Physics and Astronomy News

Professor Bruce Swinyard

In memoriam: Professor Bruce Swinyard

May 22nd 2015 More...

Night Sky Watcher

Raman Prinja shortlisted for Royal Society book prize

Raman Prinja, professor of astrophysics in UCL Physics & Astronomy, has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize.

Dark Energy Survey

Mapping the cosmos: Dark Energy Survey creates detailed guide to spotting dark matter

Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos.

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis to join UCL

Astronomer Richard Ellis is to join UCL's Department of Physics & Astronomy as Professor of Astrophysics. More...

Your Universe panel discussion

Your Universe festival held at UCL

The Your Universe festival was held at UCL between 26 and 28 March.

Nanosphere suspended in a cavity

Nanospheres cooled with light to explore the limits of quantum physics

A team of scientists at UCL led by Peter Barker and Tania Monteiro (UCL Physics and Astronomy) has developed a new technology which could one day create quantum phenomena in objects far larger than any achieved so far.

Micrometer Reading Manometer.jpg

Old lab instruments go on display

A display consisting of 16 items used in physics teaching at UCL in the 19th and 20th centuries has been completed on the first floor of the Physics building, outside the entrance to Lab 1 (east end). The instruments were collected over a period of several years by John O’Brien, the former Laboratory Superintendent who retired in 2013, and Derek Thomas, Lab 1 technician, who prepared them for display and procured an illuminated glass case to house them. More...

Polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background

A brand new sky from Planck

New maps from ESA's Planck satellite, forming the second major data release (February 2015) from the project, have unveiled the polarised light from the early Universe across the entire sky, revealing that the first stars formed much later than previously thought. More...

UCL Main Quad

UCL leading the way for gender equality in physics

The Department of Physics & Astronomy has been recognised as a national leader in gender equality. The Institute of Physics (IOP) has named the department as a Juno Champion, joining a handful of other physics departments around the country which have made exceptional efforts to embed gender equality in physics. More...



It is with great regret that we must announce the death of Dr William (Bill) M. Glencross. More...


UCL leading the way for gender equality in physics

UCL’s department of Physics & Astronomy has been recognised as a national leader in gender equality.

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...

Cup of tea. Photo: Bernd/CC-BY

On quantum scales, there are many second laws of thermodynamics

New research from UCL and the Universities of Gdansk, Singapore, and Delft has uncovered additional second laws of thermodynamics which complement the ordinary second law of thermodynamics, one of the most fundamental laws of nature.

Carbon nitride graphene

UCL joins Graphene Flagship

A team including four UCL departments has joined the EU’s Graphene Flagship project, giving the university a foothold in one of the biggest scientific programmes currently underway. More...


IOP Tom Duke Prize Lecture on Biological Physics

to be held Wednesday 28th January 2015 at 3pm, in the Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre,  25 Gordon Street More...


Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) results

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) results were released on 18th December 2014, which determine our level of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England for the next few years. More...

Researcher in the LCN

REF publication: key results for the faculty

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) has now been published, giving the government’s assessment of research quality across all the UK’s universities. More...

Bacterial Nanodrills

How bacteria drill into our cells and kill them

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial ‘nanodrills’ assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells’ outer membranes. The research, published Tuesday 2nd December 2014 in the journal eLife, supports the development of new drugs that target this mechanism, which is implicated in serious diseases. The team brings together researchers from UCL, Birkbeck, University of London, the University of Leicester, and Monash University (Melbourne). More...

AFM image of nuclear pores

Revealed: how our bodies keep unwelcome visitors out of cell nuclei

The structure of pores found in the nuclei of cells has been uncovered by a team of scientists led by UCL, revealing how they selectively block certain molecules from entering, in order to protect genetic material and normal cell functions. The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs against viruses that target the cell nucleus and new ways of delivering gene therapies, say the scientists behind the study. More...

Ian Robinson

CMMP researcher wins Aminoff Prize

Professor Ian Robinson of the LCN has been awarded the 2015 Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography. More...

Large-scale structure of light in the universe

Illuminating illumination: what lights up the universe?

New research from UCL shows that we will soon uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes the cosmos.

NGC 1398 Galaxy

Dark Energy Survey kicks off second season cataloguing deep space

The Dark Energy Survey, which has just begun its second year of observations, is gathering data about one of the most puzzling phenomena to be discovered in the past century: that the universe is not only expanding, but is doing so at an ever faster rate. Some as yet unknown force dubbed ‘dark energy’ is driving this acceleration. More...

First Neutrino Detection

UCL cosmologists weigh into the debate about neutrino mass

The standard model of particle physics needs to be extended: it predicts that neutrinos have zero mass, but this does not fit with experimental data. Recent work has suggested an unexpectedly high mass for the neutrino, but UCL cosmologists say this is wrong. They argue that a low mass is more consistent with the observed properties of the universe. The Dark Energy Survey (which UCL is also involved in) will provide data that could resolve this debate in the next few years. More...

UCL Main Quad

Congratulations to our E-Learning Development Grant Winners 2014-15

Congratulations to Dr Dave Bowler & Dr Daven Armoogum who have both been successful in their bids for E-Learning Development Grants this year. More...

Imaging improved by scrambling X-rays

X-ray phase-contrast imaging can provide high-quality images of objects with lower radiation doses. But until now these images have been hard to obtain and required special X-ray sources whose properties are typically only found at large particle accelerator facilities.