LIGO’s cosmological revolution heralds new age for Queen Mary Physicists

Today’s announcement from LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory) concerning gravitational waves has rekindled excitement in the amazing predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The detection of these waves provides experimental verification of Einstein’s relativity in even the most extreme circumstances, the collision of two black holes.

A gravitational wave is like a ripple that stretches space and time, moving at the speed of light. Their existence has been postulated for a hundred years, but finding them required the highest precision in experimental physics and some luck.

To stand a chance of finding these moving ripples in spacetime we need a large source of accelerating matter. The collision and merger of blackholes is one such source though there could certainly be others.

Public Lecture on LHC Future

On 2 March 2016 18:30 we will have the next in our series of public lectures, with Dr Eram Rizvi discussing the next 20 years of the Large Hadron Collider. Having discovered the Higgs Boson in its first run, Run-2 (2015-2018) has almost doubled the energy opening up the possibility of new discoveries. The analysis of this new data is underway and initial results are starting to be released. At the same time, plans to upgrade the LHC and its experiments are currently being made to increase the number of particles that can be accelerated whilst improving the quality of the data at the same time. The ultimate aim is to solve the big questions of the nature of dark matter, the differences between matter and anti-matter and the first direct observations of quantum gravity phenomena. The game isn't over - it's only just begun.

Postgraduate Open Evening - 10th Feb

We're running a postgraduate open evening on Wednesday the 10th Feb from 4.30 - 7.30.

If you're considering an MSc in Physics or Astrophysics, this is a great opportuntity to find out more. Join us for an evening of talks and a chance to chat to academic programme directors and admissions staff. 

Book a place

Einsteins Legacy meeting

On the 28th and 29th of November we hosted a meeting to celebrate the 100th anniversary of general relativity. It was called Einstein's Legacy, and included plenary and public talks, as well as outreach events and a poster session. Around 500 people attended. Photos and videos can be found here.

School Colloquium: Antimatter particles in outer space

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment operates since May 2011 on board of the International Space Station to search for primordial anti-matter, to study the light anti-matter components in the Cosmic Rays (CR) and to perform a precision study of the CR composition and energy spectrum.

AMS has been conceived as a multi purpose spectrometer based on the state-of-the-art technology used in high energy physics experiments: a permanent magnet surrounds a 6.4 m2 double-sided silicon micro-strip tracker, trigger and velocity measurements are insured by four planes of scintillators, redundant measurements of particle velocity, energy, charge are performed by a Ring Imaging Cherenkov detectors and a 3D imaging Electromagnetic Calorimeter. A Transition Radiation Detector allows the discrimination of electrons from protons up to the TeV.

Thomas Young Center (TYC Soiree): New understanding of liquids and supercritical fluids

The moving contact line problem occurs when modelling one fluid replacing another as it moves along a solid surface, a situation widespread throughout industry and nature. Classically, the no-slip boundary condition at the solid substrate, a zero-thickness interface between the fluids, and motion at the three-phase contact line are incompatible - leading to the well-known shear-stress singularity. In this talk we will review recent progress made by our group, considering the problem and related physics from the micro to macroscopic length scales.

Cross-sections at SPA: A Business Engagement event

The School of Physics and Astronomy (SPA) is introducing a new “business club” - aimed at fostering our research connections with industry and the wider society. Today's research funding environment places a high value of impact, which creates new challenges for scientists and new opportunities for interactions between academia and  industry. Fundamental to physics are microscopic interaction cross-sections and fundamental to new initiatives are interactions between individuals. Hence the upcoming ``Cross-sections at SPA'' event on Feb. 4.  

Physics Student Wins Cosmonaut Training Experience in Russia

QMUL physics student wins cosmonaut experience

3rd year physics student Kieran Hashmi won a place at a russian cosmonaut training centre this week for his video submission to a competition joint sponsored by SEPnet, the South East Physics Network.

Kieran was selected to take part in a week’s cosmonaut training in Star City near Moscow.  The opportunity, sponsored jointly by SEPnet and University of Kent, will enable them to develop their team building and communication skills using the same equipment as the astronauts.

See Kieran's winning video on how microgravity affects the thermal conductivity of a ferrofluid.

Image courtesy of NASA

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