Smaller is Stronger

Two foils (Ni and Cu) once bent, sprung back exactly the same.

Metal foils much thinner than a human hair show greater strength than expected.  The picture shows that this strength depends only on the size, not on the material properties of the particular metal.

These two foils are 10 microns thick, one is nickel and the other copper.  They have been annealed to give a large grain size (about 20 microns in both) and bent around the mandrel (the end of which just be seen at the bottom right of the picture.  Once bent, on release, they have sprung back the same amount, indicating that they have the same strength.

This experiment was carried out by Isis de Lavau and Jeremy Jardin, students from the French engineering school CESI, on placement here in September.  

Meeting on Low Scale Quantum Gravity

A meeting on low energy scale quantum gravity will be hosted by the Particle Physics Research Centre on 7th December. The Meeting seeks to review the status of quantum gravity searches and phenomenology. Latest results from the LHC experiments will be discussed and developments in theoretical approaches will be reviewed. The meeting is free for all researchers. Registration and full programme details are available here.

Meeting of the NeXT Institute at QMUL

The NExT Institute Meeting is being organized by the CRST and PPRC groups and will be held on Nov 9th at QMUL:

The NExT Institute is a member of the SEPNET partnership and its aim is to  further the goals of Particle Physics through the fostering and promotion of interactions between theory and experiment in an inter-disciplinary and multi-sited environment.

Postgraduate Open Evening

Join us on our Open Evening on Wednesday 1 February 2012 to find out more about the world-class facilities and research in the School of Physics & Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London. To book a place, please visit this webpage.

Flow Motion

Flow Motion

Explore string theory's equations, aesthetics and cultural connections. Flow Motion (multimedia artists Anna Piva and Edward George), David Berman and James Sparks discuss their collaboration and its themes: dimensionality and experience, space and perception, representation and transformation.

This is followed by an audio art performance of soundscapes and improvisations based on the transformation of string theory equations, produced by Piva and George during their research residency at Queen Mary's School of Physics. Flow Motion will be joined for the performance by a quartet of classical and improvising musicians. 
For details see:

New PhD Positions Available

Photo taken from inside the SNO+ detector when half-full of water.

We are pleased to announce two PhD places, available for intake in September 2012 to work on the SNO+ experiment in the particle physics group. These posts, funded by a European Research Council grant are in addition to PhD positions funded through the college and STFC. More details of the SNO+ experiment can be found here. Successful students will work on developing calibration tools and high-level physics analysis for this experiment at a critical time as first data is collected. We are now accepting applications for the next academic year and welcome strong candidates to apply either specifically for these SNO+ positions or generally for any of the positions available. Please see this page for details.

Neutrino speed at OPERA

beam trajectory

 The OPERA experiment has recently announced a measurement that contradicts one of the consequences of the special theory of relativity: that matter cannot travel faster than the speed of light. The OPERA experiment is a long-baseline neutrino experiment with the detector based in an underground laboratory in the Gran Sasso mountain. The experiment utilises a high intensity beam of muon neutrinos produced at CERN by the CERN Neutrinos to Gran Sasso (CNGS) facility. The experiment has studied more than 16,000 neutrino events collected over 3 years of running and has used timing information based on the produced neutrinos at CERN and those detected in the OPERA detector to measure the time of flight of the muon neutrino from CNGS to OPERA. The measured time is then compared with the predicted time assuming neutrinos travel at the speed of light.

Researchers' Night

Researchers' Night

Building a Lego universe, discovering the computer wizardry behind magic tricks and tracking emotions on Twitter are just some of the fun ways Londoners can learn about cutting-edge research at Queen Mary, University of London on Friday 23 September.

Queen Mary is one of four UK universities to host Researchers’ Night this year. The annual Europe-wide event brings together the public, academics and artists, to celebrate research and show how it can change and improve lives.

“Researchers’ Night is taking place simultaneously in 500 different venues in over 30 countries. It is an ideal opportunity to explore the university, try out state-of-the-art technology, take part in fascinating experiments, and attempt to out-smart academics,” explains Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Principal for Research and International Affairs.