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World-first film of the Universe

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

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.  

MAPS Faculty PhesDival - 15th June

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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 - Real and Counterfactual Universes

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Prof. Martin Rees delivers MAPS Colloquium

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. 

UCL scientists recognised with Royal Society of Chemistry prizes

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Ivan and Angelos

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 win Royal Astronomical Society awards

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Two UCL Astrophysicists

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.

€4 million funding awarded to medical accelerators network

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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).

Astronomers find hottest and most massive touching double star

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Binary stars

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.

UCL Staff Engagement Survey 2015

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Staff Survey 2015 logo

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.

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

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Start: Sep 25, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Hore Colloquium - 14.10.2015

'Animal navigation using magnetically sensitive chemistry '

Date: Wednesday 14th October

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

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Start: Sep 25, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Bragg Lecture - 28.10.2015

'Nature of glass and the glass transition: old puzzles and the many new twists'

UK astronomers reach deep into space and time

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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.

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

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Mars (credit: NASA, ESA)

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

Graduation 2015

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Nick Brook

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

Astronomers discover the most distant galaxy in the Universe

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

Jon Butterworth shortlisted for popular science book prize

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Smashing Physics

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

ARIEL mission to reveal 'Brave New Worlds' among exoplanets

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Concept view of the ARIEL spacecraft. Credit: ESA

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. 

Revealed: positronium’s behaviour in particle billiards

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Positronium beam

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

A new blueprint for quantum computing with photons

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Collage of photos

Quantum computers promise a step change in computational power for some important problems, such as the simulation of the properties of solid materials and chemical reactions.

Faculty teaching award winners announced

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We are delighted to announce this year's winners of the Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences Teaching Awards.

UCL scientists recognised in IOP awards

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Thornton & Pickard

Two UCL scientists, Geoff Thornton and Chris Pickard, have been recognised in this year's Institute of Physics awards.

Winners of first UCL physics hackathon announced

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PhD students from UCL Physics & Astronomy took part in the department’s first ‘hackathon’ last week. In this competition, students representing the department’s five research groups competed to complete projects in just two days.

First measurements of the differential positronium-formation cross-sections

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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?

ESA shortlists three space missions with major UCL contributions

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Mission themes

The European Space Agency has announced the shortlisted proposals for its next mid-sized science mission.

All three proposed spacecraft have significant contributions from UCL, which means the university will be guaranteed a role regardless of which is chosen. The candidates are in the areas of exoplanet science, plasma physics and X-ray observations of high-energy phenomena, with teams including academics at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory and UCL Physics & Astronomy.

New calculations to improve carbon dioxide monitoring from space

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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.

In memoriam: Professor Bruce Swinyard

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Professor Bruce Swinyard

May 22nd 2015

It is with great sadness that we must report the death today of Professor Bruce Swinyard. Bruce joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy's Astrophysics Group in the summer of 2010, as a joint appointment between UCL and STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, spending half his time at Gower Street and half at RAL's Space Science and Technology Department, where he was Leader of the Astronomy Group.

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