THE BLACK HOLE INFORMATION PARADOX, AND ITS RESOLUTION IN STRING THEORY

Abstract : Some 40 years ago Hawking found a remarkable contradiction: if we accept the standard behavior of gravity in regions of low curvature, then the evolution of black holes will violate quantum mechanics. Resolving this paradox would require a basic change in our understanding of spacetime and/or quantum theory. In recent years the paradox has found an interesting resolution through string theory. While quantum gravity is normally expected to be important only at distances of order planck length, the situation changes when a large number N of particles are involved, as for instance in the situation where we make a large black hole. Then the length scale of quantum gravity effects grows with N, altering the black hole structure to a "fuzzball"; this effect resolves the paradox.

Speaker : Prof. Samir Mathur, Ohio State University. 

Astrophysics in Antarctica - Extreme Environment for Extreme Discoveries

Astrophysics in Antarctica - Extreme Environment for Extreme Discoveries

Antarctica has always been a fascinating place for us. Especially as the extreme environment of Antarctica is suitable for extreme science, such as neutrino and cosmic microwave background measurements. Queen Mary are hosting leading scientists from the UK who are working on astrophysics research on Antarctica. They will share their stories of extraordinary science and extraordinary discoveries!

National Student Survey Results 2014

Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London is ranked joint 1st in London with an overall student satisfaction rate of 94 per cent, according to the latest results of a nationwide poll of final-year undergraduates.

The 2014 National Student Survey (NSS) questioned UK undergraduates on various aspects of their student experience, including their overall satisfaction.

Students on the BSc Physics programme expressed a satisfaction rate of 100% with their overall experience of physics at Queen Mary with a 90% satisfaction score for teaching.  Our students are amongst the most satisfied in the Russell Group with satisfaction rates in the top quartile for all physics programmes. 

Saturn’s rings reveal how to make a moon

Writing in the journal Icarus this week, Professor Carl Murray from Queen Mary’s Astronomy Unit reports that recently discovered disturbances at the very edge of Saturn's outer bright A ring result from a small icy object that formed within the ring and which may be in the process of migrating out of it. They have nicknamed the object, ‘Peggy’.

"We hadn't seen anything like this before," explained Professor Murray. "We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is just leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right," he said.

Saturn's rings are a small-scale version of discs of ice and dust that surround young stars. One reason for high interest in how moons form in Saturn's rings is insight into how Earth and other planets may have formed and migrated within a disc around our star, the sun.

SPA Colloquium : Showbiz Physics

Alix Pryde

Abstract : You've heard of Medical Physics, Geophysics, Astrophysics... but have you ever thought about the vital role physics plays in showbiz? Alix Pryde is the BBC's Director of Distribution. She also has a PhD in solid state physics, completed under the supervision of QML's Professor Martin Dove. She'll talk about her career journey from crystals to crystal sets and their modern equivalents. And as a working mother of two, she'll also share her thoughts on balancing career and family.

Speaker: Alix Pryde

Venue: Friday March 7, 4.00 p.m : David Sizer Lecture Theatre.

Reception : The talk will be followed by drinks and snacks. All members of QML (faculty, students, staff) are invited. 

The National Student Survey

The National Student Survey

The National Student Survey 2014 (NSS), of final year undergraduate students, officially opens at QM on Monday 13 January 2014 and closes on Wednesday 30 April 2014. The NSS website goes live on Monday 13 January, where students can complete the survey online: www.thestudentsurvey.com. Students cannot complete the survey prior to Monday 13 January.

The National Student Survey (NSS) is an important survey for QM. It enables prospective students and the wider public to measure our performance against competitors, and provides us with useful data on both our strengths and those areas in need of improvement, informing policy and strategy to improve the student experience.

Physics Outreach draws in the crowds at largest ever Stargazing Live event

BBC's Stargazing Live event at Royal Holloway University of London

Queen Mary stand has 1000 visitors at BBC flagship regional event
 
An estimated 1000 visitors flocked to Queen Mary’s inspirational Lego Universe stand at the BBC’s flagship Stargazing Live, last Thursday.  Members of the public were led through a whistle-stop tour of the early universe by enthusiastic undergraduate Physics Ambassadors with the help of LEGO quarks and electrons, before helping to build a colourful two metre-wide LEGO spiral galaxy.
 
Professors Carl Murray, David Burgess and Richard Nelson were joined by Dr Lucie Green who hosted a discussion on exploring solar systems.  This lively session covered aspects of exploration of our own solar system as well as those on others within our galaxy.  This session was well attended, with an estimated audience of 250 visitors.
 

Junk the Jargon

On Wednesday 27 February, ten PhD students from QM competed in the annual Junk the Jargon competition. Junk the Jargon challenges participants to communicate their research topic in an engaging and fun way to a broad audience - in just three minutes. The winner, Evelina Arushanova, a first-year PhD student from the Particle Physics Research Centre, taught us how the ‘neutrino’ particle is a lot like a spy. For the full story please see http://bit.ly/spyparticle

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