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Department of Physics

Physics at Oxford aspire to be one of the best physics departments in the world by conducting cutting-edge research and by teaching and developing the careers of the next generation of physicists.
Physics work on major facilities worldwide, develop the most advanced experimental techniques and the most sophisticated theoretical methods to investigate nature at every scale.
Oxford University Physics Department pursues fundamental science and in doing so make discoveries that enable them to contribute directly to tackling the challenging problems facing society.

Series associated with Department of Physics

Oxford Physics Academic Lectures
Oxford Physics Public Lectures
Oxford Physics Research
Oxford Physics Short Talks & Introductions
The Oxford Solid State Basics
The Physics of Fine-Tuning
Theoretical Physics - From Outer Space to Plasma
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 ... from collisions to the Higgs boson To study the Higgs boson at the LHC we also need to understand how highly energetic quarks and gluons interact, among themselves and with the Higgs. Fabrizio Caola 16 May 2019
2 From protons to collisions… We learn about the Higgs Boson and its interactions at the LHC by examining the debris produced by colliding protons head-on at unprecedented high energies. Lucian Harland-Lang 16 May 2019
3 What the Large Hadron Collider is telling us about the Higgs sector and its new interactions Over the past two years, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has started to directly probe a qualitatively new class of interactions, associated with the Higgs boson. Gavin Salam 16 May 2019
4 The oldest light in the Universe In this short stargazing talk, Luke Jew looks at the topic - The oldest light in the Universe. Luke Jew 05 Apr 2019
5 The brief history of the Universe Sergio Martin describes the evolution of the Universe. Sergio Martin 22 Mar 2019
6 Electron Paramagnetic Resonance - Past, Present and Future Professor Mark Newton describes some of the key events in the discovery and development of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR). Mark Newton 18 Mar 2019
7 Creative Commons All the dark we cannot see - the state of the art in direct searches for particle dark matter Professor Laura Baudis, University of Zurich, discusses the nature of dark matter. Laura Baudis 18 Mar 2019
8 Why the world is simple - Prof Ard Louis The coding theorem from algorithmic information theory (AIT) - which should be much more widely taught in Physics! - suggests that many processes in nature may be highly biased towards simple outputs. Ard Louis 15 Feb 2019
9 Topology in Biology - Prof Julia Yeomans FRS Active systems, from cells and bacteria to flocks of birds, harvest chemical energy which they use to move and to control the complex processes needed for life. Julia Yeomans 15 Feb 2019
10 Welcome from the Head of the Physics Department Ian Shipsey delivers the welcome speech for the Saturday Mornings of Theoretical Physics. Ian Shipsey 15 Feb 2019
11 Entropy from Entanglement Siddharth Parameswaran, Associate Professor, Physics Department. Siddharth Parameswaran 03 Dec 2018
12 Entropy: two short stories John Chalker, Head of Theoretical Physics, gives a talk on entropy. John Chalker 03 Dec 2018
13 Entropy: Gaining Knowledge by Admitting Ignorance Alexander Schekochihin, Professor of Theoretical Physics, gives a talk on entropy. Alexander Schekochihin 03 Dec 2018
14 The Quantum and the Cosmos The 17th Hintze Lecture, given by Professor Rocky Kolb, Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The University of Chicago. Rocky Kolb 14 Nov 2018
15 The Search for Life on Earth, In Space and Time Dr James Green, current Chief Scientist of NASA gives a talk on the how life may be distributed on Earth and in the Solar System with consideration of the age of our sun. James Green 29 Oct 2018
16 Networked Quantum Information Technologies This talk reviews the developments in quantum information processing. Dominic O'Brien 06 Jul 2018
17 Quantum logic with trapped-ion qubits This talk reviews testing and developing ideas in quantum computing using laser-manipulated trapped ions. David Lucas 06 Jul 2018
18 The ultimate limits of privacy and randomness...for the paranoid ones This talk explains how qubits are used to represent numbers in a way that permits 'quantum-mechanical parallel' computing. Artur Ekert 06 Jul 2018
