Chronology 1980-1989


  • Professor John Charap appointed Head of Department  
    Prof JM Charap
  • September - New Philips nitrogen liquefier installed
  • John Thresher awarded the Rutherford Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics
  • September - Department hosts four day Conference on Submillimetre wave Astronomy
  • First Physics Department Pantomime - Cinderella  
    Cinderella - Guy Wilson
    Guy Wilson as the Good Fairy
    Cinderella - Karen Worgan, Carey Adams and Chris Adams
    Karen Worgan (Cinderella), Carey Bradd (Prince Charming) and Chris Adams (Dandini)


  • Physics Department Pantomime - Snow White and the Five Dwarfs  
    Snow White - group
    Bob Jones (Bashful), Bill Askham (Grumpy), Nick Poole (Dopey) and Carey Adams (Snow White).
    Snow White - Jim Lesurf
    Jim Lesurf as the narrator


  • Extracts from College Annual Report 1982/1983. (Word, PDF, ODT)
  • Publication of An Introduction to Dynamics by Professor Ian Percival.  
    "Introduction to Dynamics", IC Percival and D Richards, Cambridge University Press, 1982
  • Physics Department Pantomime - Treasure Island.
  • new Departmental logo.  
    Physics logo 1982
  • Five members of the Department ran the London Marathon.  
    Marathon runners
  • Centenary Research Brochure.  
    Research Brochure 1982


  • W and Z intermediate bosons were observed using the UA1 experiment at CERN confirming the unification of the electromagnetic and weak forces. A Queen Mary group led by Professor Peter Kalmus worked in the international collaboration led by Carlo Rubbia and Simon Van der Meer who were awarded the 1984 Nobel Prize.
  • Professor Derek Martin received the National Physical Laboratory Metrology Award for his development of absolute power meters for millimetre waves.  
    Derek Marin receiving Metrology Award
    Derek Martin's idea could provide the key to increased accuracy in the measurement of power in beams of electromagnetic radiation. He is proposing a novel form of acousto-optic power meter capable of operating throughout the spectral region from the near millimetre wavelength range to the far infrared with near constant performance characteristics. Furthermore, the device will handle beams of relatively large cross-sectional area.
  • February - Dr Patrick Moore admitted as an Honorary Fellow of the College. Patrick Moore was a contributor to the 'Concepts in Contemporary Astronomy' course in the Physics Department from 1976 until the mid 1980s.
  • Arrival in the Department of three academic and two technical staff from Westfield College after the Joint Planning Committee of the University decided to concentrate laboratory subjects in five of the London Colleges. Roger Martin, Peter Williams, Wladimir von Schlippe, Bill Howard, Derek Newman-Coburn.
  • The Department had five astrophysicists [Drs Peter Clegg, Jim Emerson, Stella Harris, David Walker and Helen Walker] working on the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, the largest UK group. IRAS made a ten month all-sky survey at wavelengths ranging from 8 to 120 microns finally exhausting its cryogen on November 21.  
    IRAS sky survey
  • December - Workshop on Relativistic Strings organised by Dr Mike Green with 60 participants. This included a 'vigorous discussion' between David Gross [Princeton] and Steven Hawking [Cambridge] stimulated by Hawking's paper titled 'Quantum State of the Universe'.
  • Physics Department Pantomime - Star Trek.


  • Extracts from College Annual Report 1984/1985. (Word, PDF, ODT)
  • December - Dr Peter Clegg awarded the NASA Public Service Medal for his achievement as Resident Astronomer in the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) satellite programme.
  • Dr Jim Emerson awarded the NASA Public Service Group Achievement award for his work on the IRAS surveys.
  • Professor Michael Green, in collaboration with John Schwarz of Caltech publish landmark paper on Superstring Theory.
  • Physics Department Pantomime - Aladdin.
  • The Physics building in 1984.  
    Aerial view of Physics Building
  • Observations of new molecular species in interstellar clouds by Drs, Glenn White and Peter Phillips.


  • Professor John Edgington appointed Head of Department.  
    Professor JA Edgington
    Joined the College in 1964, Head of Department 1985 - 1990; Dean of Science 1994 and Vice-principal of the College 1997-2002
  • Professor Ian Percival elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society.
  • Physics Department Pantomime - A Christmas Carol.  
    Christmas Carol - group


  • Publication of Quantum Theory of Collective Phenomena by Professor Geoffrey Sewell.
  • Formation of the Centre for the Science and Technology of Measurement to promote education and research into systems for measurement, control and communications. Based in the Physics Department, it is staffed by members of the Department and the Engineering Faculty, as well as visiting scientists from industry and Government laboratories.
  • October - CERN exhibition held in main College entrance hall visited by over 1500 5th and 6th formers from England and Wales.
  • October - The two departmental student societies, Physoc and Astrosoc, merged to form AstroPhysoc.
  • Physics Department Pantomime - Macbeth.  
    Macbeth - group


  • Professor Michael Green awarded the Maxwell Medal by the Institute of Physics and the William Hopkins Prize by Cambridge Philosophical Society.
  • July - The Department hosted Comets to cosmology, the Third IRAS Conference.
  • Physics Department Pantomime - Sherlock Holmes Meets Dracula.  
    Sherlock Holmes - Carey Adams, Tony Marston and Kevin Donovan
    Carey Adams, Tony Marston and Kevin Donovan.
    Sherlock Holmes - Paul Kyberd, Ken Wood, Matt Griffin and Kevin Richardson
    Paul Kyberd, Ken Wood, Matt Griffin and Kevin Richardson as Dracula, Igor, Holmes and Watson.
  • Publication of From Palace to College by Gerry Moss and Mike Saville.
  • Physics placed in the newly created Faculty of Physical and Biological Sciences.
  • Departmental Brochure. (PDF)
    Departmental Brochure 1987


  • Professor Peter Kalmus awarded the Rutherford Medal by the Institute of Physics for his contributions to the discovery of the W and Z particles at CERN.
  • September - Publication of Superstring Theory by Professor Michael Green.  
    "Superstring Theory", MB Green, JH Schwarz and E Witten, 
             Cambridge University Press, 1988
  • Physics Department Pantomime - Stagefright at the PIP. K. Corral  
    Gunfight - Phil Norman, Paul Kyberd and Matt Griffin
    Ken Wood , Paul Kyberd and Matt Griffin.
    Gunfight - group
    Gail Cohen, Ken Scott, Graham Thompson, Denise Griffiths and Kevin Richardson.


  • Queen Mary and Westfield College formed by the merger of Queen Mary College and Westfield College.  
    QMW shield
  • Professor Michael Green elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society and awarded the Dirac Medal by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste.
  • Physics Department Pantomime - Alice in Wonderland.  
    Alice - Matt Griffin, Bob Jones, Ken Wood and Carey Adams
    Matt Griffin, Bob Jones, Ken Wood and Carey Adams as the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, the White Rabbit and Alice.
  • Postgraduate Prospectus  
    Postgraduate brochure 1989