UK Cosmology Meeting

On the 27th February, the cosmology group in the Astronomy Unit hosted the UK Cosmology Meeting. This is a triannual informal meeting of the UK theoretical cosmology community and features short talks from young and experienced researchers alike. The meeting was a huge success with roughly 60 cosmologists attending from as far away as Edinburgh. More information about the UK Cosmology initiative and future meetings can be found at their website

Inaugural Symposium of the Hyper-Kamiokande Proto-Collaboration

 Saturday 31 January 2015, Kashiwa (Japan), the inugural symposium of the Hyper-Kamiokande proto-collaboration was held. The symposium was held to both mark the official start of the proto-collaboration and for the signing of the agreement for the promotion of the project between the University of Tokyo Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR) and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies will take place during the symposium. More information in:

Particle Physics Masterclasses

Talk to scientists at CERN, work with real particle physics data and attend particle physics lectures on these day-long Masterclasses.

Queen Mary will again be hosting Particle Physics Masterclasses for Year 12 sixth form students on Wednesday 25th February and Wednesday 11th March. Offering the chance to learn about particle physics from the scientists actually doing the research, the students will attend talks and work with real particle physics data, sharing their findings with Physicists at CERN via video link.


In the laboratories of Airbus Defence and Space Ltd, in Stevenage (UK), engineers and scientists are developing the ExoMars Rover, which will be sent to Mars in 2018. One of the objectives of the ExoMars mission, a joint enterprise of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), is to search for possible bio-signatures of life on Mars.

To this purpose, the ExoMars Rover has been equipped with innovative, human-inspired technology. In its 218-sol mission, the rover will have to autonomously travel on the Mars surface, identify scientifically relevant sites, safely navigate towards them and perform experiments. This talk will unveil the technology on-board the rover that will make it accomplish its mission.


GRADnet PhD Studentship second Open Day

GRADnet PhD Studentship second Open Day

The GRADnet PhD Studentship second Open Day will take place at 13:00-16:00 on Thursday, 19th March 2015 at the Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. Please register here for the event.

13:00 Students arrival in main lecture theatre for short presentation from Peter McDonald

13:20 Lunch in the Council Room & networking

15:00 Close

2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The School of Physics and Astronomy has strongly contributed to the excellent results obtained in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) by QMUL, which has been ranked 9th among multi-faculty institutions in the UK. The School's Grade Point Average (GPA) of Physics research outputs (publications) are ranked joint first (with Imperial College) in London, 10th in the Russell Group and 14th in the UK (out of 41) hence cementing ourselves as among the very best Physics Departments in the UK.

These results are based on the research performed by the Astronomy Unit, Centre for Research in String Theory and the Particle Physics Research Centre. Research from the Centre for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics was submitted as Materials where QMUL was ranked 12th (out of 37) in the UK. This confirms the strength of physics research across all our fields.

Linking atomic structure and light emission in quantum dots

Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are objects on the scale of nanometers that are small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical effects and their current and potential applications range from quantum computers to biological imaging. Electronic and optical properties of these systems are drastically different from those observed in the bulk form and depend strongly on the size, shape and surface conditions. For semiconductors these differences can be explained in terms of the quantum confinement effect - a condition where the geometric size decisively affects a variety of physical properties. The concept of quantum confinement is elegant, but is not easy to probe directly in many realistic experimental cases due to the difficulties in observing QDs in an idealised state that can be readily compared with a corresponding theoretical or a computational model.


Abstract : Some 40 years ago Hawking found a remarkable contradiction: if we accept the standard behavior of gravity in regions of low curvature, then the evolution of black holes will violate quantum mechanics. Resolving this paradox would require a basic change in our understanding of spacetime and/or quantum theory. In recent years the paradox has found an interesting resolution through string theory. While quantum gravity is normally expected to be important only at distances of order planck length, the situation changes when a large number N of particles are involved, as for instance in the situation where we make a large black hole. Then the length scale of quantum gravity effects grows with N, altering the black hole structure to a "fuzzball"; this effect resolves the paradox.

Speaker : Prof. Samir Mathur, Ohio State University.