19 “Open” Quantum Systems This talk reviews how to deal with quantum systems that are coupled to the outside world, as in reality all systems are. Fabian Essler 06 Jul 2018
20 Quantum Systems from Group up This talk reviews the modern formulation of the basic ideas of quantum mechanics. James Binney 06 Jul 2018
21 How do we find planets around other stars? The 3rd Wetton lecture, 19th June 2018 delivered by Professor David W. Hogg, Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, New York University David W Hogg 02 Jul 2018
22 Creative Commons The Quest for Nearby Habitable Worlds The 16th Hintze lecture, 25th April 2018 delivered by Professor René Doyon, Director, Mont-Mégantic Observatory & Institute for Research on Exoplanets, University of Montreal, Canada Rene Doyon 22 May 2018
23 Fine-Tuning Discussion Simon Friederich, Natalja Deng, and Erik Curiel participate in a roundtable discussion addressing questions around probability, fine-tuning, and arguments for a multiverse or deity. Simon Friederich, Natalja Deng, Erik Curiel 24 Apr 2018
24 Erik Curiel: Measure, Topology, and Probability in Cosmology. Erik Curiel explains the challenges in making assessments of probability by making assumptions about the space of universes--or cosmological models--that our theories allow. Erik Curiel 24 Apr 2018
25 Natalja Deng: What Kind of Fine-Tuner? Natalja Deng discusses whether the apparent fine-tuning of the universe for life can be evidence for a divine creator. Natalja Deng 24 Apr 2018
26 Simon Friederich: Fine-Tuning for Life in the Universe, A Panoramic View Simon Friederich reviews the challenges that arise in using empirical evidence that the universe is tuned for life to evaluate multiverse hypothesis. Simon Friederich 24 Apr 2018
27 Evidence in the Multiverse Erik Curiel and Simon Friederich hash out the problems we encounter when we look for evidence of a multiverse. Erik Curiel, Simon Friederich 24 Apr 2018
28 The Hard Fact of Life in Big Physics City How similar is the fine-tuning of our universe to probabilistic reasoning we use and understand? Simon Friederich and Erik Curiel go through a series of examples. Erik Curiel, Simon Friederich 24 Apr 2018
29 Stability and Probability Erik Curiel and Simon Friederich discuss how reasoning in cosmology sometimes conflates topological stability with probability, and why that might be wrong. Simon Friederich, Erik Curiel 24 Apr 2018
30 Problems with Probability Simon Friederich and Erik Curiel discuss the problems fine-tuning arguments raise for our understanding of probability. Simon Friederich, Erik Curiel 24 Apr 2018
31 ALMA and the Birth of Stars Across Galaxies The 2018 Astor Visiting Lecture 14th March 2018 delivered by Professor Adam Leroy, Ohio State University. Adam Leroy 28 Mar 2018
32 Rushing Robots and Tons of Glass: Building the WEAVE Spectrograph Ellen Schallig gives a short talk on building the WEAVE spectograph. Ellen Schallig 21 Feb 2018
33 Quasars: Are They As Cool As They Sound? In this flash talk, Josie Peters presents on the topic of quasars. Josie Peters 21 Feb 2018
34 The Big Bang and a Multiverse Darsh Kodwani gives a short talk on The Big bang and a multiverse. Darsh Kodwani 21 Feb 2018
35 I'm Spinning Around: Watching Galaxies Rotate (Or Not) Mark Graham gives a short talk on the rotation of galaxies. Mark Graham 21 Feb 2018
36 It's a Star's Life In this short talk, Rebecca Esselstein gives an overview of a typical star's lifespan. Rebecca Esselstein 21 Feb 2018
37 Galactic Archaeology: Mining Stellar Fossils in the Milky Way Halo Payel Das gives a short talk on mining stellar fossils in the Milky Way halo. Payel Das 21 Feb 2018
38 Weighing Black Holes Oxford astrophysicist Martin Bureau gives a talk on black holes. Martin Bureau 21 Feb 2018
39 Taking Real Photos of Planets Outside the Solar System Jean-Loup Baudino gives a short talk on planets outside the solar system. Jean-Loup Baudino 21 Feb 2018
40 Merging Galaxies: Making the Biggest Mess! Nathan Adams presents a short talk on merging galaxies. Natham Adams 21 Feb 2018
41 Galaxy Dynamics: The chemical evolution side Dr Ralph Schoenrich will talk about the chemical evolution side Ralph Schoenrich 25 Jan 2018
42 Galaxy Dynamics: The dynamics of galaxy discs Dr John Magorrian will talk about the dynamics of galaxy discs John Magorrian 25 Jan 2018
43 Galaxy Dynamics: Stellar systems: a new state of matter Prof James Binney FRS will talk about stellar systems: a new state of matter James Binney 25 Jan 2018
