Community physics: mutual engagement between physicists and young people not in education, employment or learning on Springboard programme.

Dermot had the pleasure to be part of a 3-day scheme that brought together about 20 young people (15-21 year olds) not in education, employment or training who are part of an inclusive and cross community Springboard/Belong programme for mutual engagement with a small number of physicists.

As well as jumping into the numerous activities and helping explain physics demonstrations, Dermot discussed the barriers he faced (as a Belfast-born first-generation University student) to his entry into physics, who physicists are and what they do, and listened to the stories the young people had to tell.

Springboard https://springboard-opps.org/ is a charity “committed to building a society that develops and strengthens capacity, promotes citizenship, better values diversity and encourages mutual respect”.

The event was facilitated by the cohension and integration network “Belong” https://www.belongnetwork.co.uk.

Dermot inducted into the Young Academy of Ireland at the Royal Irish Academy

On Tuesday 25th April Dermot was inducted into the new Young Academy of Ireland at the beautiful Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, as one of the first 40 members from across society representing academia, the arts, business and finance, policy experts etc.

Dermot found the founding members, all leaders in their own rights, mightily impressive, and is looking forward to creating the work programme and collaborating with them for the next 4 years, to provide a voice for change and work across disciplines to tackle many issues facing today’s society.

Dermot hosts NI Science Festival keynote speaker, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock at a sold-out MAC theatre in Belfast.

Dermot, as Chair of IOP Ireland, had the great pleasure of hosting and introducing renowned space scientist and professional science communicator and broadcaster Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock for her keynote talk at the 2023 Northern Ireland Science Festival to a sold out MAC theatre Belfast. Dermot was accompanied on stage for the introduction by his 5-year old daughter.

The IOP Ireland supported the event in partnership with the NISF. It was a fantastic event: Maggie spoke beautifully addressing key questions of astrophysics detailed in her latest book “Am I made of Stardust”, and we had many excellent questions from the budding scientists in the packed audience. Maggie also kindly spent time afterwards signing her new book.

Space scientist, science communicator and presenter Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, with Dermot and his daughter at the keynote Northern Ireland Science Festival talk “Am I made of Stardust”

Dermot and his daughter hosted and introduced Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock for the keynote Northern Ireland Science Festival event “Am I made of Stardust”
A sold-out MAC Theatre in Belfast!

Dermot selected as a first member of the Young Academy of Ireland

From the Royal Irish Academy website https://www.ria.ie/young-academy-ireland:

The YAI consists of forty members (23 women; 17 men) from Ireland and Northern Ireland including researchers, academics, scientists, innovators, clinicians, economists, and professionals who have each made a significant contribution to their field and beyond their individual disciplines. Members represent a multi-disciplinary platform from the Life Sciences, Physical, Engineering, and Computer Sciences, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business and Technology. 

The YAI aims to provide a “voice for change” and  “empower talented, emerging leaders and future leaders” to “tackle important issues and challenges in society and promote meaningful change.”

Dermot is also a Fellow of The Young Academy of Europe, and Chair of Institute of Physics Ireland.

Dermot joins CCEA Subject Advisory Panel in Physics

Dermot has joined the CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment) Northern Ireland subject advisory panel for Physics.

The advisory group provides advice and guidance to CCEA on subject areas. This includes specification content and, following accreditation, implementation of specifications, which in turn supports the validity and rigour of specified qualifications; and consideration of the wider curriculum domain, including assessment.

Dermot joins as a Higher Education representative who is a specialist within a subject relevant to the specification or specifications.

All Things Great and Small: Institute of Physics Ireland annual meeting 2023

The 2023 Institute of Physics Ireland Spring Meeting, the annual meeting that brings together physicists in all fields from across the island of Ireland, was held in Armagh on Sat 11 March 2023. As chair of IOPI, Dermot led the organisation for the programme of scientific talks: we were lucky enough to have three trailblazing speakers who took us across the length scales:

  • Dr Sinead Griffin (Materials Science Division and the Molecular Foundry at Berkeley Lab) “Dark matter on the rocks”
  • Dr Jennifer Gaughran (DCU) “Scaling the Problem: From Microfluidics to Petri Dishes”
  • Dr Johannes Noller (ICG Portsmouth/Cambridge) “The speed of gravity and what it can tell us about the contents of the Universe”

We were also treated to a talk by our IOP Writer in Residence Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan “Written in the Stars: a migrant’s journey in science communication and poetry”

IOPI Spring meeting 2023: from left to right: Dr Jennifer Goughran (speaker), Dr Dermot Green (IOPI Chair), IOP Writer in Residence Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, Dr Sinead Griffin (speaker), Dr Johannes Noller (speaker) and Dr Yvonne Kavanagh (IOPI Vice Chair).

Andrew and Dermot’s paper on positron cooling in small molecules published in PRL!

We performed Monte Carlo simulations of positrons cooling in N2 and CF4 gases, which are used ubiquitously as buffer gases in the leading positron “Surko” traps. We highlighted the possible importance of positron-positron interactions as a mechanism to rapidly Maxwellianize the positron distribution during the cooling dynamics, and the role of multiple vibrational (de)excitations in reducing the positron temperature. See below for videos showing positron cooling in CF4 with and without positron-positron interactions, and also for N2, alongside comparison with experiment.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 130, 033001 (2023)