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Latest Mathematical & Physical Sciences News

An ultimate speed limit for cooling

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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.

Ancient stardust sheds light on the first stars

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galaxy A2744_YD4

A huge mass of glowing stardust in a galaxy seen shortly after the Universe’s formation has been detected by a UCL-led team of astronomers, providing new insights into the birth and explosive deaths of the very first stars.

Down close and personal: New project to run satellites nearer to Earth

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Discoverer satellite

A €5.7m project to develop technologies that will allow satellites to survive and operate at orbits closer to Earth than ever before – considerably lower than the international space station – has recently been launched.

World’s oldest fossils unearthed

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World's oldest fossils

Remains of microorganisms at least 3,770 million years old have been discovered by an international team led by UCL scientists, providing direct evidence of one of the oldest life forms on Earth.

First evidence of rocky planet formation in Tatooine system

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disc of rocky debris

Evidence of planetary debris surrounding a double sun, ‘Tatooine-like’ system has been found for the first time by a UCL-led team of researchers.

UCL part of new £100 million Rosalind Franklin Institute

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Rosalind Franklin

UCL is involved in the Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI) – a major new £100 million investment by the government into the development of an innovative multi-disciplinary science and technology research centre.

UCL secures STFC funding to teach next generation of data-science experts

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Panasas aisle (Credit: STFC)

After a very competitive selection process, UCL has been chosen by STFC to host the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Data Intensive Science (DIS) and Technologies, the first CDT funded by STFC.

Immune system defence force captured in action

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perforin 2

How the natural defence force within our immune system attacks and destroys harmful invaders such as virus-infected and cancerous cells has been visualised in microscopic detail by scientists from UCL, Birkbeck, University of London, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Monash University, Australia.

Data science institutes at University of Michigan and University College London sign academic cooperation agreement

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MIDAS-UCL Signing2

The Michigan Institute of Data Science (MIDAS) at the University of Michigan and the Centre for Data Science and Big Data Institute at UCL (University College London) have signed a five-year agreement of scientific and academic cooperation.

Museum in Kathleen Lonsdale Building nears completion

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Kathleen Lonsdale building entrance

The Kathleen Lonsdale Building (KLB) is being refurbished and will provide a new space for the Rock Room museum, which will display the UCL geology collections to the public. The refurbishment is part of the Transforming UCL programme which will see an overall investment into the UCL estate of £1.2 billion over a 10 year period.

Dr Zhonghua Yao and Professor Chris Owen awarded Royal Astronomical Society prizes

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Dr Zhonghua Yao

The Winton Capital Award for Geophysics is awarded to Dr Zhonghua Yao. Dr Yao is an exceptional post-doctoral research associate, at the start of a stellar career. He has made significant scientific breakthroughs within the field of magnetospheric plasma physics using novel analysis techniques, and he has already proven himself to be a remarkably capable researcher with outstanding scientific insight. 

Using mobile technologies to test and treat those hardest hit by HIV

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Blood is drawn for a rapid HIV test in northern KwaZulu-Natal

Mobile phone-connected HIV tests, which link to online prevention and medical care are being developed by a team involving UCL researchers, for use in South African communities hardest hit by HIV.

Detecting weather on a gas giant exoplanet

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Signs of powerful changing winds have been detected on an exoplanet 16 times larger than Earth, according to a team involving UCL scientists. It’s the first time that weather systems have been found on a gas giant outside the solar system.

Understanding how ice crystals form in clouds

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How ice forms on the surfaces of mineral dust particles in the atmosphere has been revealed by a team from UCL and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany.

Professor John Morton awarded the 2016 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize

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Professor John Morton awarded the 2016 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize

Professor John Morton, LCN Professor in Nanoelectronics and Nanophotonics, has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Raymond and Beverley Sacker International Prize in Physical Science for his ‘outstanding and imaginative applications of magnetic resonance to quantum information storage and processing’.

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).

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