Hertford & Physics
Hertford & Physics
Internationally respected and renowned, the Oxford Physics Department is one of the biggest and most active in the world.
120 academics, 350 researchers and support staff, and over 1,300 students make up this diverse and vibrant community of scientific pioneers. Hertford’s own physicists form a core part of the college community, with up to 40 undergraduate and graduate students at any one time, two fellows and an associated lecturer.
Alongside their academic work and research, Hertford’s physicists have played an influential role in the wider life of the college. One in particular, Neil Tanner, who joined Hertford in 1960 as Tutor for Physics, revolutionised the way in which the college admitted students, pushing for wider reforms to encourage applicants from state schools. The ‘Hertford Scheme’, as it was originally known, radicalised Oxford admissions, and the commitment to outreach that Neil and his contemporaries at Hertford at the time lives on to this day.
Fundraising for Physics
Hertford aims to raise £150,000 towards the college’s share of a tutorial post in Physics. So far we have raised £65,000 towards this goal. If we can raise an endowed fund of £500,000, this will support Hertford’s shared of a tutorial post in perpetuity, which could then be named in honour of Neil Tanner.
We also encourage alumni to consider supporting graduate scholarships in Physics, which can start from £5,000 a year – please get in touch to find out more.
Hertford’s Physics tutors
Professor Pat Roche
Pat joined Hertford in 1995 as University Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow in Physics. Pat’s astronomical research is focussed on the nature, properties and evolution of interstellar matter and star formation processes. He led pioneering investigations of the mid-infrared emission from a range of astronomical objects, characterising their properties and interpreting the dominant processes. More recently he has characterized the emission of low mass stars and brown dwarfs, identifying clear spectral signatures of youth which are used as age diagnostics. He has been intimately involved with a number of instrument projects, including the UCL liquid-helium-cooled mid-infrared spectrometer, the Michelle spectrometer for UKIRT and Gemini , WHIRCAM for the WHT on La Palma and UFTI on UKIRT in Hawaii.
Professor Siddharth Parameswaran
Sid was appointed as an Associate Professor in Quantum Condensed Matter Theory and a Tutorial Fellow in Physics at Hertford College in 2017. He is a theoretical physicist, whose work focuses on quantum mechanical systems of many particles that are strongly interacting, far from equilibrium, or both. Sid is interested in what happens when quantum systems are so strongly interacting, or so dramatically disturbed from equilibrium, that the guiding principles that govern these relationships break down, giving rise to the need to find a new set of ideas to understand fully the behaviour of such systems, and to explore their properties.
Dr Sam Henry
Sam is Lecturer in Physics at Hertford College and a Detector Development Scientist in the Particle Physics sub-department. His work focuses on developing precision instrumentation for particle experiments. Past projects include the readout system for the CRESST dark matter experiment and a 12-channel SQUID magnetometer for a cryogenic neutron electric dipole moment experiment. In 2014 he started a programme at Oxford to develop a 3He magnetometer for the Muon g−2 experiment, which will probe for New Physics through a precision measurement of the muon anomalous magnetic dipole moment.
Alongside his research, Sam is an active writer of fan fiction work, helping to explain complex physics’ issues with characters from My Little Pony. His writing recently won him an award in the University’s annual Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division Impact Awards.
To find out more about studying Physics at Herford, click here.