[RU120] Rhodes University to become one of few with advanced electromagnetics research lab

A new research laboratory, the Electromagnetics Innovation (EMI) lab, was opened last week at the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (RATT), Department of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University by Rhodes University’s Dean of Science, Professor Joanna Dames.

[RU120] Shining stars of physics: Award winners announced at SAIP2024 gala dinner

On Friday, 5 July 2024, the SAIP2024 conference concluded with a grand Gala dinner held at the Nelson Mandela Dining Hall, Rhodes University. The evening was marked by a series of inspiring speeches and the celebration of excellence within the physics community.

[RU120] SAIP Conference unites physics experts at Rhodes University

The 68th Annual Conference of the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) was held at Rhodes University between 1-5 July 2024, and brought together students, professionals, educators, and government officials.

First TART telescope deployment in Mauritius marks a milestone for African radio astronomy

April 2024 marked a significant milestone for African radio astronomy with the successful deployment of the first TART (Transient Array Radio Telescope) in Mauritius. The installation took place at the Université des Mascareignes (UdM), Bel Air campus, under the auspices of Rhodes University’s Professor Oleg Smirnov, UdM’s Dr Keshav Sewraj, Dr Max Scheel of the Electronics Research Foundation (New Zealand), and South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (SARAO) Dr Nadeem Oozeer.

Embracing imperfections: Rhodes University Distinguished Researcher explores essential role of flaws in solids

On 15 May 2024, Rhodes University hosted the 2019 Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award lecture with recipient Professor Makaiko Chithambo, Head of the Department of Physics and Electronics.

Pioneering book on phototransferred thermoluminescence published

In a landmark achievement for physics, the United Kingdom and Ireland-based Institute of Physics this month published a first-of-its-kind monograph on phototransferred thermoluminescence authored by Rhodes University’s head of Physics, Professor Makaiko Chithambo.

Two Rhodes University professors inducted into prestigious ASSAf Academy

At the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Awards Ceremony on November 09, 2023, Professor Makaiko Chithambo, the Head of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University, and Professor Sioux McKenna, the Director of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies (CPGS), were welcomed as new members of the prestigious academy. They joined 38 of the country's foremost scholars and scientists in receiving this honour.

Low-cost radio telescope brings new research and training opportunities for African scientists

Scientists and engineers from nine African countries, including South Africa, have converged at Rhodes University in Makhanda to share knowledge in building a low-cost radio telescope called the ‘Transient Array Radio Telescope’ or TART. The workshop takes place at Rhodes’ Continuing Education Centre from 9 to 13 October 2023, where participants will learn to assemble the instrument, get to understand the electronics and gain hands-on experience using the data acquired by TART.

Rhodes University’s RATT wins prestigious NRF Science Team Award

In a ground-breaking acknowledgement of excellence, the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (RATT) has been awarded the highly-coveted NRF Science Team Award for 2023.

New radio astronomical observations confirm unintended electromagnetic radiation emanating from large satellite constellations

Scientists, including Rhodes University Visiting Professor Dr Gyula Józsa, use the LOFAR telescope to observe low-frequency radio waves from satellites in large constellations for the first time. “Unintended electromagnetic radiation” emanating from onboard electronics in Starlink satellites was detected, which could impact astronomical research.

Professor Justin Jonas receives top Rhodes University award for his contribution to Radio Astronomy

Professor Justin Jonas, Professor of Physics and Electronics at the Rhodes University Department of Physics and Electronics, gave a lecture following his bestowal of the inaugural esteemed Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award (2020). In attendance were family and friends, students, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sizwe Mabizela.

Rhodes University hosts the MeerKAT Grand Tour data science workshop

Twenty-two students from South African universities have converged at Rhodes University to participate in the MeerKAT Grand Tour Data Science workshop held from Sunday, 15 to Saturday, 21 January 2023.

Rhodes University’s recently launched radio telescope provides robust learning opportunities

Dean of Science Professor Tony Booth officially launched the Rhodes University Transient Array Radio Telescope (TART) at the Waainek (Makhanda) site last week.

Rhodes University academics involved in study that might revolutionise the understanding of dwarf galaxies and their environment

Dwarf galaxies are known to be pristine probes of the early Universe, especially when they are isolated and not interacting with massive galaxies. Observations with the MeerKAT radio telescope of Wolf–Lundmark–Melotte Galaxy (WLM), an archetype of such a galaxy, have revealed its strong interaction with the intergalactic medium.

