Dr Helen Duncan

Dr Helen Duncan and Dr Anthony Phillips

Congratulations to Dr Helen Duncan, who has been awarded her PhD for a thesis entitled Modelling local order in organic and metal-organic ferroic materials using the reverse Monte Carlo method and total neutron scattering, supervised by Dr Anthony Phillips and Prof. Martin Dove. Her work, using the GEM and POLARIS diffractometers at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, involved building detailed models of complex functional materials in order to reproduce both the average and the local structure of these compounds. One chapter of her thesis has already been published in a themed edition of Dalton Transactions, and this work was recently showcased as a highlight of the crystallographic results from ISIS in the past year.

New Earth-like planet found around nearest star

Clear evidence of a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System, has been found by an international team of scientists led by astronomers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Using facilities operated by ESO (the European Southern Observatory) and other telescopes, the research, which is published in the journal Nature, reveals a world with a similar mass to Earth orbiting around Proxima Centauri.

The planet, called Proxima b, orbits its parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth, and is the closest planet outside our Solar System. Planets around other stars are commonly referred to as exoplanets.

Professor William Gillin’s inaugural lecture: Material Miracles

Professor William Gillin’s inaugural lecture: Material Miracles

The QMUL Inaugural Lecture Series gives you the opportunity to meet our professors.

Professor William Gillin, Professor of Experimental Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy, will be holding his inaugural lecture on Wednesday 25 November at 7pm, with a drinks reception to follow. The lecture will take place in Skeel Lecture Theatre, Mile End campus.

Professor William Gillin’s inaugural lecture will look at how technological breakthroughs are based on developments in the fabrication of new materials. This lecture will highlight some examples of the ways materials have influenced the modern world and go on to explain the current research that may lead to future miracles.

National Student Survey Results 2015

Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London is ranked first in London for student satisfaction for the second year in a row, according to the results of a nationwide poll of final-year undergraduates.

The 2015 National Student Survey (NSS) questioned UK undergraduates on various aspects of their student experience, including their overall satisfaction.  Physics and Astronomy students at Queen Mary had a 95% satisfaction rate, amongst some of the highest in the country.   Our students are also amongst the most satisfied in the Russell Group with satisfaction rates in the top quartile for all physics programmes. 

The School of Physics and Astronomy strives to provide a friendly supportive environment and is committed to the highest levels of teaching and student support.  

Juno Champion

Institute of Physics Juno Champion

QMUL’s School of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded Juno Champion Status by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in recognition of action they have taken to address the under-representation of women in university physics.

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.