44 The State of the Universe Our Universe was created in 'The Big Bang' and has been expanding ever since. Professor Schmidt describes the vital statistics of the Universe, and tries to make sense of the Universe's past, present, and future. Brian Schmidt 20 Nov 2017
45 Superfluids in Flatland: Topology, Defects, and the 2016 Nobel Prize In this talk, Siddharth Parameswaran discusses how a topological approach to 2D systems reveal that they can indeed become superfluid, and lead to surprising and beautiful universal results whose implications continue to resonate today. Siddharth Parameswaran 03 Nov 2017
46 Quantum mechanics on the human scale Stephen Blundell reviews a theory of superconductivity that was developed in Oxford in the 1930’s by Fritz London. Stephen Blundell 03 Nov 2017
47 From Identical Particles to Frictionless Flow John Chalker discusses how the laws of quantum mechanics lead us from the microscopic world to macroscopic phenomena. John Chalker 03 Nov 2017
48 Superconductors: Miracle Materials An introduction to the fascinating world of superconductors and the many surprising phenomena they exhibit, from zero resistance to quantum levitation. Andrew Boothroyd 25 Oct 2017
49 Quantum physics and the nature of computing How can we test a quantum computer? An exploration of some of the theoretical puzzles of this field and how we can investigate them with experimental physics. Jelmer Renema 25 Oct 2017
50 Superconductors: why it’s cool to be repulsive A family-friendly demonstration of superconductors in action. Fran explores the low temperatures we need to make them work, and how we can use superconductors for levitating trains. Fran Kirschner 25 Oct 2017
51 Cassini-Huygens: Space Odyssey to Saturn and Titan Public Lecture organised by the Aeronautical Society of Oxford in conjunction with the Department of Physics. David Southwood 18 Oct 2017
52 Observation of the mergers of binary black holes: The opening of gravitational wave astronomy The 2017 Halley Lecture 7th June 2017 delivered by Professor Rainer Weiss, MIT on behalf of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Rainer Weiss 27 Jun 2017
53 Ghost Imaging with Quantum Light Physics Colloquium 26th May 2017 delivered by Professor Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow Miles Padgett 27 Jun 2017
54 Pulsars and Extreme Physics - A 50th Anniversary Physics Colloquium 5th May 2017 delivered by Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell Jocelyn Bell Burnell 27 Jun 2017
55 Starquakes Expose Stellar Heartbeats The 14th Hintze Biannual Lecture 4th May 2017 delivered by Professor Conny Aerts - Director, Institute of Astronomy KU Leuven Connie Aerts 27 Jun 2017
56 Exploring the very early universe with gravitational waves John March-Russell gives a talk about gravitational wave signals of stringy physics, a ‘soundscape’ connected to the landscape of string vacua. John March-Russell 10 May 2017
57 The birth of gravitational wave astronomy Subir Sarkar reviews the detection of the ‘chirrup’ signal from a pair of merging massive black holes by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, as well as subsequent experimental developments. Subir Sarkar 10 May 2017
58 From action at a distance to gravitational waves James Binney gives a talk about the mathematics that describe Gravitational waves. James Binney 10 May 2017
59 Curiosity’s Search for Ancient Habitable Environments at Gale Crater, Mars 4th Annual Lobanov-Rostovsky Lecture in Planetary Geology delivered by Professor John Grotzinger, Caltech, USA John Grotzinger 27 Apr 2017
60 Spatio-temporal Optical Vortices Physics Colloquium 10th March 2017 delivered by Professor Howard Milchberg, University of Maryland, USA Howard Milchberg 27 Apr 2017
61 Learning new physics from a medieval thinker: Big Bangs and Rainbows Physics Colloquium 24 February 2017 delivered by Professor Tom McLeish FRS, Department of Physics and Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Durham University, UK Tom McLeish 27 Apr 2017
62 The applied side of Bell nonlocality Physics Colloquium 17 February 2016 delivered by Professor Valerio Scarani Valerio Scarani 27 Apr 2017
63 The Beauty of Flavour - Latest results from the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider Physics Colloquium 3 February 2017 delivered by Professor Val Gibson, Cambridge Val Gibson 05 Apr 2017
