Hilary 2016


Hilary Termcard


WEEK 1: THURSDAY 21st JANUARY – Jocelyn Bell Burnell:  ‘What Pulsars do to (and for) Physics’
8:15 pm, Martin Wood Lecture Theatre

ABSTRACT: ‘Pulsars (pulsating radio sources) have large magnetic fields, large electric fields, density comparable to the nucleus of the atom and relativistic speeds, all at the same time!
In this talk I will discuss some extremely condensed matter and how pulsars test Einstein’s General Relativity.’

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, DBE, FRS, PRSE, FRAS is an leading astrophysicist, best known for discovering the first pulsars. She is currently president of The Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has been president of the Royal Astronomical Society and president of the Institute of Physics. She has recieved numerous awards for her work, including the Royal Medal of the Royal Society, and her omission from the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics is still a controversial point.


WEEK 2: THURSDAY 28TH JANUARY – Julia Yeomans: ‘Nature’s Engines: Powering Life’
8:15 pm, Martin Wood Lecture Theatre

ABSTRACT: ‘Active materials, such as microorganisms, cells and molecular motors, continuously transform chemical to mechanical energy. In the past few years there has been a surge of interest in understanding motion at a microscopic level, and the properties of active matter. This is made possible by recent advances in imaging, computational power and nanotechnology, and is driven by the aim of designing biomimetic micro- and nano-machines. On a more fundamental level, active matter is meant to exist out of equilibrium, and hence provides a testing ground for the theories of complexity and non-equilibrium statistical physics.’

Professor Julia Yeomans, FRS, FInstP is a theoretical physicist working on some really interesting problems in soft condensed matter and biological physics. Particularly, bacterial swimmers, superhydrophobic surfaces, liquid crystal colloids, and active systems. But more than that, she is one of the undergrad community’s favourite lecturers! So I doubt I need to do much pushing to convince you to come and hear this great speaker tell us about some of her own, fascinating, research.


WEEK 3: THURSDAY 4TH FEBRUARY –  Neil Bowles : ‘Oxford Physics – Exploring the Moon and asteroids’

Abstract: “In September 2016 NASA will launch the OSRIS-REx mission to potentially hazardous near Earth asteroid Bennu with aim of returning a pristine sample of its surface to Earth in 2022.  Asteroid Bennu is believed to be a very primitive object and analysis of the returned sample will hopefully provide detailed information on the conditions that were present early in the Solar System’s formation, including how volatile and organic material were distributed and potentially delivered to Earth.  Oxford Physics has been involved in the mission for the last 5 years, helping with laboratory measurements to help pick sample sites and understand the composition of Benn.  This will then help us to understand how the returned sample fits into the Bennu as whole and how it compares to other, similar objects we observe throughout the Solar System. All this builds on studies of the Earth’s Moon that we have been involved with through NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
In this talk I will discuss these missions to the Moon and Bennu, give details of the science we are trying to achieve and explain how a bunch of Oxford atmospheric physicists got interested in space rocks in the first place!”


7:00 pm, Hertford College

This Hilary term we are hosting our first ever black tie dinner (since records began) – we are hiring out Hertford College Hall for the night, and providing you with a 3 course meal, wine, and entertainment. Click here for photos. 


Week 5: THURSDAY 18th FEBRUARY – We’ll be hosting FLASH TALKS!

Flash Talks, one of our most popular events, has returned! We have four speakers lined up for you:
Ching Chong – Introduction to Matrix Lie Groups – or, where do commutators come from?Guillermo Valle – Self Assembly
Nora Martin – Self organised criticality in traffic models
Carlo Scala – Beyond Quantum Theory: A tale of information and thermodynamics



This legendary stuff only comes about every two years. We’re really privildged to have a great panel of physicists from a host of different backgrounds and with different experiences share their outlook on a career in physics academia.



US election? EU referendum? Why is everyone talking about these with something so much more important coming up – Oxford University Physics Society’s Elections and Annual General Meeting!
This is the most important event of the year for the society, and we’re asking anyone who has enjoyed what we’ve done this year to come along and hear from those running, and vote on the new committee, to make sure OUPS keeps going strong next year. I also encourage anyone tempted to run for committee to go for it! It’s great fun – you’ll meet loads of new people from different years and even subjects, and get to go to dinner with the speakers, which is amazing. It’s never too stressful, always rewarding, and will look great on your CV!
The positions up for grabs are:
• President – dmitry.manning-coe@magd.ox.ac.uk
• Treasurer – nicolas.shiaelis@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk
• Secretrary – brian.khor@univ.ox.ac.uk
• Social Secretary – robert.parkin-obrien@hertford.ox.ac.uk
• Website Officer – nora.martin@st-annes.ox.ac.uk
• Publicity Rep – adam.oconnell@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk
• Extra-Curricular Studies Rep – daniel.martin@hertford.ox.ac.uk
• Media Officer – adam.oconnell@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk
If you are thinking of running, feel free to get in contact with the committee as listed above, or oups.committee@gmail.com for general enquiries.
WHEN? 8:30PM Friday 26th February (6th Week)
WHERE? Martin Wood, Clarendon Building, University of Oxford Physics
There will be plenty of refreshments on offer as always :)

WEEK 7: A top secret suprise event


RESCHEDULED: JANE STREET HACKATHON! The ever friendly and exciting Jane Street will be hosting a Hackathon on the 30th Janruary! Jane Street will give you and your team access to some of their cloud computing and help you build your own financial instrument! There will be unlimited food of a high quality throughout the day, and it is one of the most stimulating and fun competitions of the year. Usually highly oversubscribed so sign up quickly at http ://goo . gl/forms/sMxQcw8fgA.


Talks are generally on Thursdays at 8:15PM in the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre.£10 Life membership, £4 per talk for non-members.

We are proudly sponsored by Metaswitch Networks and Jane Street.