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Staff Directory - Cormac O Raifeartaigh

Dr.  Cormac  O'Raifeartaigh  BSc (Hons) PhD FRAS

Title
Lecturer in physics
School/Department
School of Science & Computing, Dept Computing & Mathematics
Telephone
+353 51845572
Email
CORAIFEARTAIGH@wit.ie
Room Name/Num:
333
Building:
1969 - Main Building
Campus:
Main Campus
My Blog or Website
coraifeartaigh.wordpress.com
Social media
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My Biography


I have lectured in physics at Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland since 1996. As well as standard courses in mechanics, relativity and solid-state physics, I teach introductory courses in modern particle physics and cosmology. A solid-state physicist by training, my research has recently focused on the history and philosophy of 20th century physics, with an emphasis on big bang cosmology.

My Research


Early career work concerned the study of defects in solids induced by ion implantation. More recent reserach includes several original discoveries in the history of 20th century cosmology. Best known for the discovery that Albert Einstein attempted a steady-state theory of the universe many years before Fred Hoyle. This work has been described in Nature, Scientific American and Discovery Magazine.

My Professional Experience


BSc Hons (University College Dublin) 1988.

Trinity Trust Award (Trinity College Dublin) 1988-1991.

PhD (Trinity College Dublin) 1994.

CEC Marie Curie Research Postdoctoral Fellowship (Aarhus University) 1993 - 1994

CEC Marie Curie Research Postdoctoral Fellowship (Trinity College Dublin) 1994 - 1995

Research Fellow, Science, Technology and Society Program (Harvard University) 2010-11

Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society 2013

Research Associate of the School of Theoretical Physics of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies 2014.

Outreach


Well-known science communicator, best known for a monthly science column in The Irish Times and the science blog Antimatter.  Science Ambassador for Discover Science and Engineering Ireland. Much in demand as a public science presenter with appearences on The Six One News (RTE TV 1), Drivetime (RTE Radio 1), Pat Kenny Live (Newstalk) and Futureproof (Newstalk). Former Chair of the RAW public science debates at Science Gallery Dublin. 

Recent Publications


Book chapters

O'Raifeartaigh, C. 2015. ‘A new perspective on Einstein's philosophy of cosmology’. To be published in the book 'The Philosophy of Cosmology: Foundations and Perspectives' (Ed. J. Silk and J. Barrow) Cambridge University Press.

O’Raifeartaigh, C. (2013). ‘The contribution of V.M. Slipher to the discovery of the expanding universe’. In ‘Origins of the Expanding Universe: 1912-1932.' (Ed. M.Way and D. Hunter) Astronomical Society of the Pacific: Conference Series 471 pp. 49-61

Peer-reviewed journal articles 

O'Raifeartaigh C., O'Keeffe M., Nahm W. and S. Mitton. (2015) ‘Einstein's cosmology review of 1933: a new perspective on the Einstein-de Sitter model of the cosmos’. To be published in the European Physical Journal (H) vol. 40 

O’Raifeartaigh,,C. (2014) ‘Einstein’s steady-state cosmology ’,  Physics World  vol. 27  no.9.

O’Raifeartaigh, C, McCann, B, Nahm, W, and Mitton, S. (2014) ‘Einstein’s steady-state theory: an abandoned model of the cosmos’, European Physical Journal (H) vol. 39 (2), pp.1-15.  ArXiv preprint at http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.0132

O’Raifeartaigh,, C. and McCann, B. (2014) ‘Einstein’s cosmic model of 1931 revisited: an analysis and translation of a forgotten model of the universe’, European Physical Journal (H) vol. 39 (1), pp. 63-85.  ArXiv preprint at http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.2192

Conference papers 

O’Raifeartaigh, C. and Mitton S. (2014) ‘A steady-state model of the cosmos by Albert Einstein’, Institute of Physics International Conference on the History of Physics, Trinity College, Cambridge University, September 4-5th

O’Raifeartaigh, C. (2014) ‘Einstein’s steady-state model of the cosmos’, Irish National Astronomy Meeting, Trinity College Dublin, August 13-15th