64 From Materials to Cosmology: Studying the early universe under the microscope Physics Colloquium 27 January 2017 delivered by Professor Nicola Spaldin, ETH Zurich Nicola Spaldin 05 Apr 2017
65 The New Era in Observational Cosmology In the fourth part of their discussion, Pedro Ferreira and Jerome Martin conjecture about the future of inflation. They talk about the potential for new evidence for and against the theory, and the variety of new probes into our cosmological environment. Pedro Ferreira, Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
66 When is a theory good enough? In the third part of their discussion, Pedro Ferreira and Jerome Martin talk about whether one should look for a deeper physical theory when one’s current theory is well-supported by observation. Pedro Ferreira, Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
67 Can we measure naturalness? In the second part of their discussion, Pedro Ferreira and Jerome Martin consider ways to build the naturalness of an inflationary model into our expectations for observing it. Pedro Ferreira, Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
68 An Encyclopedia of Inflation In the first part of their discussion, Pedro Ferreira and Jerome Martin talk about the variety of inflationary models. They discuss methods for distinguishing between them based on evidence and describe the application of Bayesian statistics to inflation. Pedro Ferreira, Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
69 Inflation in the Future What should we expect to learn in the future? In the fourth part of their chat, Dave Sloan and Robert Brandenberger talk about how we expect inflationary theory to develop, and how observations may lead to new physics in this area. David Sloan, Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
70 Strings, Inflation, and Alternatives In the third part of their discussion, Dave Sloan and Robert Brandenberger explain the relationship between string theory and inflationary models. Can inflation arise from particle physics, or do we need to look for alternative models? David Sloan, Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
71 Inflation Predicts In the second part of their discussion, Dave Sloan and Robert Brandenberger tell us what inflation predicts and whether inflation itself seems fine-tuned. This discussion was conducted at the University of Oxford on March 14, 2017. David Sloan, Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
72 Evidence For Inflation In the first part of their discussion, Dave Sloan and Robert Brandenberger go over our evidence for inflationary theories and discuss how inflationary models improve on the hot big bang. David Sloan, Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
73 Panel on Inflation Professor Joe Silk talks with Professor Robert Brandenberger, Professor Jerome Martin, and Dr. Dave Sloan about the current state of research and controversies surrounding inflation. Joe Silk, Robert Brandenberger, Jerome Martin, David Sloan 04 Apr 2017
74 Does Inflationary Cosmology Solve Fine-Tuning Problems? Professor Robert Brandenberger (McGill) argues that inflationary models still face considerable challenges. Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
75 Inflationary Attractors Dr David Sloan (Oxford) discusses the for inflation to occur given typical initial conditions. He argues that, on the right understanding of the background dynamics of the universe, inflationary conditions dominate. David Sloan 04 Apr 2017
76 Inflation After Planck Professor Jerome Martin (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris) explains the current state of evidence for inflationary models. Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
77 Redder is better! Exploring the universe with the successor to Hubble Rebecca Bowler, University of Oxford give a talk about the successor to the Hubble telescope - The James Webb Space Telescope - which will detect infrared radiation. Rebecca Bowler 28 Mar 2017
78 Creative Commons On the trail of the most energetic particles in the universe Rafael Alves Batista, University of Oxford, gives a talk about cosmic rays. Rafael Alves Batista 28 Mar 2017
79 Advanced LIGO: The Era of Gravitational Wave Astronomy Dr Philipp Podsiadlowski, University of Oxford gives a talk about gravitational waves in light of the recent detections by the LIGO detector. Philipp Podsiadlowski 28 Mar 2017
80 Things that go bump in the night: Exploding stars and black holes Professor Rob Fender, University of Oxford talks through some observations of black holes. Rob Fender 28 Mar 2017
