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Physics Department News

Tom Marsh awarded RAS Herschel Medal

Professor Tom Marsh of the Astronomy and Astrophysics group has been awarded the prestigious Herschel Medal by the Royal Astronomical Society.

Professor Tom Marsh has undertaken pioneering research into close binary star systems for the last 30 years. Foremost among his numerous contributions has been the development of the Doppler Tomography technique, which was first described in a landmark paper in 1988 co-authored with Professor Keith Horne. The method uses phase-resolved spectra to construct two-dimensional velocity-space images, allowing astronomers to break the diffraction limit of conventional imaging.

Its application reveals the micro-arcsecond structure of close binary star systems, delivering accurate masses for white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. The technique unveils the detailed structure of accretion flows, including the intricate structure of accretion streams and hot-spot dynamics. It also led to the discovery of the theoretically anticipated spiralwave patterns that appear in accretion discs during dwarf nova outbursts. Doppler Tomography has been applied to hundreds of binary systems by numerous researchers, leading to a much improved understanding of accretion disc physics.

For these reasons, Professor Marsh is awarded the Herschel Medal.

Mon 15 January 2018, 14:13 | Tags: Staff and Department, Awards, Faculty of Science

Photoelectric solar power revisited

A new solar power device similar to a thin double-glazed window has been developed by Gavin Bell (Nano Physics) and Yorck Ramachers (Particle Physics). The device uses inert gas instead of vacuum to transport electrical energy, and is based on the photoelectric effect rather than conventional photovoltaic materials. The idea has been published in the journal Joule [Bell, G. R. and Ramachers, Y. A., Joule (2017) DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2017.11.007]. The key unknown is the photocathode material which must have highly optimised properties for the device to be efficient enough to compete with conventional photovoltaics. Possibilities include diamond thin films and special perovskite oxide materials.

Fri 12 January 2018, 16:44 | Tags: Research

Assistant Professorship in Experimental Particle Physics

The Department of Physics at the University of Warwick seeks to make an academic appointment in the area of Experimental Neutrino Physics. In addition, we invite applications from outstanding particle physicists who already hold an externally-funded research fellowship in any other research area of interest to the Particle Physics Group.

Tue 09 January 2018, 17:00 | Tags: Feature News, Vacancies

R.W.B. Stephens Prize

Claire Thring (PhD student in the Ultrasound Group) has been awarded the R.W.B. Stephens Prize at the 2017 International Congress on Ultrasonics, which was held in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec 18-20th 2017. The prize is given in recognition of outstanding work in ultrasonics and the excellent presentation of the results, and is sponsored by Elsevier and the journal Ultrasonics.

Wed 03 January 2018, 14:44 | Tags: Postgraduates, Awards

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