Brian Cox (physicist)

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Professor Brian Cox
Brian Cox.jpg
Brian Cox speaking at The Royal Institution in November 2009
BornBrian Edward Cox
(1968-03-03) 3 March 1968 (age 45)[1]
Chadderton, Oldham, England
ResidenceManchester[citation needed]
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
NationalityBritish
FieldsParticle physics
InstitutionsUniversity of Manchester
CERN
Alma materUniversity of Manchester
ThesisDouble diffraction dissociation at large momentum transfer (1998)
Doctoral advisorRobin Marshall[2]
Doctoral studentsTamsin Edwards[3]
James Monk[4]
Irina Nasteva[5]
Andres Osorio[6][7]
Andrew Pilkington[8]
Known forWonders of Life
Wonders of the Universe
Wonders of the Solar System[9]
ATLAS
D:Ream
Dare
InfluencesRichard Feynman
Carl Sagan
Notable awardsPhD (1998)[2]
Kelvin Prize (2010)
OBE (2010)[10]
Michael Faraday Prize (2012)
SpouseGia Milinovich (m. 2003)
ChildrenMoki, George
Website
twitter.com/ProfBrianCox
www.apolloschildren.com/brian
www.manchester.ac.uk/research/brian.cox
 
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Professor Brian Cox
Brian Cox.jpg
Brian Cox speaking at The Royal Institution in November 2009
BornBrian Edward Cox
(1968-03-03) 3 March 1968 (age 45)[1]
Chadderton, Oldham, England
ResidenceManchester[citation needed]
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
NationalityBritish
FieldsParticle physics
InstitutionsUniversity of Manchester
CERN
Alma materUniversity of Manchester
ThesisDouble diffraction dissociation at large momentum transfer (1998)
Doctoral advisorRobin Marshall[2]
Doctoral studentsTamsin Edwards[3]
James Monk[4]
Irina Nasteva[5]
Andres Osorio[6][7]
Andrew Pilkington[8]
Known forWonders of Life
Wonders of the Universe
Wonders of the Solar System[9]
ATLAS
D:Ream
Dare
InfluencesRichard Feynman
Carl Sagan
Notable awardsPhD (1998)[2]
Kelvin Prize (2010)
OBE (2010)[10]
Michael Faraday Prize (2012)
SpouseGia Milinovich (m. 2003)
ChildrenMoki, George
Website
twitter.com/ProfBrianCox
www.apolloschildren.com/brian
www.manchester.ac.uk/research/brian.cox

Brian Edward Cox OBE (born 3 March 1968)[1] is an English physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow, PPARC Advanced Fellow at the University of Manchester.[11][12] He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)[13][14] at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. He is working on the research and development project of the FP420 experiment in an international collaboration to upgrade the ATLAS and the CMS experiment by installing additional, smaller detectors at a distance of 420 metres from the interaction points of the main experiments.[15][16][17][18]

Cox is best known to the public as the presenter of a number of science programmes for the BBC, boosting the popularity of subjects such as astronomy and physics.[19] He has been described as the natural successor for BBC's scientific programming by both David Attenborough and the late Patrick Moore.[20][21] He also had some fame in the 1990s as the keyboard player for the pop band D:Ream.

Early life and education[edit]

Cox's parents were bankers[1] and he attended the independent Hulme Grammar School[22] in Oldham from 1979 to 1986.[23][24][25] Cox revealed on The Jonathan Ross Show, that he performed poorly on his Maths A-level: "I got a D ... I was really not very good ... I found out you need to practice."[26] He cites a lack of interest and fledgling band commitments as the reason for the result.

Cox obtained first class Bachelor of Science and MPhil degrees in physics. After D:Ream disbanded in 1997, Cox completed his Doctor of Philosophy in high energy particle physics at the University of Manchester.[2] His thesis, entitled "Double Diffraction Dissociation at Large Momentum Transfer", was supervised by Robin Marshall[2] and drawn from work he did for the H1 experiment at the HERA[2][27] particle accelerator at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany.[28]

Music career[edit]

In the 1980s he was keyboard player with the rock band Dare.[29] He studied physics at the University of Manchester where he joined D:Ream,[30] a group which had several hits in the UK charts, including the number one, "Things Can Only Get Better",[31] later used as a New Labour election anthem.

