Student Success at the INAM

UCD PhD student Emma Callis was announced as one of two winners of the 2020 Peter Curran award for the best student talk at the Irish National Astronomy Meeting (INAM). Her winning presentation described her research into the explosion of massive stars as supernovae, and how material shed by stars in their final years can affect how they appear when they explode. Seán Brennan was also recognized with an honourable mention in the 2020 Peter Curran awards for a talk on observations of a giant outburst from a massive star. Both Emma and Seán are PhD students working in the supernovae and explosive transients group with Dr. Morgan Fraser at UCD (

Dr. Steve Campbell's achievements in quantum technology recognised

L’associazione “Giuseppe Davide Paparo” in conjunction with the Universities of Catania, Madrid, and Innsbruck have awarded Dr. Steve Campbell the 2nd edition of the Paparo prize for his significant contributions to research in quantum technologies. The committee consisting of Profs. Luigi Amico (Catania), Alioscia Hamma (Massachusetts), Miguel Angel Martin-Delgado (Madrid), and Hans Briegel (Innsbruck) awards the prize every two years to an early career researcher in the field to commemorate the memory of G. D. Paparo and to demonstrate an example of a brilliant and promising researcher in the field of quantum physics to young people who are heading for a career in this important sector.

UCD Physics Conferring of Porter, Nevin & O’Raifeartaigh Medals. On Wed 2nd Sept 2020 at 12.45, a virtual presentation will be made by Prof. Martin Grunewald (Head of School) to all our UCD School of Physics graduates and graduands via a Zoom link emailed

Staff at UCD School of Physics would welcome the chance to congratulate you (both undergrad and postgrad) and wish you well in your future endeavors.
Friends and family of our students may also want to be part of your day, so they would be welcome to view the presentation with you or afterwards via this link -
Coronavirus has changed how we all do things. At UCD School of Physics, we hope you will join us virtually to celebrate your well-earned achievements during a tricky and unusual time.
Congratulations to all!
This local UCD Physics event is separate from the main event organized by UCD Conferring; their official ceremony is at 11.30am & 2.30pm on Wed 2nd Sept 2020. Should you need to make contact with their unit, see

UCD Physicist Fergal O'Reilly Receives a NovaUCD Innovation Award.

Dublin, Ireland, 26 June 2020, NovaUCD today announced the winners of its annual Innovation Awards. A total of 7 Awards, including the 2019 NovaUCD Innovation Award, were revealed during a virtual event, to highlight successes made in areas of commercialisation, consultancy, entrepreneurship and the promotion of an innovation culture, by members of the UCD community. The Awards were due to be presented at an event in March which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2019 NovaUCD Innovation Award, which recognises excellence in innovation or of successes achieved in the commercialisation of UCD research or other intellectual activity over a number of years, was presented to Dr Fergal O’Reilly, who has been a researcher in the UCD School of Physics since 2005.

For more detail visit -,502113,en.html

Professor Dominic Zerulla wins prestigious SFI Future Innovator Prize

Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD, has today announced that a special Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Future Innovator Prize of €500,000 has been granted to University College Dublin (UCD) researcher, Professor Dominic Zerulla. Professor Zerulla, UCD School of Physics, and his team at PEARlabs Technologies, have received the prize in recognition of the potential impact of their project to develop a highly innovative imaging solution that enables ultra-fast video-rate nanoscale optical microscopy.

For more details, see:

LOFAR Radio Galaxy Zoo: Public asked to help trace giant black holes at centre of galaxies

Scientists are asking for the public’s help in tracing the origin of hundreds of thousands of galaxies recently discovered by the largest radio telescope ever built, LOFAR. New citizen science project 'Radio Galaxy Zoo: LOFAR' is giving anyone with a computer the opportunity to help find the galaxies with supermassive black holes at their centres.

These radio emissions are produced by huge jets of matter ejected deep into space by black holes, usually found at the centres of galaxies, as they consume dust and gas.
Associate Professor John Quinn, UCD School of Physics, who is the Irish lead on the citizen science project, says the public’s help is needed to identify which galaxies belong to which radio source as the task is simply too big for the 200 astronomers that make up the international LOFAR team.

