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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

Astrophysics: An Introduction
Department of Physics
Lab, Camera, Action!
Oxford Physics Alumni
Oxford Physics Public Lectures
Particle Physics (Alan Barr)
Physics and Philosophy: Arguments, Experiments and a Few Things in Between
Physics Flash Talks
Reduced Density Matrices in Quantum Physics and Role of Fermionic Exchange Symmetry
The Oxford Solid State Basics
The Physics of Fine-Tuning
Theoretical Physics - From Outer Space to Plasma
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Networked Quantum Information Technologies This talk reviews the developments in quantum information processing. Dominic O'Brien 06 Jul 2018
2 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
3 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
4 “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
5 Quantum Systems from Group up This talk reviews the modern formulation of the basic ideas of quantum mechanics. James Binney 06 Jul 2018
6 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
7 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
8 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
9 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
10 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
11 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
12 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
13 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
14 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
15 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
16 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
17 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
18 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
19 The Big Bang and a Multiverse Darsh Kodwani gives a short talk on The Big bang and a multiverse. Darsh Kodwani 21 Feb 2018
20 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
21 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
22 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
23 Weighing Black Holes Oxford astrophysicist Martin Bureau gives a talk on black holes. Martin Bureau 21 Feb 2018
24 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
25 Merging Galaxies: Making the Biggest Mess! Nathan Adams presents a short talk on merging galaxies. Natham Adams 21 Feb 2018
26 Galaxy Dynamics: The chemical evolution side Dr Ralph Schoenrich will talk about the chemical evolution side Ralph Schoenrich 25 Jan 2018
27 Galaxy Dynamics: The dynamics of galaxy discs Dr John Magorrian will talk about the dynamics of galaxy discs John Magorrian 25 Jan 2018
28 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
29 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
30 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
31 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
32 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
33 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
34 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
35 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
36 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
37 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
38 Ghost Imaging with Quantum Light Physics Colloquium 26th May 2017 delivered by Professor Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow Miles Padgett 27 Jun 2017
39 Pulsars & Extreme Physics - A 50th Anniversary Physics Colloquium 5th May 2017 delivered by Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell Jocelyn Bell Burnell 27 Jun 2017
40 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
41 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
42 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
43 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
44 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
45 Spatio-temporal Optical Vortices Physics Colloquium 10th March 2017 delivered by Professor Howard Milchberg, University of Maryland, USA Howard Milchberg 27 Apr 2017
46 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
47 The applied side of Bell nonlocality Physics Colloquium 17 February 2016 delivered by Professor Valerio Scarani Valerio Scarani 27 Apr 2017
48 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
49 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
50 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
51 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
52 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
53 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
54 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
55 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
56 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
57 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
58 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
59 Does Inflationary Cosmology Solve Fine-Tuning Problems? Professor Robert Brandenberger (McGill) argues that inflationary models still face considerable challenges. Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
60 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
61 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
62 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
63 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
64 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
65 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
66 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
67 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
68 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
69 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
70 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
71 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
