Physics and Astronomy News

Professor Claire Carmalt

Professor Claire Carmalt appointed as new Head of Department for Chemistry

The Faculty is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Claire Carmalt as the new Head of Department for UCL Chemistry. The appointment will be effective as of next academic year (2016-17). She will be the 18th Head of Department for Chemistry and the first woman appointed to the position.


Dark matter particle remains elusive

The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment has yielded no trace of a dark matter particle after completing its final 20-month long search of the universe, according to LUX collaboration scientists including UCL researchers. More...

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

he 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).

Bart Hoogenboom

UCL Academic awarded Royal Microscopical Society Medal

A new series of Medals was launched by Royal Microscopical Society in 2014 to coincide with its 175th anniversary. The series is designed to recognise and celebrate individuals who make outstanding contributions to the field of microscopy across both the life and physical sciences. Dr Bart Hoogenboom (UCL Physics & Astronomy and London Centre for Nanotechnology) has been awarded the RMS Medal for Scannng Probe Microscopy - for outstanding progress made in the field of scanning probe microscopy. 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.

A neural network’s dream of Earth. Similar to RobERt dreaming of exoplanet spectra, this neural network (Gatys et al. 2015) was trained to dream in the style of a Monet painting.

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...

Ying Lia Li

UCL postgrad presents at quantum technology business forum

UCL postgraduate student Ying Lia Li (Lia) was one of five young scientists selected from applicants worldwide to present their projects at the recent Nature/Entrepreneur First Innovation Forum in Quantum Technologies.

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...