edition of a festival of ideas taking place at ExCeL London.

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Size matters in the detection of exoplanet atmospheres

A group-analysis of 30 exoplanets orbiting distant stars suggests that size, not mass, is a key factor in whether a planet’s atmosphere can be detected according to a UCL-led team of European researchers.

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High Performance Computing Hub for Materials Science Launches at UCL

A UCL-led consortium has launched its new national High Performance Computing facility, designed to aid research in materials and molecular modelling. The Materials and Molecular Modelling Hub (MMM Hub) will offer Tier 2 supercomputing facilities to HPC users from across the UK. 

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Using glucose to fuel drug delivery to the brain

A new drug delivery system that autonomously navigates the body using its own glucose molecules has been developed and tested by a UCL-led team of scientists.

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Accurately measuring the dark universe

The theory that dark matter and dark energy make up most of the cosmos has been confirmed by extremely accurate measurements from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration involving UCL scientists.

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New clue to solving the mystery of the sun’s hot atmosphere

The elemental composition of the Sun’s hot atmosphere known as the ‘corona’ is strongly linked to the 11-year solar magnetic activity cycle, a team of scientists from UCL, George Mason University and Naval Research Laboratory has revealed for the first time. 

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Glowing nanosheets created by UCL-led team

A team of researchers led by UCL Chemistry  and UCL Physics & Astronomy have shown that two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials, which can be used to create LEDs (light emitting diodes) or solar cells, can be made by the simple, but unconventional, method of dissolution.

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MAPS Faculty Teaching Awards 2017

Each year the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Faculty recognises excellence in teaching by staff and teaching assistants at all levels within the faculty through the Faculty Teaching Awards.

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Hands off approach to looking into silicon chips

The possibility of looking inside silicon chips to see their tiny working parts, without damaging the chips, is a step closer thanks to an international team led by scientists at UCL.

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UCL’s first satellite ‘UCLSat’ launched

UCLSat, a satellite designed and built by UCL engineers and scientists, has been launched today from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India as part of an international mission called QB50.

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UCL Physics Hackathon

The Hackathon is an annual event organised by UCL Physics and Astronomy. This year’s event was held during the 5-6 June and pitted the skills of nearly 40 PhD students from the departments of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Mathematics.

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How RNA formed at the origins of life

A single process for how a group of molecules called nucleotides were made on the early Earth, before life began, has been suggested by a UCL-led team of researchers.

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Half a century of space at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Under the leadership of Harrie Massey (Quain Professor of Physics and head of the Physics Department), UCL became the leading UK university in space research during the 1950s. From this pioneering start sprung UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its official opening this week.

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Winners of the 2017 Provost’s Teaching Awards announced

Eight colleagues including Matthew Scroggs (UCL Mathematics) and Professor Andrea Sella (UCL Chemistry) have been commended for teaching excellence through UCL’s annual awards which recognise and reward outstanding contributions to the learning experience and success of our students. 

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An ultimate speed limit for cooling

How cold can it get? That depends how long you are willing to wait. The third law of thermodynamics, conjectured in 1912 by the Nobel laureate Walter Nernst, states that it takes an infinite time to cool a system to absolute zero – the coldest temperature possible.

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