Broadcasting career[edit]

A Brian Cox
Brian Cox at Science Foo Camp in 2008

Cox has appeared in many science programmes for BBC radio and television,[9] including In Einstein's Shadow,[32] the BBC Horizon series,[33] ("The Six Billion Dollar Experiment", "What on Earth is Wrong with Gravity?", "Do You Know What Time It Is?", and "Can we Make a Star on Earth?") and as a voice-over for the BBC's Bitesize revision programmes. Cox presented a five-part BBC Two television series entitled Wonders of the Solar System in early 2010 and a follow up four-part series, Wonders of the Universe, which began on 6 March 2011.[34] A new series, entitled Wonders of Life completed filming in June 2012,[35] which Cox describes as "a physicist's take on life / natural history."[36]

He co-presents Space Hoppers and has also featured in Dani's House on CBBC.[37]

BBC Two commissioned Cox to copresent Stargazing Live, a three-day live astronomy series in January 2011 – co-presented with physicist-turned-comedian Dara Ó Briain and featuring chat show host Jonathan Ross[38] – linked to events across the United Kingdom. A second and a third series featuring a variety of guests ran in January 2012 and January 2013.[39]

Since November 2009 Cox has co-presented a BBC Radio 4 "comedy science magazine programme", The Infinite Monkey Cage with comedian Robin Ince.[40] Guests have included comedians Tim Minchin, Alexei Sayle, Dara Ó Briain, and scientists including Dr Alice Roberts of the BBC show The Incredible Human Journey. Cox also appeared in Ince's Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People. Cox is a regular contributor to the BBC 6 Music Breakfast Show with Shaun Keaveny, with a weekly feature. Cox appeared on the 24 July 2009 episode of Robert Llewellyn's CarPool podcast series.[41]

Cox has also appeared numerous times at TED, giving talks on the LHC and particle physics.[42][43][44] In 2009 he appeared in People magazine's Sexiest Men Alive.[45] In 2010 he was featured in The Case for Mars by Symphony of Science. In November 2010 he made a promotional appearance in the Covent Garden Apple Store, talking about his new e-book set to accompany his new television series as well as answering audience questions.[46]

Cox gave the Royal Television Society's 2010 Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture on "Science, a Challenge to TV Orthodoxy", in which he examined problems in media coverage of science and news about science. It was subsequently broadcast on BBC Two. On 4 March, Frankenstein's Science featured Cox in discussion with biographer Richard Holmes on Mary Shelley's exploration of humanity's desire to bring life to an inanimate object and whether the notion is possible, in both the nineteenth century and today.

On 6 March 2011, Cox appeared as a guest at Patrick Moore's 700th episode anniversary of The Sky At Night. He has said that he is a lifelong fan of the programme, and that it helped inspire him to become a physicist. On 10 March 2011, Cox gave the Ninth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture.

Cox has co-authored several books on physics including Why does E=mc2?[47] with Jeff Forshaw, and The Quantum Universe, also with Jeff Forshaw.[48]

Cox was the science advisor for the science fiction film Sunshine. On the DVD release, he provides an audio commentary where he discusses scientific accuracies (and inaccuracies) depicted in the film. He also was featured on the Discovery Channel special Megaworld: Switzerland. In 2013, he presented another series of "Wonders of Life".

On 14 November 2013, BBC Two broadcast The Science of Doctor Who in celebration of Doctor Who's 50th anniversary, in which Cox tackles the mysteries of time travel. The lecture was recorded at the Royal Institution Faraday Lecture Theatre. In November 2013, the BBC announced that Cox will present Human Universe on BBC Two.

Honours and awards[edit]

Cox has received many awards for his efforts to publicise science. In 2002 he was elected an International Fellow of The Explorers Club and in 2006 Cox received the British Association's Lord Kelvin Award for this work.

Also in 2006 he was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (an early-career research fellowship scheme). A frequent lecturer, he was keynote speaker at the Australian Science Festival in 2006, and in 2010 won the Institute of Physics Kelvin Prize for his work in communicating the appeal and excitement of physics to the general public.[49] Cox was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's 2010 Birthday Honours for services to science.[50][10]

On 15 March 2011, Cox won Best Presenter and Best Science / Natural History programme by the Royal Television Society for Wonders of the Universe. On 25 March 2011, Cox won twice at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for 'Best Performer' in a non-acting role, while Wonders of the Solar System was named best documentary series of 2010.[51][52]

In July 2012, Cox was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield.[53] Later that year, he was awarded the Institute of Physics President's medal by Sir Patrick Stewart, following which he gave a speech on the value of education in science and the need to invest more in future generations of scientists.[54] On 5 October 2012 Cox was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University for his "Exceptional contribution to Education and Culture".[55] In 2012 he also was awarded the Michael Faraday Prize of the Royal Society "for his excellent work in science communication" [56]

