News and events

News items and events relating to the School of Physics and Astronomy.

See also our Talks and Seminars page.


NASA Kepler Mission discovers unusually close rocky and gaseous planets around distant solar-type star

News item about the dicovery of two new planets circling a Sun-like star. The planets are unusual in that one is a small, rocky planet, the other is large and gaseous, and they are unusually close together.

Higgs Update: It's a boson!

Researchers from the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider in which University of Birmingham physicists play key roles, have today (4th July 2012) confirmed that they have observed a new particle consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson. These results mark a significant breakthrough in our understanding of the fundamental laws that govern the Universe.

A long-term national commitment to nuclear power is needed by government, a University of Birmingham Policy Commission report warns

A report out today (2 July) from the University of Birmingham's Policy Commission on nuclear power gives strong warnings to government about a 'sense of drift' in UK energy policy and suggests recommendations for a 'roadmap' which it says is critical to the future of the nuclear option.

Musical stars help scientists search for new life

The BBC reports how Prof. Bill Chaplin and colleagues in the School of Physics and Astronomy are using asteroseismology – the study of the oscillations of stars – to study new exoplanetary systems discovered by the NASA Kepler Mission.

"Ordinary" black hole discovered

Researchers from the University of Birmingham have led an international team of astronomers to discover evidence for the existence of a 'garden variety' black hole in the 12 million light year-distant galaxy Centaurus A.

Predictor Podcasts from Professors Freer and Chaplin

Two recent editions of the University's Ideas Lab Predictor Podcast have highlighted the work of professors in the School of Physics and Astronomy - Professor Bill Chaplin on asteroseismology and Professor Martin Freer onthe future of nuclear power.

"Ordinary" black hole discovered 12 million light years away

Scientists from the University of Birmingham have led an international team of astronomers to discover evidence for the existence of an ordinary black hole in the Centaurus A galaxy, which is over 12 million light years away. According to the research, which is published in the April issue of the Astrophysical Journal, this is the first time that a "garden variety" black hole has been detected outside the immediate neighbourhood of our galaxy.

Kepler's surprise: The sounds of the stars

Data from NASA's Kepler space telescope have revolutionized the search for planets outside the Solar System — and are now doing the same for asteroseismology, with researchers from the School of Physics and Astronomy leading the way.
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