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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.

Two UCL astrophysicists win Royal Astronomical Society awards

9 March 2016

RAS 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.

Dr Andrew Pontzen has been awarded the Fowler Award for Early Achievement in Astronomy, which recognises individuals who have made a particularly noteworthy contribution to the science at an early stage of their research career.

Dr Pontzen, who is a lecturer and Royal Society University Research Fellow in UCL Physics & Astronomy, works on a range of topics in galaxy formation, computational cosmology, and early-Universe physics.

Professor Bruce Swinyard, who sadly passed away in May 2015, has been posthumously recognised with the Jackson-Gwilt Medal for the invention, improvement, or development of astronomical instrumentation or techniques.

Professor Swinyard played an exceptional role in the successful development of a series of state-of-the-art scientific instruments for important space missions, including, as Project Scientist, the technical development of the SPIRE imager and spectrometer for ESA's Herschel Space Observatory and led the conceptual design and modelling of the integrated payloads for the proposed EChO, Ariel and Twinkle exoplanetary transit spectroscopy missions.

Page last modified on 09 mar 16 12:49