The South East Physics Network (SEPNET) will have a collaborative Graduate School providing advanced research training for PhD students across the region and offering innovative MSc programmes. The consortium will also support joint research themes in astrophysics, particle physics, condensed matter physics and radiation and detector instrumentation.
A co-ordinated outreach programme to stimulate interest and aspiration among pupils in the region’s schools will draw on the resources of the six departments involved, and the consortium will also mount a knowledge transfer programme which will include a one-stop shop for regional employers.
Announcing the award at the HEFCE annual conference on 7 April, Professor David Eastwood, the Chief Executive of HEFCE, said that the six departments had been facing serious challenges if they continued to work in isolation. ‘The key to unlocking their potential has been to facilitate and support their collaboration so that they can secure greater levels of activities and leverage additional funds. By working in collaboration they can raise the quality of teaching and research, building on the strengths of the individual departments, and broaden the contribution of physics both through research and the development of highly skilled students.’ (See note 1).
Welcoming the announcement, Professor John Turner, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, who convened the team which prepared the bid, said that the key to success was the sense of common purpose which had grown up among the physics departments in the region, and their commitment to making physics contribute to prosperity and well-being of the region: ‘The SEPNET collaboration is a pragmatic, farsighted and joined-up response to the challenges which face physics in the UK. With this help from HEFCE, our physics colleagues, working together, will be able to advance leading edge research but also bring on new generations of young physicists. With support from large regional employers in high tech sectors such as QinetiQ, IBM, WS Atkins, and the National Physical Laboratory, and a network of SMEs, they will be able to address the needs of industry for new science and for advanced training in high-level skills.’
Professor Peter McDonald, Head of Physics at Surrey, said: 'Our department has a strong tradition of combining pure research with applications, in such areas as nuclear physics, condensed matter, and radiation and detector instrumentation. SEPNET will enable us to work with colleagues across the region to strengthen further our industrial links and our portfolio of Master’s programmes.'
Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
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22.09.2017 | Forschungszentrum MATHEON ECMath
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...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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