Reflections on the MSc in Particle & Nuclear Physics

Student Emily Pender

As Emily Pender starts her PhD, she reflects on why she applied to study the MSc in Particle and Nuclear Physics, and how this degree has helped prepare her for her research project.


I chose to apply to Edinburgh because of its reputation as both an excellent University and because of the developments following the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012. I was enrolled on an integrated Masters degree (combined Masters and Bachelors degree) at my previous University, but as I knew I wanted to end up specialising in particle physics, I thought it would be more beneficial to undertake the Masters in Particle and Nuclear Physics at the University of Edinburgh than continue studying a generalised physics degree. Continue reading “Reflections on the MSc in Particle & Nuclear Physics”

‘Sanduleak 69’ shine bright during the Modern Physics quiz

Winning team during pub quiz

There was fierce competition during the third annual mid-semester pub quiz held for students studying the year 2 Modern Physics course. The 12 teams battled it out with questions on physics, astronomy, general knowledge and movies, as well as a fun picture round.

Well done to all the competing teams, and congratulations to the winning team ‘Sanduleak 69’, who were presented with chocolates, wine and a winner’s certificate.

So, let’s see how you get on:

Physics: Particles moving in a medium faster than the local speed of light emit what?

Astronomy: What did Didier Queloz and Michel Mayer discover in 1995 that led to their Nobel Prize this week?

Movies: Draw the rebel alliance logo.

General knowledge: What is the national animal of Scotland?

Did someone say haggis…..?

Interview with new Physics and Astronomy Head of School – Professor Jim Dunlop

Prof Jim Dunlop

As he starts his appointment of Head of School, we chatted to Prof Jim Dunlop about his vision for the School, his early career ambitions (which were far from physics!), and his advice for students.

By Luke Mitchell and Caroline Keir


Taking on the role of Head of School brings with it a whole host of challenges that he is wary of, yet eager to tackle head on. A twin focus will be improving the student and staff experience. “For students this will include improving facilities and creating a sense of community.  For staff it will be working to remove unnecessary administration so that they  can focus more on research and teaching, and to allocate more time to students.” He is also keenly aware of the importance communication plays in leading the School’s work towards a unified goal “it is important to ensure students and staff understand why we are doing what we are doing.” Continue reading “Interview with new Physics and Astronomy Head of School – Professor Jim Dunlop”