Rhodes University unveils new state-of-the-art X-ray laboratory for teaching, learning and research

Rhodes University officially unveiled its state-of-the-art X-ray facility yesterday, which will better prepare its science students for possible future professions.

Pharmacy Prof commended for hand sanitiser initiative during global health crisis

Professor Rod Walker from the Rhodes University Faculty of Pharmacy has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2021 Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Community Engagement. He describes this honour as “a wonderful recognition of the many who supported, facilitated and assisted in ensuring the success of the sanitiser project”.

Rhodes University astronomers involved in the discovery of mystery clouds

A collaboration between Rhodes University astronomers, University of Cape Town (UCT) and Swinburne University of Technology (SUT) based in Melbourne, Australia, has resulted in a discovery of a mysterious chain of hydrogen gas clouds with the size of a massive galaxy through the South African MeerKAT radio telescope. The international team is led by an Astronomer from the Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and Rhodes University visiting Professor Gyula Józsa, SUT’s Professor Michelle Cluver, and Professor Thomas Jarrett from UCT.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards

The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards has been established to recognise a staff member who has made an extraordinary and distinguished contribution that builds and supports the intellectual work of the University, the sector, and the national and international community of scholars, thereby significantly advancing the reputation of the institution, and which is not adequately recognised by the existing set of VC’s awards. This is intended to be a prestigious award of the highest status in the university, awarded sparingly.

An Introduction to Time-Resolved Optically Stimulated Luminescence

Professor Makaiko Chithambo, Head of the Physics and Electronics Department of Rhodes University published a book entitled An Introduction to Time-Resolved Optically Stimulated Luminescence late last year.

Physicists revisit the Fanaroff-Riley classification system

Rhodes University honorary doctorate Dr Bernie Fanaroff, and several physicists associated with Rhodes University, have recently revisited the Fanaroff-Riley classification (FRI/FRII morphological classification) in a paper called ‘A new look at old friends. I. Imaging classical radio galaxies with uGMRT and MeerKAT’.

Ultra-sensitive radio images reveal thousands of star-forming galaxies in early Universe

An international team of astronomers has published the most sensitive images of the Universe ever taken at low radio frequencies, using the International Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).

Astronomers bring M87’s black hole into sharper focus

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, who produced the first ever image of a black hole, has revealed today a new view of the massive object at the centre of the M87 galaxy: how it looks in polarised light. EHT collaboration members Dr Iniyan Natarajan and Prof Roger Deane, both with roots in Rhodes University, were involved in this discovery.

From telescopes to ventilators — how the country’s engineers and designers have retooled for the Covid-19 crisis

Production has begun on three local non-invasive respiratory ventilator designs. This is not just good news for hospitals and patients, but also for manufacturing in South Africa.

Rhodes University E-Bike team progress to the finals of Ford sustainable communities project

Young innovative minds of Rhodes University have progressed to the finals of the 2020 Ford C3 Building Sustainable Communities Project Partnership - Cycle 7 challenge.

Rhodes Business School 2019 MBA class member recognised abroad

While the year 2020 has seemingly hit a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not all going downhill for former Rhodes Business School and Port Elizabeth illusionist Brendon Peel, who has been nominated for the African Business Excellence Awards by the international MEA Markets business magazine.

Astronomers stumble upon unexpected features in a distant galaxy

An international team of astronomers, including astronomers from Rhodes University, has uncovered unusual features present in the radio galaxy ESO 137-006, using MeerKAT.

Astronomers capture first image of a black hole

Rhodes University contributes to paradigm-shifting observations of the gargantuan black hole at the heart of distant galaxy Messier 87.

Science Café draws diverse crowd

Grahamstown Science Café, which has been running once a month since March this year at Café Divine in New Street, consistently draws an assorted crowd of all ages.

Rhodes University role players help launch world’s biggest and most powerful radio telescope

Several Rhodes University students, staff and alumni, under the directorship of Physics and Electronics Professor Justin Jonas, are involved in the MeerKAT project, which officially launched on 13 July 2018 in the Northern Cape.

‘Cosmic Dawn’ Telescope gets $9.5 million to view the birth of the first stars and galaxies in the universe

The US National Science Foundation recently announced international funding to South Africa with a $9.5 million investment to expand on capabilities of HERA, the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array telescope.

The Department of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University to host 15th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating

The Department of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University will host the 15th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating.

A new associate member of ALICE

On 26 June 2015, Rhodes University from South Africa became an associate member of the ALICE Collaboration.

