Trinity College experiment succeeds after 69 years

Posted in Research on July 18th, 2013 by steve

“After decades of waiting, physicists at Trinity College have for the first time captured a rare scientific event on camera. 70 years after the experiment was set up, the scientists have videoed pitch dripping from a funnel …” (more, video)

[RTÉ News, 17 July]

Tags: , ,

NUI Galway’s School of Physics recognised for commitment to gender equality

Posted in Governance and administration on July 9th, 2013 by steve

“NUI Galway’s School of Physics has been recognised for its work in promoting equal opportunities in science. The Institute of Physics has become the first university in Ireland to be made a Practitioner under the Institute’s Juno Project …” (more)

[, 9 July]

Tags: , ,

Labs, lectures and luring young people into science

Posted in Life on May 14th, 2013 by steve

“My Education Week: Cormac O Raifeartaigh, lecturer in physics at Waterford Institute of Technology. On Monday morning, I give a talk about our physics degree course to students from secondary schools in Waterford and Kilkenny …” (more)

[Irish Times, 14 May]

Tags: ,

A quantum conference at Castletown House

Posted in Research on May 6th, 2013 by steve

“… As well as the technical talks, the organisers hosted a public talk on the Higgs boson by Peter Higgs. Yes, the man himself! Peter’s visit to Ireland received quite bit of media attention and the talk didn’t disappoint …” (more)

[Antimatter, 6 May]

Tags: ,

Ireland loses a great physicist

Posted in Life on April 22nd, 2013 by steve

“Sad times for physics in Ireland this week with the news that Professor Alex Montwill, Ireland’s best-known particle physicist, has died. Alex was an outstanding particle physicist and the best teacher I ever had …” (more)

[Antimatter, 22 April]

Tags: ,

Book Review: Lives in Science: How Institutions Affect Academic Careers

Posted in Research on April 7th, 2013 by steve

“What can we learn when we study people across the course of their professional lives? Joseph C Hermanowicz asks this question specifically about scientists, and in Lives in Science he tracks fifty-five physicists through different stages of their careers at a variety of universities across the country …” (more)

[Jennifer Miller, Impact of Social Sciences, 7 April]


Number of Female Physics Students Continues to Lag

Posted in Teaching on March 29th, 2013 by steve

“A growing number of schools, districts and countries are attempting to understand the lack of interest in hard sciences among women. Jon Cartwright, writing for The Daily Telegraph, reports that in Britain only about 20% of students taking physics GCSEs are female …” (more)

[Julia Lawrence, Education News, 29 March]

Tags: ,

Back at Cambridge

Posted in Research on March 18th, 2013 by steve

“… The conference, Infinities and Cosmology, is not on theoretical or experimental cosmology, but on the philosophy of cosmology. It forms part of a new Oxford-Cambridge initiative aimed at bringing physicists and philosophers together in order to improve our understanding of the universe and its origins …” (more)

[Antimatter, 18 March]


DCU cites massive swing towards STEM subjects in CAO first preferences

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2013 by steve

“DCU has reported a significant swing in the direction of STEM-based courses in terms of CAO first preference figures. The university said it attracted more than 4,000 first preference applications …” (more, video)

[John Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 9 March]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The two ideas to fix the gender balance that do not make me cringe

Posted in Governance and administration on March 7th, 2013 by steve

“When I was in the penultimate year of high school, at that point where you need to think about universities, all six of the girls in my physics class got a flyer advertising ‘girl days’ at technical universities, during which we could visit and look around without any boys present …” (more)

[Eva Amsen, The Occam’s Typewriter Irregulars, 7 March]

Tags: ,

Why don’t more girls study physics?

Posted in Teaching on December 31st, 2012 by steve

“Despite efforts to get more women into science labs almost half of Britain’s co-ed schools have no female students taking A-level physics. Are sexist attitudes still to blame – or is it a fear of being thought uncool? …” (more)

[Elizabeth Day, The Observer, 30 December]

Tags: ,

Cyril Delaney – An Appreciation

Posted in Life on October 15th, 2012 by steve

“Cyril Francis George Delaney, Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College Dublin and former professor of experimental physics, who died recently aged 87, was an outstandingly talented and inspirational scientist and a highly regarded lecturer to many generations of students …” (more)

[Eric Finch, Irish Times, 15 October]

Tags: , ,

Falling numbers in physics – what do teachers think?

Posted in Teaching on October 6th, 2012 by steve

“A topic that gets quite a frequent airing in our tearoom is the decline in the number of students taking physics. This issue isn’t peculiar to my institution – a quick look at the literature indicates that it’s a global problem. The question is, what can be done about this? …” (more)

[Talking Teaching, 6 October]


Particle physics volunteers to be fleeced …

Posted in Research on September 26th, 2012 by steve

“I heard the news yesterday that a body called the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access in Particle Physics (SCOAPP) has arranged a deal whereby virtually all articles in particle physics will be available for free on journal websites …” (more)

[In the Dark, 26 September]

Tags: ,

Frontiers of Physics 2012 at Trinity College Dublin

Posted in Research, Teaching on September 24th, 2012 by steve

“I spent last weekend at the Frontiers of Physics conference at Trinity College Dublin. This is an annual conference hosted by the Institute of Physics, aimed at establishing links with secondary schools all over the country and bringing physics teachers up to date with the latest developments in physics and physics teaching …” (more)

[Antimatter, 24 September]

Tags: , ,

Open-access deal for particle physics

Posted in Research on September 24th, 2012 by steve

“The entire field of particle physics is set to switch to open-access publishing, a milestone in the push to make research results freely available to readers …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature News & Comment, 24 September]

Tags: ,

Oxford University Press title joins new model for open access publishing

Posted in Research on September 17th, 2012 by steve

“Oxford University Press (OUP) is pleased to announce that Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (PTEP) has been identified for participation in SCOAP³ (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), a new collaborative initiative for open access (OA) publishing in high-energy physics …” (more)

[Oxford University Press, 17 September]

Tags: , ,

Trinity physicist recognised for her world-leading research in nanoscience

Posted in Life on September 17th, 2012 by steve

“A Trinity College Dublin physicist has been awarded the 2012 RDS / Intel Prize Lecture for Nanoscience. Valeria Nicolosi, research professor at the school of physics, received the award in recognition of her world-leading research in nanoscience …” (more)

[Irish Times, 17 September]

Tags: ,

UK shows the way for physics

Posted in Teaching on August 20th, 2012 by steve

“Sir, – As students across the UK receive their A-Level results, the Institute of Physics in Ireland warmly welcomes the highly significant rise in the numbers taking physics …” (more)

[Kevin McGuigan, Irish Times, 20 August]


Institute of Physics bemoans Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on August 15th, 2012 by steve

“The Institute of Physics has expressed serious concern about the number of students choosing to take the physics course for Leaving Certificate …” (more)

[Business Post, 15 August]

Tags: , , ,