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

Cassini Scientist for a Day Competition

The chance for 10-18 years old UK school students to win prizes by writing about the Cassini mission at Saturn. The deadline of 5pm 26 February is fast approaching. Entrants must choose a target for the Cassini spacecraft to observe and write a 500-word essay proposal making a case to the mission planners.

Prizes will be awarded to the top essay in each age range: 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18 year old UK school students (excluding Scotland) and a week’s work experience working on Cassini science at Queen Mary will be offered to the top age range.

Further information and how to enter are available here.

PhD Open Afternoon


Meet academic staff and current students at this event designed for anyone considering a PhD in Physics or Astronomy.

Wednesday 2nd December, 12.30-4.00pm

Book a place

GO Jones Building (campus map)


Come along for an afternoon of information sessions, refreshments and informal networking with academic staff, admissions tutors and current students. Whether you are looking to find out more about PhD study in Physics and Astronomy generally or would like to find out more about opportunities for work with our four research centres, this event will have something for you.

This event is in two parts:

T2K collaboration awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics

Dr Koichiro Nishikawa and the members of the T2K collaboration have been awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics, for their role in the discovery and study of neutrino oscillation. 
The prize, presented by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, was awarded “for the fundamental discovery of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics”. The prize is valued at 3 million USD, and is shared with four other international experimental collaborations studying neutrino oscillation: The Daya Bay, KamLAND, SNO, and Super-Kamiokande scientific collaborations.  The T2K collaboration is named together with the K2K collaboration for its share of the prize.  Dr. Nishikawa is the founding spokesperson of the T2K and K2K collaborations.

School staff collect Juno Champion award at the Institute of Physics for work in diversity and equality

Dr Jeanne Wilson and Dr Marcella Bona collected QMUL’s JUNO Champion Award last night at the IoP Awards Dinner.

The School of Physics and Astronomy was the 13th Physics Department in the UK to be awarded Juno Champion status after implementing various initiatives to improve equality and diversity in the School, in particular focusing on the retention of women in Physics. The Juno Assessment panel commended our detailed data analysis and efforts to embed diversity issues into every-day School activities including our “You said, We Did” webpages, the Maternity Plus scheme, gender monitoring of student coursework and attendance, and real-time gender monitoring of recruitment activities.

Dr Jeanne Wilson and Dr Marcella Bona collected QMUL’s JUNO Champion Award last night at the IoP Awards Dinner.

Furthermore, the School has also been awarded the Athena Swan Silver award in recognition of these activities, which will be presented in December this year.