Durham University has reaffirmed its position as a world leading centre of research in astronomy and cosmology with the opening of the new £11.5m Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics.
The new Ogden Centre houses Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC), the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy (CEA) and the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI). The building has been designed by the internationally renowned Studio Libeskind, the architectural practice behind the master plan for the World Trade Center redevelopment in New York.
An international team of 140 staff from more than 20 countries is based at the Centre. They are involved in some of today’s biggest research projects aimed at furthering our understanding of the Universe. This includes research into the evolution of dark and ordinary matter, projects looking at the nature of dark energy, and the design and construction of cutting-edge instruments for the largest telescopes around the world.
The Ogden Centre’s official opening was celebrated last week, with a series of talks from leading figures including the architect Daniel Libeskind, Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, and prominent astrophysicists Professors Hiranya Peiris, Mark Hannam and Carlos Frenk.
Stunning images of the cosmos have also been projected onto the new building as part of the opening celebrations (pictured left). Worlds, Systems & Creations, is a multi-media collaboration between artists and cosmologists. It began with the story of 18th Century County Durham astronomer, mathematician and architect Thomas Wright, who was the first person to describe the shape of the Milky Way, and featured stunning computer simulations of the Universe carried out at Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology.
The new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics was made possible thanks to generous donations of £3.35m from The Ogden Trust, £1.5m from The Wolfson Foundation and a further £900,000 from a private benefactor. Additional funding was provided by Durham University.
“The new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics represents a wonderful contribution to the unique architectural heritage of Durham City.
“Its design fits the requirements of a top-class research centre, dedicated to seeking answers to some of the most fundamental questions about our Universe such as: How and when did our Universe begin? What is it made of? How did galaxies and other structures form?
“The new building conveys a sense of adventure that reflects the novelty and excitement of the research that goes on within it. It is an amazing place in which to work.”
Professor Carlos Frenk, Director, Institute for Computational Cosmology
Please see here for information about the official opening and The Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics.