The RAS does however welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham, that he is setting up an independent review into the health of physics. The Society will participate fully in the review, where it will express its belief that the vitality of physics in the UK depends on a vibrant programme of ‘blue skies’ research in areas such as astrophysics.
Cuts announced include UK participation in the Gemini South observatory in Chile, all UK involvement in ground-based solar-terrestrial physics facilities, UK high-energy gamma-ray astronomy research, UK involvement in the astronomical observatory on La Palma, and large cuts (~50%) at the Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh.Projects, some of which will be cut subject to the current Programmatic
The RAS welcomes the concession by STFC that they will seek to negotiate continuing access to the Gemini North observatory on Hawaii, as requested by the Society two weeks ago. Without Gemini North, UK astronomers will have no access to giant telescopes in the northern hemisphere and will find it increasingly difficult to compete with their peers overseas.
Professor Michael Rowan-Robinson, President of the RAS commented:
'I welcome John Denham’s decision to review physics funding and the RAS will be keen to be involved, but this needs to be set against the immediate impact of these cuts on UK Physics Departments. The Government needs to recognise that astrophysics, space science and solar system science make a direct contribution to the UK economy through spin-off and knowledge transfer on time-scales which can be surprisingly short.
The students and postgraduates that we train are highly skilled and sought after by industry and the financial sector. Astrophysics and particle physics are major attractors of students, including international students, into university physics courses. For example, my Physics Department at Imperial College receives 40% of its research funding from astrophysics, space science and particle physics and 90% of our students said that these fields were the reason they chose to study physics. Astronomy and space also play an important role in attracting school-children towards science.’
Robert Massey | alfa
An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics
25.09.2017 | Universität Kassel
Highest-energy cosmic rays have extragalactic origin
25.09.2017 | CNRS
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.09.2017 | Trade Fair News
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy