• Ogden Centre to Support Durham’s Space Science Capability

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Ogden Centre to Support Durham’s Space Science Capability

Apr 01 2017

Reaffirming its position as a world leading centre of research in astronomy and cosmology, Durham University has celebrated the opening of the new £11.5m Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics which will house international team of 140 researchers and support staff investigating the mysteries of the cosmos, from the birth of the Universe through to the origin of galaxies, to the nature of dark matter and dark energy. The new centre will house the University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, (ICC), the Centre for Extragalctic Astronomy (CEA) and the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation(CfAI).

The development was made possible thanks to generous donations of £3.35m from The Ogden Trust, whose Chairman is Durham physics alumnus and entrepreneur Sir Peter Ogden, £1.5m; from the Wolfson Foundation and a further £900,000 from a private benefactor. Additional funding was also provided by Durham University.

ICC researchers carry out supercomputer simulations of the evolution of the Universe, which by solving equations from Physics and including dark matter and dark energy, track the formation of cosmic structures from the Big Bang to the present day. Under certain conditions, they produce galaxy populations that closely resemble those in the real world.

The CEA leads observational studies of the formation and evolution of galaxies and massive black holes and the growth of large scale structure across the whole history of the Universe. These studies exploit data from the largest ground and space-based telescopes and wide-field surveys of galaxies and Quasars to understand how the Universe we see today came into being.

The CfAI support these activities through the development of novel and innovative instrumentation for ground and space-based telescopes (including the new European Extremely Large Telescope in Chile) using facilities both in Durham and at the NETpark technology park near Sedgefield, County Durham.

The new building, which has also freed up space for Durham’s Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP), a leading research centre into particle physics, also provides the basis for regional and national outreach programmes undertaken by the Centre’s researchers to support public engagement in science in schools and the wider community.

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