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First measurements of the differential positronium-formation cross-sections

Positrons are the antimatter version of electrons and so their fate in a matter world is ultimately to annihilate. However, prior to this, a positron may combine with an electron to form a matter-antimatter hybrid called positronium. This is akin to a hydrogen atom with the proton replaced by a positron. Fundamental to our understanding of the physical universe, positron and positronium are these days also acknowledged as being fantastically useful in practical applications such as probing material properties and medical diagnostics. However, there is still much that we do not know for sure about the details of the interactions of these particles with ordinary matter. For example if, in a collision with an atom or molecule, a positron captures an electron, in which directions is the positronium likely to travel and with what probability? More...

Published: Jun 17, 2015 12:35:19 PM

CO2 Satellite

New calculations to improve carbon dioxide monitoring from space

How light of different colours is absorbed by carbon dioxide (CO2) can now be accurately predicted using new calculations developed by a UCL-led team of scientists. This will help climate scientists studying Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions to better interpret data collected from satellites and ground stations measuring CO2. More...

Published: Jun 15, 2015 10:29:10 AM

Watt Steam Engine

On quantum scales, there are many second laws of thermodynamics

New research from UCL has uncovered additional second laws of thermodynamics which complement the ordinary second law of thermodynamics, one of the most fundamental laws of nature. These new second laws are generally not noticeable except on very small scales, at which point, they become increasingly important. More...

Published: Feb 10, 2015 11:55:53 AM

AMOPP group news

First measurements of the differential positronium-formation cross-sections

Publication date:

Positrons are the antimatter version of electrons and so their fate in a matter world is ultimately to annihilate. However, prior to this, a positron may combine with an electron to form a matter-antimatter hybrid called positronium. This is akin to a hydrogen atom with the proton replaced by a positron. Fundamental to our understanding of the physical universe, positron and positronium are these days also acknowledged as being fantastically useful in practical applications such as probing material properties and medical diagnostics. However, there is still much that we do not know for sure about the details of the interactions of these particles with ordinary matter. For example if, in a collision with an atom or molecule, a positron captures an electron, in which directions is the positronium likely to travel and with what probability?

New calculations to improve carbon dioxide monitoring from space

Publication date:

CO2 Satellite

How light of different colours is absorbed by carbon dioxide (CO2) can now be accurately predicted using new calculations developed by a UCL-led team of scientists. This will help climate scientists studying Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions to better interpret data collected from satellites and ground stations measuring CO2.

On quantum scales, there are many second laws of thermodynamics

Publication date:

Watt Steam Engine

New research from UCL has uncovered additional second laws of thermodynamics which complement the ordinary second law of thermodynamics, one of the most fundamental laws of nature. These new second laws are generally not noticeable except on very small scales, at which point, they become increasingly important.

Spectrum of hot methane in astronomical objects using a comprehensive computed line list

Publication date:

Spectrum of hot methane

A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system, more accurately than ever before, has been developed by researchers from UCL Physics & Astronomy and the University of New South Wales.

"Like melting an entire iceberg with a hot poker" – UCL scientists explore the strange world of quantum phase transitions

Publication date:

Quantum Phase Transitions

“What a curious feeling,” says Alice in Lewis Carroll’s tale, as she shrinks to a fraction of her size, and everything around her suddenly looks totally unfamiliar. Scientists too have to get used to these curious feelings when they examine matter on tiny scales and at low temperatures: all the behaviour we are used to seeing around us is turned on its head.

Quantum mechanics explains efficiency of photosynthesis

Publication date:

Clover leaf by Scott Robinson on Flickr

Light-gathering macromolecules in plant cells transfer energy by taking advantage of molecular vibrations whose physical descriptions have no equivalents in classical physics, according to the first unambiguous theoretical evidence of quantum effects in photosynthesis published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Free Electron Lasers and Attosecond Light Sources Conference

Publication date:

UCL is hosting a conference on Free Electron Laser and Attosecond-Strong Field Science from June 30 to July 2 2014 at UCL. The preliminary  web-page for the conference is now live at
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/phys/amopp/atto-fel-conference

Quantum engines must break down

Publication date:

Macroscopic and microscopic work.

Fundamental limitations for quantum and nanoscale thermodynamics

Michał Horodecki, Jonathan Oppenheim

Nature Communications, 4,2059 (2013)

Should we fret about FRET?

Publication date:

Restricted State Selection in Fluorescent Protein Förster Resonance Energy Transfer

Restricted State Selection in Fluorescent Protein Förster Resonance Energy Transfer

Thomas A. Masters, Richard J. Marsh, Daven A. Armoogum, Nick Nicolaou, Banafshé Larijani, Angus J. Bain

Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013, 135 (21), pp 7883–7890

Prof. Jonathan Oppenheim: Recipient of a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award

Publication date:

Professor Jonathan Oppenheim

Congratulations to Professor Jonathan Oppenheim on receiving a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. Awarded to Jonathan for his work on "Quantum information science: Tools and applications for fundamental physics", he is one of three members of UCL staff to receive the annual prize for 2013.

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