72 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
73 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
74 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
75 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
76 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
77 Exotic combinations of quarks - A journey of fifty years Physics Colloquium 11 November 2016 delivered by Professor Jon Rosner Jon Rosner 17 Nov 2016
78 Our Simple but Strange Universe The 13th Hintze Biannual Lecture delivered by Professor David Spergel David Spergel 17 Nov 2016
79 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
80 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
81 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
82 Searching for - and finding! Gravitational Waves Physics Colloquium 27th October 2016 delivered by Professor Gabriela Gonzalez Gabriela Gonzalez 01 Nov 2016
83 Visualizing Quantum Matter Physics Colloquium 28 October 2016 delivered by Professor Séamus Davis Séamus Davis 01 Nov 2016
84 Atmospheric Circulation and Climate Change Physics Colloquium 21st October 2016 delivered by Professor Theodore (Ted) Shepherd Theodore (Ted) Shepherd 01 Nov 2016
85 Creative Commons The explosion mechanism of massive stars Physics Colloquium 14th October 2016 delivered by Professor Thierry Foglizzo Thierry Foglizzo 27 Oct 2016
86 DMRG in Quantum Chemistry: From its relation to traditional methods to n-orbital density matrices and beyond In my talk I will attempt to provide an overview on the application of the density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) algorithm in quantum chemistry. Markus Reiher 21 Oct 2016
87 (Almost) 25 Years of DMRG - What Is It About? In this talk, I will introduce DMRG both from the historical (statistical) and modern (matrix product state) perspective, highlighting why it has become the method of choice for one-dimensional quantum systems in and out of equilibrium. Ulrich Schollwöck 21 Oct 2016
88 Openness of a Many-fermion Quantum System from the Generalized Pauli Principle Information about the interaction of a many-electron quantum system with its environment is encoded within the one-electron density matrix (1-RDM). Romit Chakraborty 21 Oct 2016
89 Generalized Pauli Constraints in Reduced Density Matrix Functional Theory Reduced Density Matrix Functional Theory is a method that relies on the 1-1 correspondence between the ground state wavefunction of many electron systems and the first order reduced density matrix(1RDM) and uses the second one as its fundamental valuable. Iris Theophilou 21 Oct 2016
90 Quasipinning and Extended Hartree-Fock Method based on Generalized Pauli Constraints It is now known that fermionic natural occupation numbers (NON) do not only obey Pauli’s exclusion principle but are even stronger restricted by the so-called generalized Pauli constraints (GPC). Carlos Benavides-Riveros 21 Oct 2016
91 Fermionic Exchange Symmetry: Quantifying its Influence beyond Pauli’s Exclusion Principle The Pauli exclusion principle has a strong impact on the properties and the behavior of most fermionic quantum systems. Remarkably, even stronger restrictions on fermionic natural occupation numbers follow from the fermionic exchange symmetry. Felix Tennie 21 Oct 2016
92 Pinning of Fermionic Occupation Numbers The Pauli exclusion principle is a constraint on the natural occupation numbers of fermionic states. Matthias Christandl 21 Oct 2016
93 Calculation Of Generalized Pauli Constraints In the talk I am planning to explain two different solutions of N-representability problem and then give the algorithm to calculate GPCs. Murat Altunbulak 21 Oct 2016
94 Quantum Marginal Problem and Generalized Pauli Constraints I will give an introduction to the univariate quantum marginal problem using an elementary mathematical point of view. In particular, I will explain how extremality of the local spectrum carries structural information about the global wave function. David Gross 21 Oct 2016
95 Derivation of the time-dependent Hartree(-Fock)-equation In the talk I will present recent progress in proving closeness of the microscopic and effective description for systems of many fermions. Peter Pickl 21 Oct 2016
96 Physical Meaning of Natural Orbitals and Natural Occupation Numbers We show that the success of reduced density-matrix functional theory in describing molecular dissociation lies in the flexibility provided by fractional occupation numbers while the role of the natural orbitals is minor. Nicole Helbig 21 Oct 2016
97 Introduction and Overview of the Reduced Density Matrix Functional Theory In this presentation, we review the theoretical foundations of RDMFT the most successful approximations and extensions, we assess present-day functionals on applications to molecular and periodic systems and we discuss the challenges and future prospect Nektarios N. Lathiotakis 21 Oct 2016
98 Dark Matter, Fine-Tuned What surprising features of our theories cry out for explanation? Rocky Kolb and Rafael Alves Batista consider features of our theories that look unlikely or unnatural, and what our chances are for building a unified theory that explains them. Rocky Kolb, Rafael Alves Batista 12 Oct 2016
99 Why Now? We’re at a particularly interesting time in the evolution of the universe. Rafael Alves Batista and Rocky Kolb chat about the interesting features of our time, and why we should--or should not--expect to be living now. Rocky Kolb, Rafael Alves Batista 12 Oct 2016
100 Dark Matter Particles What sort of things could dark matter be, and how would we tell which it is? Rafael Alves Batista and Rocky Kolb review the main candidate dark matter particles, and consider our chances for telling which one is out there. Rocky Kolb, Rafael Alves Batista 12 Oct 2016