UCD School of Physics team is among the six finalists in the €1 million SFI Future Innovator Prize competition

The six final teams, announced today by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development,aim to address a number of societal challenges through the development of novel and potentially disruptive technologies.

Associate Professor Dominic Zerulla, UCD School of Physics, is leading a team which is seeking the prize to address the challenge area entitled, ‘Enabling Next Generation Biological Imaging’ through a project focused on real‐time imaging of nanoscale biological processes via plasmonically enabled nanopixel arrays.

Read More:,452292,en.html

Physics 55 - Thursday 23 May 2019

The annual School Social Event, takes place on Thursday 23 May 2019. This event school is for all School Staff, Emeritus and Alumni. It would be great if you could all or any part of the evening.

The General Schedule of Events is as follows:

5 pm - Tea, Coffee Reception - Location - Ground Floor Foyer, Science Centre North

6 pm - Preston Lectures by guests - Location - Theatre C
Dr Janine Splettstoesser
Associate Professor, Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
(Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)
- Presentation - "Heat Engines at the Nanoscale"
Dr John Quinn (UCD Physics)
Associate Professor, High Energy Astrophysics, UCD School of Physics
- Presentation - "So far with LOFAR"

8 pm - Social Reception - Location UCD Physics Common Room & UCD Physics Lab 132 (First Floor, UCD Physics, Science Centre North)

Calling Citizen Scientists: Astrophysicists Once Again Seek Public’s Help to Unmask Muons Disguised as Gamma Rays

Muon Hunters 2: Return of the Ring
VERITAS launches new Zooniverse citizen science project on March 14th, 2019

Scientists once again seek help from the public to identify hundreds of thousands of ring patterns produced in the VERITAS cameras by muons to help distinguish them from the patterns produced by gamma rays, which the VERITAS telescopes are designed to detect. The classifications obtained from citizen scientists will be used to train machine-learning algorithms to improve the capability of computers to automatically distinguish between images created by muons and gamma rays.

Interested in participating? Go to the Muon Hunters Web site:

UCD Contact: Associate Professor John Quinn, Spokesperson for the VERITAS Collaboration (Email: ; Web:

UCD School of Physics opens call for Scholarships in Research and Teaching (SIRAT) applications for start in September 2019

Deadline for applications is 29th March 2019. Follow link for more details and application forms.

UCD School of Physics team competing for the €1 million SFI Future Innovator Prize

The “Plasmonics and Ultra-fast NanoOptics Group” led by Associate Professor Dominic Zerulla in UCD School of Physics are among twelve finalist teams in the running for the prestigious SFI Future Innovator Prize. The research team have invented a new, disruptive imaging technology coined Plasmonic Electronically Addressable Super-Resolution (PEAR). PEAR offers an innovative solution that goes beyond the current state of the art and opens the possibility for real-time imaging of subcellular processes which exist at the nanoscale.

Astronomers Publish New Map of the Sky Detecting Thousands of Previously Unknown Galaxies

An international team of more than 200 astronomers from 18 countries, including researchers from University College Dublin (UCD), has today published the first phase of a major new sky survey at unprecedented sensitivity using the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope.

Undergraduate Summer Intern Poster Competition 2018

UCD School of Physics held its annual Undergraduate Summer Internship Poster Competition 26th July 2018. Each year the School hosts undergraduate interns from institutions in Ireland and abroad, with twelve students completing the programme this year. Internship topics ranged from experimental to theoretical, across numerous research groups. Additionally, some students’ projects were designed to enhance lab-based experiments taken by our undergraduate students throughout the academic year.