Personal life[edit]

In 2003 Cox married U.S. science presenter Gia Milinovich. Their first son George was born on 26 May 2009.[57] George's middle name is "Eagle" after the Apollo 11 lunar module. Milinovich also has a son, named Moki, from a previous relationship. The family currently lives in Manchester.[citation needed]

He recalls a happy childhood in Oldham that included pursuits such as dance, gymnastics, plane spotting, and even bus spotting. He has stated in many interviews and in an episode of Wonders of the Universe[58] that when he was 12, the book Cosmos by Carl Sagan was a key factor in inspiring him to become a physicist.[1] Brian Cox is a humanist, and is a "Distinguished Supporter" of the British Humanist Association.[59] He is a lifelong Oldham Athletic A.F.C. fan, and held a season ticket at the club.[1]

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2005–2009HorizonHimself/PresenterEpisodes:
  • Einstein's Equation of Life and Death (2005)
  • Einstein's Unfinished Symphony (2005)
  • The Six Billion Dollar Experiment (2007)
  • What on Earth is Wrong with Gravity (2008)
  • Do You Know What Time It Is (2008)
  • Can we Make a Star on Earth (2009)
2008The Big Bang MachinePresenter
2010Wonders of the Solar SystemPresenter
Dani's HouseHimself
Would I Lie to You?Panellist
2011–2012QIPanellistEpisodes:
2011–2013Stargazing LiveCo-PresenterAll 3 series
2011Wonders of the UniversePresenter
A Night With The StarsPresenter
The One ShowGuest
The Sky at NightGuest on 700th edition
The Graham Norton ShowGuestSeries 8, Episode 16
The Horizon Guide: MoonPresenter
2012The Jonathan Ross ShowGuest
Doctor WhoHimself"The Power of Three"
2013Wonders of LifePresenter
Science BritannicaPresenterSeptember 2013. Starts Wednesday 18 September, BBC 2
ConanGuestEpisode 437
The Science of Doctor WhoPresenterBBC 2
2014Human UniversePresenterBBC 2


Discography[edit]

