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

Dr Kai-Lan Chang awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship by the United States of America's National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Fellowships Office has awarded an NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateship to Dr Kai-Lan Chang, PhD graduate of the Department of Statistical Science in 2015, supervised by Dr. Serge Guillas. The objectives of the NRC Research Associateship Programs are (1) to provide postdoctoral and senior scientists and engineers of unusual promise and ability opportunities for research on problems, largely of their own choice that are compatible with the interests of the sponsoring laboratories and (2) to, thereby, contribute to the overall efforts of the laboratories.

Published: Nov 27, 2015 2:20:34 PM

Postgraduate Open Day - at Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

The open day is a chance for prospective students for taught and research postgraduate degrees (MSc, MRes, PhD) to find out more about UCL's courses, as well as to meet potential tutors. It's also an opportunity to visit UCL's campus and see if this is the place for you.

Published: Nov 26, 2015 8:26:00 PM

James Sowerby: the Enlightenment’s natural historian.

Who wanted to know about the science of minerals, meteorites and fossils? Quite a lot of people – including Humphry Davy, William Wollaston, William Smith and Joseph Banks – at the turn of the eighteenth century. A key player in meeting their needs was James Sowerby (1757-1822) who had the skills and resources to discover, illuminate and inform as well as being the focus of a network of active natural historians. Sowerby is often overlooked as a major contributor but that is a mistake. He might have lacked the social status of many scientists but he produced a remarkable body of original work that is still applicable to the present day. The first full biography of Sowerby by Paul Henderson is now published, is well illustrated and gives a fascinating insight into the science of those times.

Published: Nov 26, 2015 1:26:00 PM

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