Three PhD students from the class of 2019 have been awarded prestigious prizes for their outstanding doctoral theses. George King was awarded the Winton Prize for Astrophysics, while Ben Chapman and Connor Mosley won the Faculty of Science Thesis Prize. Connor also obtained the Springer Thesis Prize, and his thesis will be published by Springer. Congratulations to all! Full story
On April 24th, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched onboard the space shuttle Discovery, and was deployed a day later into an orbit that takes it around the Earth once every 96 minutes. Located above the Earth's blurred atmosphere, Hubble has been taking countless stunningly beautiful pictures of planets, stars and galaxies that have kept us breathlessly admiring the beauty of space for the past three decades. Warwick is among Europe's most active Hubble users, and is celebrating this birthday.
Joe Lyman awarded Future Leaders Fellowship
Dr Joseph Lyman of the Astronomy and Astrophysics group is one of four Warwick academics to receive a highly-prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship in the third round of awards.
Joe's project, titled "New frontiers in transient astrophysics: gravitational-wave multi-messenger events and exotic stellar explosions", is devoted to furthering our understanding of the changing night sky. Astrophysical transients, in the form of exploding stars as supernovae, and merging neutron stars as gravitational-wave events, are some of the most energetic events in the Universe and probe physics under conditions far beyond our capabilities on Earth.
As we don't know where or when these events will occur, the fellowship will develop and exploit the Warwick-led Gravitational wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) project as a discovery machine to find new and exotic transients. It will also create of a rapid network of telescope facilities to follow these GOTO discoveries, making it possible to take detailed observations almost immediately after discovery, and allowing us to open new windows in study of these extreme explosions.
Joe joins Dr Heather Cegla and Dr Benjamin Richards as Future Leaders Fellows in the Department of Physics. See https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/ukri_fellowships_awarded_to_four_university_of_warwick_academics1 for a Warwick press release.
Social distancing may be keeping you at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be exploring the universe at the same time. Did you know that you can enter a whole world of stargazing using objects you might have around the home? There is plenty that you can discover using only the naked eye. Scientists from the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group will be showing us what you can discover in our skies over the coming weeks, with advice on how you can get involved in Astronomy without ever leaving your garden.
Physics joins the effort against the global pandemic
Alongside other University departments, members of the Department of Physics have been working to find ways to combat the Coronavirus crisis. Here are some examples:
1) Donation of University Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS
Many of Warwick’s research labs have suspended activity to support the Government’s instruction for all but critical workers to stay at home.
However, those labs held significant supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that would be better employed in the NHS rather than stored in those labs.
Neil Gillespie, a Senior Civil Engineering Technician in Warwick’s School of Engineering, and Alan Warwood Head of Facilities in Warwick’s Estates Office, pulled together a team of colleagues from across all our Estates team and our science departments to gather up that equipment and take it to the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust’s Coventry site.
So far they have supplied the following to the trust:
- 155 FFP3 face masks
- 470 over glasses
- 400 safety glasses
- 20,400 nitrile gloves of various sizes
- 1,000 shoe covers
Robb Johnston, Technical Services Manager, coordinated the collection of PPE in Physics.
2) Creation of a Video Showing How to Make a Full Face Visor out of a Plastic Bottle
Dr Matthew Broome of the Condensed Matter Physics group has uploaded a video to Youtube explaining how to make a DIY visor. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri5DYGhjsJg.
Dr Rebecca Nealon will join the Department of Physics to research protoplanetary discs as one of the first nine Stephen Hawking Fellows. Announced today, the fellows will continue Professor Stephen Hawking’s legacy by furthering our understanding of the universe and communicating the wonders of science to the public. As the planets in our solar system are all aligned so their orbits are in one plane, we might imagine that discs where planets are formed around other stars are also aligned. However, recent observations have shown that there are a number of systems where this is not the case. Dr Nealon’s research will focus on how these discs are created and evolve as well as their potential impact on planet formation, leading to a more comprehensive picture of disc and planet formation.