Professor Sir Peter Mansfield (1933-2017)

It is sad to announce the recent passing of Professor Sir Peter Mansfield, who studied Physics at Queen Mary College, graduating in 1959 before moving to Nottingham University. Professor Mansfield made several key contributions in the the field of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, leading to the development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for medical applications. Together with Paul Lauterbur of the University of Illinois he shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. 

Space Sounds Inspire Film Competition

Filmmakers will have the chance to use real-life sound recorded from space in a new competition launched by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

While the trailer for the movie Alien may have told us: “In space, no one can hear you scream” recordings of sounds from space by satellites seem to suggest otherwise. These unusual noises recorded over eight years have been sped up and amplified so they can be heard by the human ear for the first time. The recordings are free to download for filmmakers to use – and potentially win £2,000 worth of prizes.

QMUL launches Research in Schools report

There is a growing number of projects across the UK giving the opportunity for school students to run their own research projects. Ever wondered how the projects come together? Are you a researcher or teacher and thought about running such a project?

Physicists at Queen Mary University of London, have been running Research in Schools projects over the last two years. Through this time they have come across different challenges in setting up and running said projects. In this report Dr Martin Archer looks back and highlights what has worked and what didn’t come together from these projects. These along with the report’s conclusions and recommendations make it essential reading for those looking to set-up similar projects.

Farewell to Peggy

Before the Cassini spacecraft makes its final plunge into Saturn's atmosphere in September this year, one of its last acts will be to take a photo of an intriguing object that Professor Carl Murray of the School of Physics and Astronomy has been studying for nearly four years.

Nicknamed "Peggy" after Prof. Murray's mother-in-law, since it was first noticed on her birthday in 2013, the object appears as a small smudge of light at the very edge of Saturn's main ring system, the A-ring. The smudge is actually a cloud of dust particles some 2000 km long that is being disturbed by the presence of Peggy itself, thought to be a solid object less than 5 km across. The dust may well be the result of a collision between Peggy and another object in the ring.

Twenty-fifth anniversary of the discovery of the first exoplanet

Twenty-five years ago today, on 9 January 1992, astronomers published the first unambiguous discovery of an exoplanet — a planet beyond our Solar System. Since then the search for, and study of, exoplanets has become an exciting and productive branch of astronomy, one in which researchers in Queen Mary's School of Physics and Astronomy are actively engaged.

Unusually, this first exoplanet was not found in orbit around a 'conventional' star; instead it orbits an object known as a pulsar, a very exotic object left over after a star much bigger than the Sun has undergone a massive explosion — a supernova — at the end of its life.

QMUL astronomer in top ten scientists list

Dr Guillem Anglada-Escudé from the School of Physics and Astronomy has been named one of the top ten people who matter in science in 2016 by the prestigious scientific journal Nature. The annual list, known as "Nature's 10", highlights researchers from around the world who have made a major impact this year.

The real cost of supersymmetry

In 1999, Dr David Berman attended a conference about string theory in Copenhagen. During the course of a rather lively conference dinner a wager was made. On one side were physicists who thought that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) would, by 2010 (subsequently extended to 2016), find evidence for the existence of supersymmetric particles, mysterious cousins of the "normal" particles like protons and electrons, that are predicted to exist by the theory known as supersymmetry. On the other side of the wager were those physicists who thought it wouldn't find them. David Berman was in the former camp.

QMUL receives prestigious award for public engagement

QMUL has been awarded the Gold Engage Watermark by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, in recognition of its public engagement work. The Engage Watermark is granted to universities in recognition of their commitment to public engagement and the Gold award is the highest level an institution can achieve at this stage of the process.