Rhodes to co-host South African Institute of Physics conference 2015

The Department of Physics and Electronics will co-host the 2015 South African Institute of Physics conference with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Conference to shedlight on science

Conference to shedlight on science

Hard work leads to US Studies

Ambition, determination and hard work have paid off for 24-year-old Ashton Dingle who heads to America in August to study a PhD in geophysics at the University of Kansas on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Rhodes celebrates postgraduates achievements

A group of postgraduate students are making waves in their communities after representing Rhodes University on national and international

Astronomy student numbers sky-high thanks to SKA

Following South Africa being awarded the lion’s share of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project just over a year ago, almost 500 students have received funding to study in as astronomy related fields.

KAT-7 observation scores publication

Cape Town - The first scientific paper based on observations from the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7) has been accepted for publication in a scientific journal.

SKA SA test telescope reveals binary star system

South Africa's test telescope reveals secrets of a binary star system and proves the country is able to deliver first-class scientific instruments.

Bernie Faranoff honoured by Wits University

Dr Bernie Fanaroff was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate by the Wits University early Wednesday.

SKA partners with IBM on ‘big data’ project

Using the systems available today to process the data that will be generated by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), it will take the equivalent of two nuclear power stations — about seven gigawatts a year — to power it, says Ton Engbersen, DOME project leader at IBM Research.

Oleg Smirnov: A career owed to the SKA

"You could say my entire academic career is owed to the SKA," said Professor Oleg Smirnov, who holds the SKA SA Research Chair in Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (RATT), at Rhodes University, and heads up the new Radio Astronomy Research Group at the SKA SA office in Cape Town.

Square Kilometre Array funding doubled to give big boost to SA science

The allocation to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope would more than double to R2bn, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his budget speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Square Kilometre Array funding doubled to give big boost to SA science

THE allocation to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope would more than double to R2bn, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his budget speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Africa takes to the skies in technological drive

Radio astronomy is one area where the continent is pushing scientific engagement, writes Sarah Wild

Elephants in the room

Leading researchers from all over the globe are currently in the vicinity for the first series of workshops on the third-generation calibration (3GC3) in radio astronomy in Africa, hosted Rhodes University.

Experts in Port Alfred study SKA

THE world’s leading radio astronomers – and the next generation of young up-and-coming scientists – have gathered in Port Alfred to brainstorm ways to improve the design of vital telescopes that will be used in the Square Kilometre Array.

Can we afford to overlook elephants in the room as we design and build SKA?

Rhodes University will be hosting the first series of workshops on the third-generation calibration (3GC3) in radio Astronomy in Africa at the Halyards Hotel, Port Alfred from 10-22 February 2013.

Once upon a starry night: The story (so far) of the Square Kilometre Array

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will eventually become the most sensitive radio telescope ever built, able to survey the heavens more than 10 000 times faster than current technologies.

SKA to give competitive advantage to SA

In technology, radio astronomy is still running off the success of the 1980s, says Rhodes University’s new Square Kilometre Array (SKA) research chairman, Oleg Smirnov.

SA made the right decision to bid for SKA

South Africa, with its relatively small science budget, has to choose which projects to support with its limited resources.

SKA headlines a bumper year for Department of Science and Technology

This year was probably the Department of Science and Technology’s most exciting in its 10-year existence.

SKA science building SA skills

South Africa is building local capacity to tackle its share of the massive Square Kilometre Array project in the Northern Cape province.

Top science students at Rhodes' RATT to solve SKA challenges

Rhodes University has been awarded an SKA Research Chair, and has used it as a base for the new Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (RATT). Minister Naledi Pandor opened the centre on 27 August 2012 in Grahamstown as part of celebrating South Africa's successful SKA bid.

The team behind the Square Kilometre Array

Few ambitious astro-science endeavours have garnered as much international attention as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world. Nine years after South Africa’s first submission to the International SKA Steering Committee (ISSC), South Africa is now celebrating its selection as host of the majority of the SKA project.

A world leader in Radio Astronomy

That South Africa is on the world Radio Astronomy horizon in such a way as to have successfully won two-thirds of the SKA bid, is to a significant extent due to the impact of academics and graduates of the Radio Astronomy research programme at Rhodes University.

Challenging Einstein

Professor Justin Jonas - Associate Director for Science and Engineering of South Africa’s SKA programme and Professor of Physics and Electronics at South Africa’s Rhodes University.

Straddling diverse worlds

Dr Adrian Tiplady’s “diverse skills set” have been credited by Professor Justin Jonas, head scientist of the local Square Kilometre Array Project (SKA) and Professor of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University, as key to South Africa’s bid.

