Physics and Astronomy News

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

Self-perpetuating plaque formation in Alzheimer’s

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. More...

Prof Ivan Parkin

New Dean of Mathematical & Physical Sciences appointed

The faculty is delighted to announce the appointment of Prof Ivan Parkin as the new Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The appointment will be effective as of next academic year (2016-17). More...

UCL Physicist receives 2016 award from Institute of Physics

UCL Physicist receives 2016 award from Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has announced the winners of their medals and prizes for 2016, in recognition of outstanding work by physicists in research, leadership, outreach and engagement.

Orbyts Graduation Ceremony

Orbyts Graduation Ceremony

On the 11th July, there will be an official ORBYTS (Original Research By Young Twinkle Students) Closing Ceremony, where secondary school students will give presentations about their research in collaboration with UCL PhD students.

Meet RobERt, the dreaming detective for exoplanet atmospheres

Meet RobERt, the dreaming detective for exoplanet atmospheres

Machine-learning techniques that mimic human recognition and dreaming processes are being deployed in the search for habitable worlds beyond our solar system. A deep belief neural network, called RobERt (Robotic Exoplanet Recognition), has been developed by astronomers at UCL to sift through detections of light emanating from distant planetary systems and retrieve spectral information about the gases present in the exoplanet atmospheres. RobERt will be presented at the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2016 in Nottingham by Dr Ingo Waldmann on Tuesday 28th June. More...

UCL-led Twinkle exoplanet mission completes design milestone

UCL-led Twinkle exoplanet mission completes design milestone

Twinkle, a mission led by UCL scientists that will unravel the story of planets in our galaxy, has completed a key design milestone.  The results of the “payload study” demonstrate that Twinkle’s instruments will be able to achieve the mission’s science objectives. 

Phys FilmMakers Screening

UCL Physics and Astronomy to launch new PhysFilmMakers Programme

The Phys FilmMakers Programme is a new initiative to showcase the amazing discoveries and breakthroughs being made within UCL Physics and Astronomy.
While there are many visitors to the department, it is a struggle to show all of the research that takes place within it, due to health and safety risks or space limitations. More...

pg 	The UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences: An Evening with the Planets 2016

The UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences presents: An Evening with the Planets 2016

Join the UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences for an open evening of presentations and discussion about the world-class planetary research going on at UCL and Birkbeck. More...

LSST Exterior at night - Todd Mason, Mason Productions Inc. / LSST Corporation

World-first film of the Universe

The Science and Technology Facilities Council confirmed the UK's participation in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) this week, an international project that UCL astronomers have been involved in since 2013.   More...

MAPS Faculty PhesDival - 15th June

MAPS Faculty PhesDival - 15th June

A celebration of research, for researchers.

On Wednesday 15th June from 5:30pm, PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and staff from across the faculty will come together in the Main Quad Pavilion to celebrate all things related to Maths and Physical Sciences.

Prof. Martin Rees delivers MAPS Colloquium

Prof. Martin Rees - Real and Counterfactual Universes

In his recent UCL Maths and Physical Sciences Colloquium, Prof. Martin Rees (Lord Rees of Ludlow) delivered a commanding history of our universe. In keeping with the title of his talk - Real and Counterfactual Universes - Prof. Rees described the hierarchal structure of our own universe.  More...

Ivan and Angelos

UCL scientists recognised with Royal Society of Chemistry prizes

Two UCL scientists, Professor Ivan Parkin (UCL Chemistry) and Professor Angelos Michaelides (UCL Physics & Astronomy), have been awarded two of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s top prizes in this year’s awards.

Two UCL Astrophysicists

Two UCL astrophysicists win Royal Astronomical Society awards

Two UCL astrophysicists, Dr Andrew Pontzen and the late Professor Bruce Swinyard (UCL Physics & Astronomy), have been recognised in this year’s Royal Astronomical Society awards. The announcements were made at the Ordinary Meeting of the society held on Friday 8 January 2016. The awards will be made formally at the Society's 2016 National Astronomy Meeting in June. More...


€4 million funding awarded to medical accelerators network

Cancer is a major health problem and it is the main cause of death between the ages of 45–65. Although significant progress has been made in the use of particle beams for cancer treatment, extensive research is still needed to maximise healthcare benefits. Improving ion beam therapy for enhanced cancer treatment is the goal of a new European research and training network that will focus on the Optimisation of Medical Accelerators (OMA).

Binary stars

Astronomers find hottest and most massive touching double star

A team of astronomers including UCL's Ian Howarth have found the hottest and most massive double star with components so close that they touch each other.

Staff Survey 2015 logo

UCL Staff Engagement Survey 2015

UCL is launching the 2015 Staff Engagement Survey on 9 November. Participating in the staff survey helps the Senior Management Team (SMT) to understand your experience of work and the working environment and how this impacts on achieving UCL’s goals. More...

Hore Colloquium - 14.10.2015

Departmental Physics Colloquium: Professor Peter Hore (University of Oxford)

Date: Wednesday 14th October

Bragg Lecture - 28.10.2015

Bragg Lecture 2015: Professor Charles Austen Angell (Arizona State University)

Date: Wednesday 28th October 2014


UK astronomers reach deep into space and time

A three-dimensional map of the Universe, reaching deeper in space and time than any yet made, is to be produced by an international team of 200 scientists, including leading astronomers from the UK. More...

Mars (credit: NASA, ESA)

Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure launches new era of planetary collaboration in Europe

A €9.95 million project to integrate and support planetary science activities across Europe has been launched.

Nick Brook

Graduation 2015

The 2015 cohort of students from the faculty graduated this week. More...


Astronomers discover the most distant galaxy in the Universe

An international team of astrophysicists has successfully measured the most distant galaxy ever recorded, by observing its characteristic hydrogen signature in the early Universe. More...

Smashing Physics

Jon Butterworth shortlisted for popular science book prize

Prof Jon Butterworth, head of UCL Physics & Astronomy, has been shortlisted for this year's Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. More...

Concept view of the ARIEL spacecraft. Credit: ESA

ARIEL mission to reveal 'Brave New Worlds' among exoplanets

An ambitious European mission is being planned to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve. ARIEL will investigate the atmospheres of several hundreds planets orbiting distant stars. It is one of three candidate missions selected last month by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its next medium class science mission, due for launch in 2026.  The ARIEL mission concept has been developed by a consortium of more than 50 institutes from 12 countries, including UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal.  The mission will be presented today at the Pathways 2015 conference in Bern, Switzerland, by ARIEL’s Principal Investigator, Prof Giovanna Tinetti of UCL.  More...

Positronium beam

Revealed: positronium’s behaviour in particle billiards

Collision physics can be like a game of billiards. Yet in the microscopic world, the outcome of the game is hard to predict.