VERITAS supplies critical piece to neutrino discovery puzzle

The VERITAS collaboration, including UCD School of Physics members Assoc. Prof.
John Quinn and Ph.D. student Ste O'Brien, has confirmed the detection of very-high-
energy gamma-ray emission from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole,
observations prompted by the detection of a spatially coincident high-energy
neutrino event by the IceCube collaboration. This black hole is potentially the first
known astrophysical source of high-energy cosmic neutrinos, a type of ghostly
subatomic particle, and the observations represent a breakthrough in multi-
messenger astrophysics.

Astronomers See Distant Eruption as Black Hole Destroys Star

For the first time, an international team of astronomers including Dr. Morgan Fraser from the School of Physics at University College Dublin, have directly imaged the formation and expansion of a fast-moving jet of material ejected when the powerful gravity of a supermassive black hole ripped apart a star that wandered too close to the cosmic monster. The new findings have been published in a paper in the prestigious international journal Science, led by Prof. Seppo Mattila of the University of Turku in Finland and Dr. Miguel Pérez-Torres from the Institudo de Astrofisica de Andalucia in Spain.

UCD theoretical physicist Dr Andrew Mitchell publishes research in journal 'Science'

New research on quantum nanoelectronics has been published today in the journal 'Science'. Results of state-of-the-art experiments carried out in Paris confirm theoretical predictions by Dr Andrew Mitchell here in UCD School of Physics, and demonstrate how exotic quantum mechanical effects can be exploited for super-ballistic transport.

UCD College of Science Halloween Trick or Treat Laboratory

Join us for some not so scary treats and fun science experiments that are gooey, glowy, foggy and ...fang-tastic!

Event starts at 5 pm with tours of the FRANKIN-LAB followed by tea/coffee and goodies! Fancy Dress ENCOURAGED!

UCD staff, students and their families are all welcome! We will also be fund-raising on the night and all proceeds will go to Crumlin Childrens Hospital Medical Research Fund!

We hope you can join us!

Local organisers: UCD Physics; Tom McCormack and Sharon Shannon

Please register for free at our Eventbrite page:

Wed, 30 October 2019

17:00 – 20:00 GMT

The Kilty Outreach Lab in the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science

Prof. Brian Rodriguez and Associate Prof. Sheila McBreen of UCD School of Physics win prestigious SFI grants

Science Foundation Ireland has awarded substantial funding to both Prof. Brian Rodriguez and Associate Prof. Sheila McBreen of UCD School of Physics through Career Development Awards. Only 22 such grants were made nationally across the sciences.

UCD School of Physics team leads €8M EU Horizon 2020 project

UCD Theoretical Physicist Prof. Lobaskin and his team will lead an €8M EU Horizon 2020 project on the mechanisms of toxicity of nanomaterials, involving 11 partners from 8 EU countries.

Letter from Stephen Hawking

A lost letter from Stephen Hawking has been unearthed in the UCD Physics archives. The letter is part of correspondence between Hawking and UCD Professor of Physics Neil Porter in 1977, and pertains to early research on primordial black holes.

UCD theoretical physicist Dr Andrew Mitchell wins prestigious IRC Laureate award

The Irish Research Council's new "Laureate" programme supports frontier basic research, pushing boundaries at the cutting edge of knowledge. Only 36 of these prestigious awards were made across all disciplines nationwide, including Dr Andrew Mitchell from UCD School of Physics for his research on quantum nanoelectronics. New PhD and Postdoc positions in the group will be advertised shortly.

Theoretical Physics project presentations

17 UCD Theoretical Physics undergraduates presented their 4th-year research projects this week. Well done to all on some fantastic work!

Assistant Professor / Lecturer position in UCD Physics advertised

A permanent faculty position in UCD School of Physics at the level of Assistant Professor / Lecturer is being advertised. Apply Now!

New Results on the Dynamics of Carbon Nanotubes

Dominic’s “Plasmonics and Ultrafast Nano-Optics Group” has published exciting results regarding the dynamic recovery of Carbon Nanotubes found via time-dependent Raman spectroscopy.

Stage 4 Student attends 'Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics UK (CUWiP)'

Blog from Athina Lange, Theoretical Physics student with UCD Physics