Recent News - Physics and Astronomy - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Recent News

David Wiltshire secures Catalyst seeding grant

David has been successful in obtaining a Catalyst seeding grant to start a new collaboration with Thomas Buchert's group at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyon, on "Relativistic Lagrangian perturbation theory and foundations of early Universe cosmology".

PhD Scholarships in Physics - 2 opportunities in Nanotechnology

  • A Computer Chip that thinks like the Brain - view description here
  • Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Studies of Topological Nanostructures - view description here

Post-Doctoral Fellow Vacancy

The Nano group are looking for a new post-doctoral fellow read more here

Prof Roy Kerr honoured in UC Chancellor's Dinner

Canterbury Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor Roy Kerr, recipient of the Crafoord Prize - read more here

2016 Marsden Grant Success for two researchers in the department...

Assoc. Professor Michael Albrow will use advanced image processing techniques in combination with a network of state-of-the-art telescopes to quantify the number of Earth-like planets that exist in our galaxy. Read more here.

16-UOC-063 Assoc Prof MD Albrow ESA  $        870,000

Dr Saurabh Bose is the recipient of 'Fast Track' funding for his and Prof Simon Brown's research into brain inspired on-chip computation using self-assembled nanoparticles.

16-UOC-057 Dr SK Bose EIS  $        300,000

See the full list of Marsden Grant recipients here

$1m study: microchips that think like we do...

Read more of Prof Simon Brown and Dr Saurabh Bose's work here

UC Connect lecture given by Assoc. Prof Jenni Adams on hunting the elusive neutrino in Antarctica

View on You Tube soon here. Chronicle article here.

Work by a team including Assoc Prof Jenni Adams, just published in Physical Review Letters 117, 141102 (2016)

has been highlighted by the American Physical Society in this write-up:

Professor Simon Brown awarded MBIE funding in 2016 Endeavour Round

Simon's research application entitled: A Neuromorphic Computer Chip: computational hardware that works like the brain receives one million dollars over three years (excl GST). See full list of recipients here.

UC research funded in Deep South Science Challenge

Associate Professor Adrian McDonald (PHYS & ASTR) and Dr Wolfgang Rack (Gateway Antarctica) are funded for climate projects as part of the government's Deep South National Science Challenge - read more here.

"Life, the Universe and Everything" - George Ellis lecture series

George Ellis, a renowned theoretical cosmologist, gave an intense programme of 8 general lectures on "Life, the Universe and Everything", which covered a diversity of interests in fundamental questions, including cosmology, physics, philosophy, neuroscience and astrobiology. The full schedule can be found here including links to You Tube recordings.

Professor David Wiltshire's Public Lecture view recording here:
Black holes making waves around the Universe

Roy Kerr - UC's highest honour May 2016

Watch Canterbury Distinguished Professor Roy Kerr receive the Crafoord Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2016)

The Townsend Teece Telescope: Saving a piece of Christchurch’s astronomical heritage exhibition

CTV News - Townsend TelescopeThe University of Canterbury is aiming to return a piece of scientific history back to the Christchurch's central city - the Townsend Telescope was badly damaged in the quakes but a generous donation will ensure the structure will return. View CVT News interview with Prof David and Leigh Teece here.

For more than a century, the Townsend Telescope was available for public stargazing on clear Friday nights, and introduced people of all ages to the wonders of the night sky and the science of astronomy.
Donated to UC in 1891, the historic Townsend telescope, a 6-inch refractor made by Thomas Cooke and Sons of York, England in 1864, was recovered from the rubble of the Arts Centre tower which collapsed on February 22 2011 in the earthquake. The telescope was badly damaged but miraculously the objective lens was completely unscathed. A generous donation by UC Alumnis Prof David Teece, his wife Leigh and their family will now allow the restoration of this historic telescope to be restored.
This exhibition showcases the history of the telescope as well as the restoration project currently underway.

You can donate to the future of the Townsend Teece Telescope via the Townsend Observatory Restoration Fund on the Alumni and Fundraising donation page.

Townsend Telescope Restoration Video.

For Prospective Students

Studentship opportunities

No specific opportuntities are available right now. However, the University of Cantebury offers postgraduate scholarships for both Masters and PhD students. To enquire about availability of projects please contact the staff member in the area you are interested in.

For Current Students

Calculator Checks - click here

Further Information is available here

Departmental Notices


Departmental Newsletters have recently moved from weekly to a fortnightly publication and are distributed electronically - see archived newsletters.
If you would like to be added to the distribution list please email .


Department Seminars are held each Friday in Room 701, Level 7 of the Rutherford Building at 11am. See upcoming seminars for more details.


Archive of Departmental conferences and other conferences hosted and/or sponsored by the Department

RSIC Construction Webcam and Timelap

Townsend-Teese of the Old Maths demolition.

Construction on the Rutherford Science and Innovation Centre can be viewed via a webcam in realtime here and a timelapse of the demolition of the Old Math building can be veiwed here


Sean Gourley (Dept Alumni) interviewed for "The Cashmere Circuit" produced by Cashmere Highschool. Article by Ella Jacobs

News Archive

Archive of department newsletters

Department of Physics News Archive


  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of Canterbury,
    Private Bag 4800,
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    New Zealand.
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