Session discography[60]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Smith, David (2008-09-14). "Putting the fizz into physics". London: The Observer. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Cox, Brian Edward (1998). Double diffraction dissociation at large momentum transfer (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  3. ^ Edwards, Tamsin Louisa (2006). Diffractively produced Z bosons in the muon decay channel in pp̄ collisions as s, and the measurement of the efficiency of the DØ Run II luminosity monitor (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  4. ^ Monk, James William (2006). Study of central exclusive production (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  5. ^ Nasteva,, Irina Naskova (2006). Exclusive Higgs production and decay to WW(*) at the LHC and semiconductor tracker studies for the ATLAS detector (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  6. ^ Osorio Oliveros, Andres Felipe (2006). WW scattering studies for a future linear collider (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  7. ^ SPIRES entry for Brian E. Cox
  8. ^ Pilkington, Andrew Denis (2006). Central exclusive production in TeV energies (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  9. ^ a b Professor Brian Cox at the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ a b "Professor Brian 'chuffed' with OBE". The Sun (London). 2010-06-12. 
  11. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  12. ^ Butterworth, J.; Couchman, J. P.; Cox, B. E.; Waugh, B. M. (2003). "KtJet: A C++ implementation of the K⊥ clustering algorithm". Computer Physics Communications 153: 85–96. arXiv:hep-ph/0210022. Bibcode:2003CoPhC.153...85B. doi:10.1016/S0010-4655(03)00156-5.  edit
  13. ^ Cox, B.; Forshaw, J.; Lee, J.; Monk, J.; Pilaftsis, A. (2003). "Observing a light CP-violating Higgs boson in diffraction". Physical Review D 68 (7). arXiv:hep-ph/0303206. Bibcode:2003PhRvD..68g5004C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.68.075004.  edit
  14. ^ Cox, B.; Forshaw, J.; Heinemann, B. (2002). "Double diffractive higgs and di-photon production at the Tevatron and LHC". Physics Letters B 540 (3–4): 263–268. arXiv:hep-ph/0110173. Bibcode:2002PhLB..540..263C. doi:10.1016/S0370-2693(02)02144-5.  edit
  15. ^ FP420 R&D Project, FP420, 16 October 2007, retrieved 5 April 2011
  16. ^ Brian Cox (physicist) on Twitter
  17. ^ Brian Cox (physicist) from SciVerse Scopus bibliographic database
  18. ^ Brian Cox publications in arXiv
  19. ^ "'Brian Cox effect' leads to surge in demand for physics". Daily Telegraph. 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  20. ^ "Sir David Attenborough says he would like to pass on the baton to Professor Brian Cox". Daily Telegraph. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  21. ^ "Brian Cox? He's no astronomer! Patrick Moore turns his telescope on the young pretender - and concedes he's really rather good (for an ex-rock star)". Daily Mail. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  22. ^ "Oldham Hulme Grammar Alumni". Oldham Hulme Grammar School. Archived from the original on 2013-12-17. 
  23. ^ "Congratulations to Professor Brian Cox OBE". Oldham Hulme Grammar School website. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2011. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Alumni". Oldham Hulme Grammar School website. Oldham Hulme Grammar School. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Brian Cox: Science is not 'dominated by old men'". BBC News. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  26. ^ "Jonathan Ross welcomes Matt Smith to his Friday night show". BBC. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  27. ^ Cox, B. (2005). A review of forward proton tagging at 420m at the LHC, and relevant results from the Tevatron and HERA 753. pp. 103–111. arXiv:hep-ph/0409144. doi:10.1063/1.1896693.  edit
  28. ^ Professor Brian Cox, ApollosChildren.com (with downloadable postscript file), retrieved 6 September 2008
  29. ^ Naughton, Philippe; Costello, Miles (24 February 2008). "A Life in the Day: Dr Brian Cox". The Times (London). Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  30. ^ Caspar Llewellyn Smith (4 April 2010). "Brian Cox: The man with the stars in his eyes". The Observer (London). Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  31. ^ UK top 40 hit database, EveryHit.co.uk (search result for D:Ream), done 6 September 2008
  32. ^ In Einstein's shadow, BBC, January 2005, retrieved 6 September 2008.
  33. ^ Sue Rider Management, Professor Brian Cox, retrieved 6 September 2008
  34. ^ Wonders of the Solar System, retrieved 4 April 2010
  35. ^ http://twitter.com/BBC_Wonders/status/213560054480248832
  36. ^ "Brian Cox answers your questions about life, the universe and everything". The Guardian (London). 24 March 2011. 
  37. ^ Space Hoppers, retrieved 4 April 2010
  38. ^ Ross returns to BBC for Stargazing series, Catherine Neilan, Broadcast, 25 November 2010
  39. ^ Speech by Saul Nassé, head of BBC Learning, 27 September 2010, retrieved 6 December 2010.
  40. ^ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radio4/2010/06/ Live chat: science fiction vs science fact ... , Steve Bowbrick, BBC Radio 4 blog, 28 June 2010, retrieved 6 July 2010.
  41. ^ CarPool, Brian Cox on CarPool, 24 July 2009, retrieved 19 September 2009.
  42. ^ Brian Cox, TED, retrieved 6 January 2011.
  43. ^ http://ted.com/index.php/talks/brian_cox_on_cern_s_supercollider.html Brian Cox at TED
  44. ^ http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/253 TED Talks: Brian Cox on CERN's supercollider] at TED in 2008
  45. ^ ATLAS physicist voted sexiest in the world, February 2009
  46. ^ Landmark Apple Store Event for Professor Cox, press release from HarperCollins, 24 November 2010, retrieved 6 December 2010.
  47. ^ Cox, Brian; Forshaw, Jeff (2010). Why Does E=mc²? : (And Why Should We Care?). Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81876-9. 
  48. ^ Cox, Brian; Forshaw, Jeff (2011). The Quantum Universe : everything that can happen does happens. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-84614-432-5. 
  49. ^ 2010 Kelvin medal and prize
  50. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59446. p. 9. 12 June 2010.
  51. ^ Cox, Brian; Cohen, Andrew (2010). Wonders of the Solar System. London: Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-738690-1. 
  52. ^ Cox, Brian; Cohen, Andrew (2011). Wonders of the Universe. New York: Harper Design. ISBN 978-0-06-211054-1. 
  53. ^ "Brian Cox receives degree from Sir Patrick Stewart". BBC. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  54. ^ IOP Awards 2012: Professor Brian Cox delivers a key note speech
  55. ^ http://www8.open.ac.uk/students/ceremonies/files/ceremonies/file/Graduate-Directory-2012-WEB.pdf
  56. ^ "The Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize". Royal Society. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  57. ^ "Twitter / Gia Milinovich: We had our little boy at a". Twitter.com. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  58. ^ "BBC Two Programmes – Wonders of the Universe". Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  59. ^ "Professor Brian Cox OBE". British Humanist Association. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  60. ^ "Brian Cox Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1968-03-03. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 

External links[edit]