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.
Dr Gavin Bell has become the first member of the Physics department to be selected as a fellow of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy (WIHEA).
A WIHEA Fellowship recognises and rewards outstanding achievements in learning and teaching and is an exceptional opportunity to engage with colleagues across the university, improve the student experience, make a genuine difference to Warwick and strengthen career development.
Rachel Edwards, Associate Professor (Reader) in the Physics department, was the winner of the Public Engagement University Award. She writes about her work and what winning this award means for her and the department.
Professor Sandra Chapman will be conducting research on space weather at Boston University in the USA, after receiving the Fulbright Lloyds of London Scholar Award.