Institute of Physics Prize for Prof. Padgett
(August 2008) Professor Miles Padgett was awarded the 2008 Optics and Photonics Division Prize of the UK's institute of Physics. The prize is awarded every other year to someone who has made significant recent advances, on a specific topic relevant to physics supported by the division. In Padgett's case, the prize recognised his pioneering contributions to both the understanding and applications of light's angular momentum.
Postgraduate Student wins prize for best presentation
(September 2008) One of our postgraduate students, Ngo-Duc The, was recently awarded a prize for the best oral presentation of the first day at the Joint European Magnetic Symposia 2008 (JEMS'08) held in Dublin, Republic of Ireland from 14th-19th September 2008 for a talk entitled "Transmission electron microscopy investigation of CoIr/Ru multilayer film for soft magnetic underlayer in recording media". This work is in collaboration with group from Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan led by Prof. Migaku Takahasi. The prize (sponsored by Seagate) was a 250 GB USB passport hard disk drive.
(October 2008) As reported by optics.org, one of our undergraduates, Martin Lavery, has succeeded in interfacing his iPhone to control a set of optical tweezers. Optical tweezers use tightly focussed beams of light to trap and move microscopic objects giving researchers a light touch over cells and bacteria.