High praise for SKA team from Pandor

SA won eye in sky bid but Australia 'threw toys out cot' THE stars of South Africa's winning bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope have been praised by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.

SKA telescope to turn brain drain in SA into brain gain By Sarah Wild

THE multibillion-rand Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope is attracting some of the best brains within and outside SA and is causing an "inverse brain-drain", according to SKA SA director Bernie Fanaroff.

Impatience and politics lead to SKA site split

SOUTH AFRICA had to give up a slice of the world's biggest astronomy project this week to avoid any further delays in its implementation.

Top international SKA scientist joins Rhodes

RHODES University is reaching for the stars after a top international scientist accepted a prestigious academic post that will see him splitting his time between Grahamstown and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Split SKA still an ego boost for SA

IT IS a measure of SA'S tender national ego that the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project developed a sense of national competition somewhat akin to winning the right to hold an international sporting tournament. Even after the announcement this weekend that SA will share the project - one of biggest science projects in history - with a bid from Australia and New Zealand, South African commentators were still quick to point out that most of the equipment would be situated here.

Now for the hard work in gigantic SEA project

SA BOFFINS REARING TO GO NOW that it is known where the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be hosted the hard work can begin, say two lead members of the SKA SA project team.

Work begins on SKA details

'PICKING SITE WAS EASY PART' NOW that it is known where the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is to be hosted, the hard work can begin, say two lead members of the SKA SA project team. It was announced on Friday that SA, with eight African partner countries, would host the project with Australia, paired with New Zealand.

SKA goes into referee's optional extra time

If the Square Kilometre Array bid was a rugby game between South Africa and Australia, the latest call from the referee would be: “Both of you have invested so much, we’re going to spend another month deciding how we can end this so everyone wins”.

SA, Australia may have to accept sharing SKA

The South African and Australian governments seem to agree on one thing: they are both ready to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), and diplomacy has tamped down on their frustration at another delay in the site decision.

SKA: Searching for the origins of the universe

With the decision for the hosting site for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope imminent, Origins Centre brings you a talk on the subject.

Germany joins SKA, praises SA

GERMAN Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan said yesterday that her country would be joining the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation.

Germany, SA initiative to boost local innovation

A research co-operation initiative between Germany and South Africa can help South Africa develop more local innovations, the Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor said on Monday.

SKA delay could end in a draw

A SHARED site is now being mooted as a win-win outcome for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, after the organisation's founding board decided to convene a group to investigate maximising "the value from the investments made by both sides".

Great astronomy, with or without SKA

South Africa is one of two finalists bidding to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), and with its rival Australia is awaiting the recommendation of the SKA Site Advisory Committee, due in February 2012.

South Africa: SKA Bid Cost R1.1 Billion But Jobs Already in the Offering

The bid for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope to be situated in South Africa cost R1.1 billion over nine years, said Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor in Parliament on yesterday.

The SKA sets universities abuzz

South African universities have welcomed the establishment of the world’s most powerful radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Rhodes astronomer gets prestigious post

RHODES University is reaching for the stars after a top international scientist accepted a prestigious academic post that will see him sharing his time between Grahamstown and the Square Kilometre Array.

Split site may be solution for SA and Australia in rivalry over SKA hosting

THE soonest SA and Australia can hope for a decision about where the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be located is May 25, when members of the SKA Organisation meet.

Much at stake in race to host SKA

South Africa is waiting with bated breath for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site decision, expected on Friday, which will indicate whether South Africa or Australia will host the biggest scientific project in the world.

SKA, MeerKAT boost specialist companies

SA'S Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid, and the construction of the MEERKAT radio telescope, have been a lifeline for highly specialised micro-companies.

DST connects rural universities

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is investing R78 million in connectivity for six remotely-located higher education institutions.

SKA site selection may be announced on Friday

South Africa, which is up against Australia to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), could hear on Friday whether it has been selected as the site for the world’s largest radio telescope array.

SA holds breath as SKA decision looms

South Africa may find out on Friday whether it has won the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Dual site agreed for Square Kilometre Array telescope

The Members of the SKA Organisation today agreed on a dual site solution for the Square Kilometre Array telescope, a crucial step towards building the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope.

SA’s eye-on-the-sky triumph

SA’s SKA success has been hailed as a major scientific coup which will bring scientists here from all parts of the world, offering important opportunities for job creation.

SKA is about ground-breaking science, not egos

Having both Australia and South Africa on board will enable the SKA to perform the best science possible. That should be the focus, not our egos.