A friendly and healthy environment
in which to learn and find yourself
Rachel, 3rd Year
Professorial Fellow; Member of the College Council
Professor of Applied Mathematics
Historical geography may be defined most simply as the study of the geography of places in the past. While it would appear to be relatively easy to differentiate between the ‘past’ and the ‘present’, there is room for some debate about when the ‘present’ ends and the ‘past’ begins.
I have been interested in volcanoes for well over 30 years. My research group, in the Department of Earth Sciences, studies magmatic processes. We want to answer simple questions. How is magma generated? How does it move towards the surface? Where is it stored before volcanic eruptions? What is the relationship between magmatism and environmental change?
After graduating from Oxford in 1964, I joined the research group of Luis Alvarez at the University of California, Berkeley, where I obtained a Ph.D. in experimental particle physics in 1969. That was a time of great excitement, with discoveries coming thick and fast. I studied the new phenomenon of CP (charge-conjugation times parity) violation in neutral K mesons, using the bubble-chamber technique for which Alvarez was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize.