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
Quantum gas turns supersolid
23.04.2019 | Universität Innsbruck
Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun
18.04.2019 | University of Warwick
Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.
Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...
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