81 The Future of Particle Physics Panel Discussion Panel discussion with Prof John Womersley (STFC), Prof John Wheater (Department of Physics), Prof Ian Shipsey (Particle Physics), Prof Dave Wark (Particle Physics), Prof Daniella Bortoletto (Physics) and Prof Subir Sarkar (Particle Theory Group) John Womersley, John Wheater, Ian Shipsey, Dave Wark 07 Mar 2017
82 The Future of Particle Physics: The Particle Physics Christmas Lecture Professor John Womersley (STFC) gives the Particle Physics Christmas Lecture. John Womersley 07 Mar 2017
83 Kilometres: Turbulence - Morning of Theroetical Physics Fasten Your Seat Belts: Turbulent Flows in Nature. Turbulence is ubiquitous in nature, and it often causes us headaches both literal and metaphorical. Michael Barnes 28 Feb 2017
84 Microns: The bacterial viewpoint - Morning of Theroetical Physics Ramin Golestanian will introduce you to Life at Low Reynolds number and ask how microorganisms can swim, navigate, and coordinate their activities. Ramin Golestanian 28 Feb 2017
85 Centimetres: Fluids all around us - Morning of Theroetical Physics Julia Yeomans will talk about fluids and flows all around us: from superhydrophobic surfaces and how animals and plants keep dry, to bouncing droplets and balloons. Julia Yeomans 28 Feb 2017
86 The Observer Strikes Back What is an observer? In the fifth and final part of their discussion, Jim Hartle and Bernard Carr discuss the nature of observers. Jim Hartle, Bernard Carr 06 Dec 2016
87 No Boundaries for Quantum Cosmology Where is the observer in the universe? In the fourth part of their discussion, Jim Hartle and Bernard Carr discuss Jim Hartle’s no-boundary proposal. Bernard Carr, Jim Hartle 06 Dec 2016
88 Physics and Philosophy What are the limits of physics? In the third part of their discussion, Bernard Carr and Jim Hartle talk about the point at which physics ends and philosophy begins. Bernard Carr, Jim Hartle 06 Dec 2016
89 The Quantum and Cosmological Scales How do we combine our theory of the very small with our theory of the largest scales of the universe? In the second part of their discussion, Jim Hartle and Bernard Carr hash out the connections between cosmology and quantum mechanics. Jim Hartle, Bernard Carr 06 Dec 2016
90 What Fine Tunings Are There? Is the universe fine-tuned for life? In the first part of their discussion, Bernard Carr and Jim Hartle discuss how physical theories might contain unexplained assumptions that are necessary for the existence of life. Bernard Carr, Jim Hartle 06 Dec 2016
91 Astronomy at the Highest Energies: Exploring the Extreme Universe with Gamma Rays Physics Colloquium 25 November 2016 delivered by Dr Jamie Holder Jamie Holder 30 Nov 2016
92 Exotic combinations of quarks - A journey of fifty years Physics Colloquium 11 November 2016 delivered by Professor Jon Rosner Jon Rosner 17 Nov 2016
93 Our Simple but Strange Universe The 13th Hintze Biannual Lecture delivered by Professor David Spergel David Spergel 17 Nov 2016
94 Topology and the Classification of Matter: New Physics Hidden in Plain Sight Third lecture "More is different" - how states of matter emerge from quantum theory Saturday morning of Theoretical Physics. With Professor Steve Simon, introduction by Professor John WheelerThird Steve Simon 01 Nov 2016
95 Magnets, superfluids and superconductors Second lecture "More is different" - how states of matter emerge from quantum theory Saturday morning of Theoretical Physics. With Professor Fabian Essler, introduction by Professor John Wheeler. Fabian Essler 01 Nov 2016
96 Identical particles: from one to many First lecture in the "More is different" - how states of matter emerge from quantum theory Saturday morning of Theoretical Physics. With Professor John Chalker, introduction by Professor John Wheeler. John Chalker 01 Nov 2016
97 Searching for - and finding! Gravitational Waves Physics Colloquium 27th October 2016 delivered by Professor Gabriela Gonzalez Gabriela Gonzalez 01 Nov 2016
98 Visualizing Quantum Matter Physics Colloquium 28 October 2016 delivered by Professor Séamus Davis Séamus Davis 01 Nov 2016
99 Atmospheric Circulation and Climate Change Physics Colloquium 21st October 2016 delivered by Professor Theodore (Ted) Shepherd Theodore (Ted) Shepherd 01 Nov 2016
100 Creative Commons The explosion mechanism of massive stars Physics Colloquium 14th October 2016 delivered by Professor Thierry Foglizzo Thierry Foglizzo 27 Oct 2016