O’Raifeartaigh, C. (2014) ‘A steady-state model of the cosmos by Albert Einstein’, Irish Quantum Foundations Conference, Trinity College Dublin, May 31st

O’Raifeartaigh, C. (2013) ‘The discovery of the expanding universe: paradigm shift or slow dawning?’, 223rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society , Washington, Jan 5-7th

O’Raifeartaigh, C. (2013)’ VM Slipher and the discovery of the expanding universe’, Autumn Meeting of the Astronomical Science Group of Ireland, Galway, November 5th

My Blog Feed


21 Mar 2015

A day out (and a solar eclipse) at Maynooth University

I  had a most enjoyable day on Friday at the mathematical physics department of Maynooth University, or NUI Maynooth, to give it its proper title. I was there to attend an international masterclass in particle physics. This project, a few years … Continue reading


31 Jan 2015

A Night at the Academy Awards

I spent a most enjoyable evening last week at the Royal Irish Academy. Ireland’s premier learned society, the Academy is an all-Ireland body that promotes excellence in the sciences and the humanities, fostering links between ‘the two cultures’. Membership of the Academy … Continue reading


10 Jan 2015

Academics and their holidays

Last week, I returned to the snow world for the first time in a long while. The college teaching semester starts on Monday 12th, and I managed to get my corrections done over Christmas, leaving a precious few days over. … Continue reading


07 Jul 2014

Robert Boyle Summer School 2014

Last weekend saw the third Robert Boyle Summer School, an annual 3-day meeting in Lismore, Co, Waterford in honour of one of Ireland’s greatest scientists. Born in Lismore into an extremely wealthy family, Boyle  became one of the most important figures … Continue reading


23 May 2014

Freeman Dyson and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

On Monday, I attended the Statutory Lecture of the School of Theoretical Physics of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS). This is an outreach lecture presented annually by DIAS and this year the lecture took place at University College … Continue reading


20 Mar 2014

Hawking, Cambridge and the infant universe

I hugely enjoyed this week’s conference ‘Cosomolgy and the Constants of Nature’  at Cambridge University. There were some truly great talks by John Barrow, John Ellis and Thanu Padmanabhan among others, not to mention Joao Magueijo describing his famous ‘variable speed of light’ theory in person. … Continue reading


16 Mar 2014

Cosmology and the constants of nature at Cambridge

They say the Irish know how to party and the coincidence of yesterday’s victory in the Six Nations with a St Patrick’s weekend has brought the country to a whole new level of craziness. So it’s good to arrive in … Continue reading


My Publications


10 Sep 2014

A strange cat in Dublin

O Raifeartaigh, Cormac (2012) A strange cat in Dublin. Physics World, 25. ISSN 0953-8585


20 Aug 2014

Einstein's steady-state cosmology

O Raifeartaigh, Cormac (2014) Einstein's steady-state cosmology. Physics World, 27 (9). ISSN 0953-8585


20 Aug 2014

The contribution of VM Slipher to the discovery of the expanding universe

O Raifeartaigh, Cormac (2013) The contribution of VM Slipher to the discovery of the expanding universe. In: Origins of the Expanding Universe 1912-1932. Astronomical Society of the Pacific. ISBN 978-1-58381-826-8


20 Aug 2014

Einstein's cosmic model of 1931 revisited: an analysis and translation of a forgotten model of the universe

O Raifeartaigh, Cormac and McCann, Brendan (2014) Einstein's cosmic model of 1931 revisited: an analysis and translation of a forgotten model of the universe. European Physical Journal (H), 39 (1). pp. 63-85.


20 Aug 2014

Einstein's steady-state theory: an abandoned model of the cosmos

O Raifeartaigh, Cormac and McCann, Brendan and Nahm, Werner and Mitton, Simon (2014) Einstein's steady-state theory: an abandoned model of the cosmos. European Physical Journal (H), 39.


20 Oct 2007

Einstein and the Atomic Theory

O'Raifeartaigh, Cormac (2005) Einstein and the Atomic Theory. The Engineers Journal, 59 (8). p. 497.


31 May 2007

Semiconductor physics at WIT and Trinity College

O'Raifeartaigh, Cormac (2006) Semiconductor physics at WIT and Trinity College. Research Matters (6). p. 16.