Welcome to the Oxford University Physics Society!

Hello and welcome to the Oxford University Physics Society (or PhysSoc for short)! This year, we have plenty of events on, including talks, socials, extracurricular classes and much more. This isn’t a society just for physicists; this is a society for anyone who is interested in physics, its applications, and physics-related topics. To find out more, have a look at our Youtube channel, our Facebook page or subscribe to our mailing list.

How do I get involved? Simple. Head over to the How to Join page and follow the instructions there.

Keep it |ψ|!

Trinity term 2019 TPP physics pub quiz

Michaelmas 2019 Termcard

Here’s a list of events we have prepared for Michaelmas 2019!

Freshers Social
Julien Devriendt: “From Supernovae to Supermassive Black Holes”
Week2WednesdayMax Abitbol: “Cosmic Microwave Background”
Paul Fendley: “Lattice, Symmetry and Topological Computations”
Halloween Pub Social
Andrew Boothroyd: “Topology: a New Twist to Electrons in Quantum Materials”
Crewdate with PhilSoc
David Marshall: “Physical Oceanography”
Bob Coecke: “Quantum Linguistics vol.1”
Simon Clark event
Bob Coecke: “Quantum Linguistics vol.2”
Hans Kraus: “Dark Matter Direct Detection Experiments”
Week7ThursdayTony Bell: “Astrophysics at the Highest Energies”
Christmas Social
Baron Ho: “Magnetic and Condenser Physics”
Todd Huffman: “The Higgs Mechanism Explained”

– Week 1, Wednesday: Freshers’ Social

Pizza! Drinks! Games!

A chance to buy (and WIN) Oxford University Physics Society stash (more details below)!

Whether you’re a physics student or passionate about physics, come down to the annual freshers’ social! Meet people who share your interests or just show up and have a good time. We have food, drinks, and games for everybody!

More info on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1412544752234009/

– Week 1, Thursday: Professor Julien Devriendt: “From supernovae to supermassive black holes: how to reconcile the standard Big Bang model with observed galaxy properties”


The standard Big Bang model has proven incredibly successful in describing our Universe on super galactic scales with just a handful of numbers. However, it does require that (fairly) cold dark matter, as opposed to the normal matter of which we are made of, be the dominant form of matter in the Universe. This simple albeit quite extraordinary requirement has dramatic consequences for the formation and evolution of galaxies such as our own Milky Way, as it makes very robust predictions regarding the abundance and structure of the dark matter halos which host these galaxies. In particular, it forecasts the existence of many more dwarf dark matter halos than observed dwarf galaxies, and at the other end of the mass spectrum, stipulates that extremely massive galaxies should be populating the most massive dark matter halos. In this talk, I will describe current efforts to reconcile these discrepancies by modelling the most energetic events in the Universe, namely supermassive black hole jets and supernovae explosions, within cosmological hydrodynamics simulations.

More info on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/434099957486159/

– Week 2, Wednesday: Professor Max Abitol’s class: “The First Second: how observations of the cosmic microwave background reveal physics of the early Universe”


The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is radiation remnant from the Big Bang. Observations of the CMB result in a picture of the Universe from nearly 14 billion years ago when it was only 380,000 years old. Combined with our understanding of General Relativity, these observations allow us to infer large scale properties of the Universe, such as the total amount of energy in baryonic matter, dark matter and dark energy, with percent level precision. The next decade of CMB observations will push our understanding of cosmology even further, to the first fraction of a second. Inflation is a process thought to have created the initial conditions of the Universe through an exponential expansion of space at the beginning of time. Gravitational waves generated by inflation leave an observable imprint in the CMB, called B-modes. A detection of primordial B-modes would provide strong evidence for inflation and mark a breakthrough in modern cosmology.

In this lecture, I will introduce the theoretical background and observational history of the CMB that have been fundamental in developing the standard cosmological model. I will then discuss current experimental and data analysis methods, with a focus on B-mode measurements. To conclude, I will talk about remaining tensions, questions and future prospects in CMB cosmology.

More info on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/423137384887064/

Upcoming events will be posted here and on our Facebook page on a weekly basis.