Congratulations to 2017 Physics Nobel Prize winners

The School of Physics and Astronomy offers warm congratulations to Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, recipients of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to the detection of gravitational waves by LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory).

Cassini makes its dramatic exit

15 September.  At around 11:30 this morning the Cassini spacecraft sent its final signal to Earth as it plunged into the thick atmosphere of the planet Saturn, bringing to an end its 20-year voyage of discovery, a voyage that has provided scientists with a wealth of data about the ringed planet and its moons, and some of the most thought-provoking images ever captured.

For Queen Mary’s Prof. Carl Murray it was something of a sad moment as it marked the end of a career-long association with the spacecraft. Carl has been a member of the Cassini camera team since 1990 and is one of the scientists who have been privileged to work on the data sent back by the spacecraft since it was launched in 1997. Like many, Carl has come to see Cassini as a constant companion, probing distant worlds where humans cannot (yet) venture.

Queen Mary planet hunters shortlisted for Times Higher Education award

The Pale Red Dot campaign, led by astronomers in QMUL’s School of Physics and Astronomy in partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO), has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award in the category “Research Project of the Year: STEM”.

Two postdoctoral research assistant positions

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has two vacancies for 36 months for a Postdoctoral Research Assistants, one each in the The School of Engineering and Materials Science  and the School of Physics and Astronomy as a result of a successful EPSRC grant under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The aim of the project is to develop and investigate low cost functional carbon materials to be used as negative electrodes in Na-ion batteries. 

Searches for very rare decays of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS experiment

ATLAS event display showing a candidate event of the Higgs boson decaying into two muons

The Particle Physics Research Centre at QMUL have been searching for the very rare decay of the Higgs boson into two muons harvesting the data collected by the ATLAS experiment at CERN. Only one in every 5000 Higgs bosons decays in this specific way and the ATLAS team at QMUL lead by Antony Fray and Eram Rizvi have been studying this elusive decay in the last year. This study is crucial to establish the properties of the Higgs boson and how it interacts with the rest of the fundamental particles. The analysis has been now published by the prestigious journal series Physics Review Letters and it has been highlighted as Editor's Choice by the journal itself.

We are first in London for overall student satisfaction

physics graduates

Physics and astronomy ranks first in London for overall student satisfaction according to the results of the 2017 National Student Survey (NSS), based on an overall satisfaction rating of 92%. The School has previously ranked first in London in the NSS in 2016, 2015, and 2014.

The results of the survey, which questions UK undergraduates on various aspects of their student experience, places physics and astronomy 4% higher than the sector average and fourth in the UK for overall satisfaction in Russell Group universities offering the subject..

 

The Hyper-Kamiokande Project is in the MEXT Large Projects Roadmap

Hyper-Kamiokande (Hyper-K), a third-generation Water Cherenkov detector and the latest in an illustrious series of world-leading experiments located in Japan, is being developed by an international collaboration. It will take advantage of its predecessors:  the double Nobel prize winning experiment (Super-)Kamiokande and the extremely succesful K2K (1999-2004) and T2K (2010-) long baseline neutrino experiments. T2K just rejected the hypothesis that neutrinos and antineutrinos oscillate with the same probability at 95%.

T2K presents hint of CP violation by neutrinos

The international T2K Collaboration, where Queen Mary group plays significant roles, strengthened its previous hint that the symmetry between matter and antimatter may be violated for neutrino oscillation.  A preliminary analysis of T2K’s latest data rejects the hypothesis that neutrinos and antineutrinos oscillate with the same probability at 95% confidence (2σ) level. With nearly twice the neutrino data in 2017 compared to their 2016 results, T2K has performed a new analysis of neutrino and antineutrino data using a new event reconstruction algorithm for interactions in the far detector, Super-Kamiokande. http://t2k-experiment.org/2017/08/t2k-2017-cpv/

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