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Latest Mathematical & Physical Sciences News

State of the art laboratory to aid medical research

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GMP lab

The Kathleen Lonsdale Building (KLB), which house many of the departments within the Mathematical and Physical Science Faculty at University College London (UCL), is now home to a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) laboratory.

First signs of weird quantum property of empty space?

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The polarisation of light emitted by a neutron star

By studying the light emitted from an extraordinarily dense and strongly magnetised neutron star using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers may have found the first observational indications of a strange quantum effect, first predicted in the 1930s. The polarisation of the observed light suggests that the empty space around the neutron star is subject to a quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence.

UCL visits Peking University and Chinese Academy of Sciences

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•	Delegates outside National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, China (Credit: Professor Xiao Guo)

In September, Professor Nikolaos Konstantinidis, Vice-Dean (International) for the UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences Faculty, headed a visit to China to meet some of the top academic institutions.

New solution for making 2D nanomaterials

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2D nanomaterials

Two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials have been made by dissolving layered materials in liquids, according to new UCL-led research. The liquids can be used to apply the 2D nanomaterials over large areas and at low costs, enabling a variety of important future applications.

UCL students work with global counterparts to create innovative responses to the Sustainable Development Goals

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Institute of Making 2

A group of UCL students have been involved in an international collaboration to produce real world solutions to some of the challenges encompassed by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UCL to host National High Performance Computing Hub for Materials Science

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High Performance Computing UCL

A UCL-led consortium has been awarded £4m to establish a new national High Performance Computing (HPC) facility for the Materials and Molecular Modelling community.

Arctic sea ice loss linked to personal CO2 emissions

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arctic sea ice

Three square metres of Arctic summer sea ice disappears for every tonne of carbon dioxide a person emits, wherever they are on the planet, according to new UCL research.

UCL team one step closer to achieving quantum ground state

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HYBRID image

A team of scientists at UCL, led by Professor Peter Barker and Professor Tania Monteiro have taken another big step forward towards cooling a macroscopic object into the quantum regime. The team "levitated" silica particles of almost half a micrometre diameter in the light field of an optical cavity and succeeded in cooling them, using laser light by a factor of up to one hundred thousand, from room temperature.

Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument enters construction phase

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A cell of the optical system, shipped recently from UCL to Fermilab

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) has recently received formal approval from the US Department of Energy to move forward to the construction phase. DESI is a 3-D sky mapping project and will measure spectra of 35 million galaxies to provide new clues about Dark Energy. Installation of the project is set to begin next year at the Mayall 4-meter telescope in Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona, with observations starting up in early-2019.

UCL Science & Technology Studies launches new volunteering programme

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Evidence Based Medicine

The Evidence Based Medicine (EBM+) group is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to take part in their school programme. EBM+ is part of the three-year, AHRC funded research project, "Evaluating Evidence in Medicine" (EEiM).

How often do quantum systems violate the second law of thermodynamics?

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The likelihood of seeing quantum systems violating the second law of thermodynamics has been calculated by UCL scientists.

UCL Academics elected Fellows of the American Physical Society

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American Physical Society

Professor Angelos Michaelides (UCL Physics & Astronomy, UCL London Centre for Nanotechnology) and Professor Hiranya Peiris (UCL Physics & Astronomy) have both been elected Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). These elections were made by the APS Council of Representatives at its September meeting.

Narrowing the window on sterile neutrinos

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A major international collaboration between the MINOS experiment, which involves UCL scientists, and the Daya Bay experiment has today announced results which shed new light on one of the most pressing questions in particle physics – do sterile neutrinos exist?

LCN celebrates ten years of big nano-achievements at UCL

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LCN celebrates ten years of big nano-achievements at UCL

Researchers and collaborators recently celebrated the work of the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at a symposium held in honour of the tenth anniversary of its opening.
The centre brings together scientists from UCL and Imperial College London to probe the natural world, and develop new technologies, at scales measured in billionths of a metre. The researchers are particularly focused on using nanotechnology to improve healthcare, information technology, energy and the environment.

Study provides strongest evidence oxygen levels were key to early animal evolution

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Cloudina fossils

It has long puzzled scientists why, after 3 billion years of nothing more complex than algae, complex animals suddenly started to appear on Earth. Now, a team of researchers has put forward some of the strongest evidence yet to support the hypothesis that high levels of oxygen in the oceans were crucial for the emergence of skeletal animals 550 million years ago.  

Celebrating 10 years of Hinode in space

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Hinode, a satellite which observes the Sun’s activity in high resolution, today marks ten years of success since its launch. It carries three instruments, one of which – the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) – was built and is managed by a UCL team.

Cosmology safe as universe has no sense of direction

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The universe is expanding uniformly according to research led by UCL which reports that space isn’t stretching in a preferred direction or spinning. 

Gaia sizes up 1.1 billion stars

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Gaia, a European Space Agency satellite designed to unlock the secrets of the birth and evolution of the Milky Way, has released its first wave of data on the positions and brightness for about one billion stars.

Working with UCL, Food Standards Agency pushes big data research to the top of the agenda

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Green apple with binary code

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced that it will fund a research fellow in Data Science and Food at UCL. The fellowship is the first significant investment in data science across any governmental body. The partnership initiates big data collaborations, highlighting the potential for big data analytics to reveal important insights that have societal benefits. Through this opportunity the FSA will also be part of a larger UCL research initiative through its Big Data Institute (UCL BDI).

Fossilised rivers suggest warm, wet ancient Mars

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Aram Dorsum

Extensive systems of fossilised riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of the Martian surface, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about four billion years ago, according to UCL-led research.

Professor Claire Carmalt appointed as new Head of Department for Chemistry

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Professor Claire Carmalt

The Faculty is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Claire Carmalt as the new Head of Department for UCL Chemistry. The appointment will be effective as of next academic year (2016-17). She will be the 18th Head of Department for Chemistry and the first woman appointed to the position.

Prof Louise Harra and team awarded 2016 Daiwa Adrian Prizes

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Image of the Hinode spacecraft. Major UCL collaborations with the Japanese have been building and operating instruments on spacecraft studying the Sun - and then the science that follows.

The winners of the 2016 Daiwa Adrian Prizes, the prestigious awards for scientific collaboration in the UK and Japan, have been announced. Following an assessment conducted by a panel of Fellows of the Royal Society, the Trustees of The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation have awarded four Daiwa Adrian Prizes of £10,000 to joint UK-Japan scientific research teams.

Top universities compete in third UCL/UCT Financial Mathematics Team Challenge

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Top universities compete in third annual UCL/UCT Financial Mathematics Team Challenge

The event, hosted by the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM) in association with University College London (UCL) and University of Cape Town (UCT), saw teams of mixed masters and doctoral students taking on practical problems in an array of areas pertinent to the financial services industry post the financial crisis.

Dark matter particle remains elusive

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The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment has yielded no trace of a dark matter particle after completing its final 20-month long search of the universe, according to LUX collaboration scientists including UCL researchers.

Self-perpetuating plaque formation in Alzheimer’s

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Artist’s rendering of protein fibrils (in blue) and healthy proteins (in red) from computer simulations. Credit: Ivan Barun, dr. med.

Using a combination of computer simulations and laboratory experiments, Dr Andela Saric (UCL Institute for the Physics of Living Systems, Department of Physics & Astronomy) and colleagues were able to identify the necessary requirements for the self-replication of protein fibrils.

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