Early Modern Gadgeteering: The Work of Robert Hooke

A look at the work of seventeenth century gadgeteer Robert Hooke.


Science Communication with My Little Pony Fan Fiction

Despite enduring a certain stigma, fan fiction is a totally legitimate form of culture and a powerful tool to engage with a young audience about science. Here I explain how I have used cartoon ponies as a springboard to talk about everything from the physics of rainbows to nuclear reactors.

How to select the best physics students

Selecting the best candidates for an oversubscribed course is not easy. Here’s how we do it for Oxford physics.


Darkest Abruzzo

The search for particle dark matter involves many challenges. During my time working on such an experiment at the Gran Sasso laboratory, I had to run a helium liquefaction plant and maintain a super-clean environment deep underground, as well as endure daily battles with Italian bureaucracy and teams of builders.


Dark Matter Detectors and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials

Fifteen years ago, I was a postgraduate physics student at Oxford, working on a dark matter search experiment, when I first read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Material’s trilogy. It was quite a thrill when I reached the part where Lyra walks into our lab to learn what it is, and how we search for it. Here is my perspective on that scene in this epic fantasy.


Picturing Particles with Silicon Detectors

Silicon – the favourite element of the electronics industry – also has an important role in particle detectors allowing us to pin down the tracks of the hundreds of particles produced by collisions at the large hadron collider. As planned upgrades of experiments will need detectors with even better resolution and durability, we are investigating various ideas for new silicon detector technology.


Passionately Curious about Particle Physics

Behind the scenes at the Curiosity Carnival particle physics stall.