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UCL Physics Hackathon

UCL Physics Hackathon

The Hackathon is an annual event organised by UCL Physics and Astronomy. This year’s event was held during the 5-6 June and pitted the skills of nearly 40 PhD students from the departments of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Mathematics. More...

Four UCL scientists elected Fellows of the Royal Society

Four UCL scientists elected Fellows of the Royal Society

8 May 2017  More...

MSSL staff

Half a century of space at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Under the leadership of Harrie Massey (Quain Professor of Physics and head of the Physics Department), UCL became the leading UK university in space research during the 1950s. From this pioneering start sprung UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its official opening this week.


An ultimate speed limit for cooling

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.

Dusty doughnut around massive black hole spied for first time

25 April 2016

A team of astronomers, including UCL's Prof. Serena Viti imaged for the first time one of the doughnuts of dust long thought to encircle some supermassive black holes. These supermassive black holes are believed to be obscured by a doughnut-shaped structure of dust and gas, called a “torus.” However because the centres of these active galaxies are so distant, a dusty torus has never been seen – until now!

Dusty doughnut - Serena Viti

A dusty doughnut might look like this

The discovery required 35 radio dishes on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) perched in the high desert of the Chilean Andes.

If you want to know more about this amazing dougnut see



. . . It won't taste very good!

Page last modified on 25 apr 16 11:14