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Celebrating Ogden at 20

The creation of the Ogden Centre in 2002 marked the beginning of a new era for physics in Durham and in the UK. It provided the platform for the creation of what was later to become one of the main centres for research into the sciences of the Universe.

We celebrated 20 years of the Ogden Centre with special events across 30 November and 1 December 2022. Professor Jim Peebles, 2019 Physics Nobel Laureate, gave our keynote speech at our special symposium discussing the five key questions Sir Peter Ogden posed upon the Centre's opening in 2002.
Learn more about our Symposium
Graphic of the Ogden centre filled with astronomy images
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History of the Ogden Centre West Building

Opened in 2017, this £11.5m research centre, the second building of the Ogden Centre, was designed by internationally renowned Studio Libeskind, the architectural practice behind the master plan for the World Trade Center redevelopment in New York.

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What happens inside

The award-winning Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics is home to truly world leading work in Astronomy, Cosmology and Particle Physics, drawing together academics, students and researchers from across the globe. Our experts investigate the mysteries of the cosmos, from the birth of the Universe, to the origin of galaxies and the nature of elementary particles, dark matter and dark energy – there's plenty going on inside!  

We’re active members of a global community of astrophysicists, cosmologists and particle physicists searching for answers to some of the biggest questions in physics today: What is the nature of matter? How do galaxies form? What are dark matter and dark energy? And what will be the ultimate fate of the universe?

Take a look at some of our research and find out more about how we’re making an impact in astronomy, healthcare, business and industry.

Scientists unveil most accurate virtual representation of the Universe

The team used supercomputer simulations to recreate the entire evolution of the cosmos
Virtual Universe

Higgs boson 10 years on

Dr Martin Bauer and Dr Stephen Jones from our Department of Physics look back at the discovery of the Higgs boson
Peter Higgs standing in front of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN where the Higgs boson he theorised was discovered.

Celebrating 20 years of infinite possibilities

We’ve created an Ogden at 20 booklet outlining our top 10 research achievements, media highlights, legacies and Science Outreach work.

Our people

Our academics are world leaders in their field and contribute so much to the world of Physics. Learn more about our extraordinary team and recent awards:

Academic Staff - Durham University

Durham researchers named among world’s best - Durham University

 

 

 

A group of people smiling at the camera

The Ogden Trust was set up by alumnus and entrepreneur Sir Peter Ogden (2nd right) and its generous donations have helped fund the development and growth of the Ogden Centre. Also pictured are Professor Michael Spannowsky, Director of the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, Professor Carlos Frenk, Ogden Professor, and Professor Shaun Cole, Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology.

From L-R, keynote speaker of our Ogden at 20 symposium, Nobel Prize in Physics winner Professor Jim Peebles alongside Professor Carlos Frenk, Sir Peter Ogden and Professor Shaun Cole.

From L-R, keynote speaker of our Ogden at 20 symposium, Nobel Prize in Physics winner Professor Jim Peebles alongside Professor Carlos Frenk, Sir Peter Ogden and Professor Shaun Cole.

Two people using an ipad

A variety of interactive exhibits and exciting technology were on display in the Ogden Centre West building for our guests to experience.

Professor Jim Peebles, Professor Carlos Frenk and Professor Professor Karen O’Brien in discussion during the Ogden at 20 open day in the Ogden Centre West Building

Professor Jim Peebles, Professor Carlos Frenk and Professor Karen O’Brien in discussion during the Ogden at 20 open day in the Ogden Centre West Building.

Sir Peter Ogden experiencing our gravitational wave demonstration

Sir Peter Ogden experiencing our gravitational wave demonstration.

Professor Karen O’Brien, Vice-Chancellor and Warden, presenting Damon de Laszlo with the Chancellor’s Circle Certificate of Induction

Professor Karen O’Brien, Vice-Chancellor and Warden, presented Damon de Laszlo with the Chancellor’s Circle Certificate of Induction.

Three people looking at a sculpture

Damon de Laszlo alongside Professor Karen O’Brien and Professor Carlos Frenk with the unveiled sculpture, The Journey, which Damon donated alongside Robert Hefner III. The Journey, by John Robinson, is one of many sculptures donated by Damon since the Ogden Centre opened.

Speakers at Ogden at 20 Symposium

Image shows our fantastic speakers for the special Ogden at 20 symposium, which included a keynote speech by Nobel Prize-winning professor Jim Peebles, a welcome from Vice-Chancellor and Warden Professor Karen O’Brien, and introductions by Head of the Department of Physics, Professor Paula Chadwick.

School children on a visit to the Ogden Centre

As part of the celebrations, pupils from Woodham Academy, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, took part in a day of activities including the launch of a collaborative artwork by digital artist, Petra Szemán. The artwork explored their own questions about the Universe and have combined questions and artwork from Ogden Trust partnership school pupils from across the North East of England.

Pupils from Woodham Academy presented the artwork to an audience which included Sir Peter Ogden and family

Pupils from Woodham Academy presented the artwork to an enthusiastic audience which included Sir Peter Ogden and family.

Staff at outreach event at the Ogden Centre

During the celebrations, Sir Peter Ogden met the Woodham Academy teachers and pupils on their visit to the Ogden Centre. Image showing Dr Lorraine Coghill, Science Outreach and Engagement Specialist with Sir Peter Ogden and Woodham Academy teacher.

Collage of students on the Ogden Centre Outreach Day

Pupils from Woodham Academy exploring the fantastic exhibits from the Institutes and Centres that allow them to explore our Universe.

 

 

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Astronomy and Cosmology at Durham

As part of our celebrations, Dr Jacob Kegerreis, who recently completed his PhD at Durham, was one of our speakers at a symposium about the five key questions Sir Peter Ogden posed when the Centre opened. In this video, he talks about his work on crashing planets together inside a supercomputer, communicating science to the public and role at NASA.

Learn more about Astronomy and Cosmology at Durham
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Ogden East Building

The original Ogden Centre East building was opened on 18 October 2002. The building was part-funded by and named in honour of millionaire internet entrepreneur Sir Peter Ogden, who studied at Durham and received a BSc in Physics in 1968 and later a PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1971.

Learn more about Ogden East

Find out more

Watch more presentations from the opening of the Ogden Centre East from Professor Carlos Frenk, Daniel Libeskind and many more.