Mathematical & Physical Sciences


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News from UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Exploring the physics of chocolate fountains

A UCL mathematics student has found that the falling 'curtain' of chocolate in a chocolate fountain surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight downwards because of surface tension.

Published: Nov 25, 2015 10:20:18 AM

First direct sightings of low-energy positronium collisions

Positrons are the antimatter counterpart to electrons with which they annihilate releasing gamma-rays. In addition to their importance in our fundamental understanding of nature, studies of their interactions with ordinary everyday matter allow us, for example, to investigate crystal structures and to obtain functional images of human organs using the medical scan technique of positron emission tomography (PET). In many collisions of positrons with matter, positronium (Ps) is formed.

Published: Nov 25, 2015 9:56:34 AM

Malcolm Chisholm FRS

Sadly, Professor Malcolm Chisholm FRS passed away last week. Malcolm had been ill for some time and succumbed to cancer on Friday at the age of 70. Malcolm was an inspirational inorganic chemist to all and collaborated extensively with people in the chemsitry department at UCL- especially Prof Robin Clark and Prof Ivan Parkin. He was part of the international advisory board for the UCL chemistry department and was to chair the next external assessment of the department.

Published: Nov 24, 2015 11:31:08 AM

News stories from departmental websites

MSSL Awards 2015

On Monday 23rd November, staff and students gathered to recognise outstanding people at MSSL in the annual MSSL awards. The awards, presented in memory of former colleagues, are a recognition of excellence in our science, engineering and outreach programmes.

Published: Nov 25, 2015 2:53:07 PM

Dr Afzal Siddiqui offers game-theoretic critique of security policy in a letter to Foreign Affairs

In response to a recent article in Foreign Affairs that advocates American disengagement from the India-Pakistan conflict, Dr Afzal Siddiqui draws upon game theory to explain why such a move would only increase regional instability. Instead, American diplomatic involvement is necessary for reducing the range of strategic decisions that might be appealing to both participants in the conflict.

Published: Nov 25, 2015 2:53:27 PM

Laboratorio - Poems from MSSL

Last week saw the launch at an event at Greenwhich Observatory of 'Laboratorio', a collection of poems by MSSL staff and students, edited by award-winning poet Simon Barraclough. It was the culmination of a project funded by the STFC for Simon to spend a year as 'poet in residence' at MSSL.

Published: Nov 25, 2015 1:58:51 PM

Work on robust clustering by Dr Pietro Coretto and Dr Christian Hennig to appear in JASA

The Journal of the American Statistical Association has accepted the paper "Robust improper maximum likelihood: tuning, computation, and a comparison with other methods for robust Gaussian clustering" for publication. The authors are Dr Pietro Coretto, University of Salerno, a former PhD student of the Department of Statistical Science, UCL, and Dr Christian Hennig of the Department of Statistical Science.

Published: Nov 24, 2015 10:16:09 AM