Second-Year Physics Students Return to In-Person Lab Practicals

Posted in Teaching on March 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Second-year physical science students return to in-person practicals today, after being informed in an email from College on Friday that laboratory practicals ‘are going ahead’. The labs will now be an hour and 45 minutes long as opposed to the original three hours. First year labs remain entirely online …” (more)

[Jody Druce, University Times, 22 March]

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UCC’s Séamus Davis wins international prize for work in quantum physics

Posted in Research on July 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Prof Séamus Davis has been awarded an international prize for his contributions to quantum physics. The Olli V Lounasmaa Memorial Prize for 2020 was awarded to the UCC-based scientist for his pioneering research into visualising electronic quantum matter at the atomic scale …” (more)

[Anthony King, Irish Times, 9 July]

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Science and teaching

Posted in Research on February 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Dr Yvonne Kavanagh of the Institute of Physics Ireland (‘Time to focus on science and research’, Letters, February 5th) rightly asserts that in order to put science and innovation at the forefront of our national development, it is imperative to ensure that every second-level student has access to a specialist physics teacher …” (more)

[Tom Morris, Irish Times, 6 February]

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Time for focus on science and research

Posted in Research on February 5th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir,– As we approach the formation of a new government of Ireland, in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s departure from the EU, it is imperative that the next government pursues policies to support and develop Ireland’s physics and wider science community …” (more)

[Yvonne Kavanagh, Irish Times, 5 February]

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Upcoming conference in Ireland on the history of physics

Posted in Research on November 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Just a quick post to highlight the fact that December 15th marks the deadline for submission of abstracts for the 4th International Conference on the History of Physics. The meeting marks the fourth in a biennial series of conferences that aims to bring together historians of science and physicists with an interest in the history of their subject and will take place at Trinity College Dublin on June 17th-19th …” (more)

[Cormac O’ Raifeartaigh, Antimatter, 13 November]

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New Dublin Metro Line Could Disrupt Trinity’s Physics Research

Posted in Governance and administration on September 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Work on a new Dublin new metro line planned to run under Trinity’s School of Physics could disrupt research taking place in the building, according to the school’s manager. Metrolink, which will link Dublin Airport to the city centre, was originally meant to run underneath the College’s Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), but the proposed route has since been altered and it is now set to lie beneath the Fitzgerald Building …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 4 September]

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Do women in physics get fewer citations than men?

Posted in Research on November 30th, 2018 by steve

“Yesterday, I gave a seminar about the results of a little side-project that I did with two collaborators, Tobias Mistele and Tom Price. We analyzed publication data in some sub-disciplines of physics and looked for differences in citations to papers with male and female authors. This was to follow-up on the previously noted discrepancy …” (more)

[Sabine Hossenfelder, BackReaction, 30 November]

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Physics Has an Obvious Gender Problem – So How Does Someone End Up Thinking the Field is Biased Against Men?

Posted in Research on November 29th, 2018 by steve

“Few pursue a career in physics expecting it to be a smooth ride; the subject is notoriously challenging, the playing field competitive. For women, though, the road can be downright treacherous. Feelings of not belonging or imposter syndrome, rampant among physics students at the best of times, are compounded by the frequent lack of female faculty members …” (more)

[Eleanor Hook, Physics Central, 28 November]

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Only six graduates in training to be physics teachers

Posted in Teaching on November 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“As few as six graduates are in training to be physics teachers in secondary schools, new figures indicate. The shortage of qualified teachers threatens to undermine Government plans to make Ireland the best in Europe in so-called Stem subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – within a decade …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 November]

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What Graduate School in Theoretical Physics is Really Like

Posted in Research on December 30th, 2016 by steve

“I’m about to head off for a short New Year’s vacation in West Texas, but wanted to recommend a wonderful article that just appeared at Nautilus. It’s a memoir by Bob Henderson (who I met when he wrote about me, see here), appearing under the title What Does Any of This Have To Do with Physics? (although the title of the web-page, What Graduate School in Theoretical Physics is Really Like, is more descriptive) …” (more)

[Peter Woit, Not Even Wrong, 29 December]


An Open Letter to the Times Higher World University Rankers

Posted in Research on October 6th, 2015 by steve

UK“Dear Rankers, Having perused your latest set of league tables along with the published methodology, a couple of things puzzle me. First, I note that you have made significant changes to your methodology for combining metrics this year. How, then can you justify making statements such as ‘US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game’ …” (more)

[In the Dark, 5 October]

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US and European Scientists Sign Cooperation Pact

Posted in Research on May 8th, 2015 by steve

International“Laying the groundwork for what they said would be a new era of scientific cooperation, leaders of European and American particle physics initiatives signed an agreement at a White House ceremony on Thursday to share the spoils of their research in the coming decades …” (more)

[Dennis Overbye, New York Times, 7 May]

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A day out (and a solar eclipse) at Maynooth University

Posted in Research on March 22nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“I had a most enjoyable day on Friday at the physics department of Maynooth University, or NUI Maynooth, to give it its proper title. I was there to attend an international masterclass in particle physics …” (more)

[Antimatter, 21 March]

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Trinity scientist honoured by European Commission for raising public awareness around importance of physics

Posted in Governance and administration on November 18th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin scientist Dr Shane Bergin has today been awarded the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) achievement award for his ‘contribution to communicating science in a fun and attractive way and mentoring the next generation in science’ …” (more)

[Grainne Rothery, Business and Leadership, 18 November]

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Case for Irish Membership of CERN

Posted in Research on June 13th, 2014 by steve

“CERN is the pre-eminent scientific laboratory in the world. Membership would underline Ireland’s commitment to science and deliver significant benefits to the nation …” (more, download)

[Institute of Physics in Ireland, 12 June]

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Juno initiative seeks to encourage women in university physics

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 11th, 2014 by steve

“Physics departments at three Irish universities are engaging with the Juno initiative, which looks to encourage women in physics …” (more)

[Claire O’Connell, Silicon Republic, 11 April]

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Open meeting re Irish membership of CERN

Posted in Research on February 28th, 2014 by steve

“The Institute of Physics in Ireland would like to invite members of the physics community to a meeting in the Royal Irish Academy to discuss a response to the recent announcement by Minister Sean Sherlock of a review of Ireland’s international engagement on research and innovation, with particular attention to the costs and benefits of joining CERN …” (more)

[Institute of Physics in Ireland, 28 February]

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Ireland ‘risks lagging behind’ by not having CERN membership

Posted in Research on January 20th, 2014 by steve

“An Irish MEP is hoping to meet with Government about Ireland becoming a member of CERN. Sean Kelly MEP said that the move could make Ireland a global hub for young scientists and leading innovators …” (more)

[, 20 January]

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Why physics students are optimists

Posted in Research on November 1st, 2013 by steve

“Physics students are taught to look to the future, so are naturally optimistic; economics students learn from mistakes of the past – no wonder their world is full of gloom …” (more)

[Theo Hobson, Guardian, 1 November]

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Giant experiments closed to Irish science

Posted in Research on October 31st, 2013 by steve

“Perhaps it is time to rethink Ireland’s participation in international scientific organisations. There was a lot of quiet satisfaction in the world of physics this month with the award of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics to theoretical physicists Peter Higgs and François Englert …” (more)

[Cormac O Raifeartaigh, Irish Times, 31 October]

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