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

From the Royal Irish Academy website

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)

Positron binding in molecules: published in Nature.

Our many-body approach to positron binding in polyatomic molecules has been published in Nature [J. Hofierka, B. Cunningham, C. M. Rawlins, C. H. Patterson and D. G. Green, Nature 606, 688 (2022)]. (Jaroslav and Brian were joint-first authors.)

As well as providing the first accurate description of over two decades of measurements made by the pioneering group of Prof Cliff Surko at University of California San Diego, our ab initio method provides fundamental insight and predictive capability.

The approach is implemented in our state-of-the-art software EXCITON+, developed at QUB by heavily adapting the EXCITON all-electron many-body theory code of Charles Patterson (Trinity College Dublin).

The work was funded by Dermot’s ERC grant “ANTI-ATOM”.

See the associated news article on the Queen’s University Belfast website.

Stay tuned for more developments!

After 2+ years of working remotely the group finally meet in person!

Having worked remotely since ~ March 2022, more than 2 years later the group finally met in person! We climbed Cavehill (see the photos below with “Napoleon’s Nose” in the background, and of Brian scaling the wall to enter one of the caves. Unfortunately Sarah couldn’t make the walk, but everyone got together before on campus (bottom photo).

From left to right: Charlie, Brian, Jaro, Jack and Dermot (PI)
Brian successfully made the treacherous climb into the cave! Andrew, Jack and Jaro look on, concerned about Brian’s return journey.
From left to right: Sarah Gregg (PhD student), Brian Cunningham (Research Fellow), Dermot Green (PI), Jaroslav Hofierka (PhD student), Jack Cassidy (PhD student), Andrew Swann (Research Fellow), Charlie Rawlins (Research Fellow)