Welcome to Fusion

FUSION is the Open University Physics & Astronomy society. We were formed in 2001 by students who recognised the need to create a society for OU students and graduates whose primary interest is in physics & astronomy. We have over 150 members many of whom are studying at various levels of the physical sciences study program. We organise regular events of interest to members, have a regular newsletter, a Facebook group. We welcome current and past students or anyone with a general interest in physics and astronomy.

The Paul Ruffle Memorial Lecture 2014
Exoplanets and how to find them
Professor Andrew Norton (Open University)

star with planet

Twenty years ago, planets around other stars were the stuff of science fiction; yet today that fiction is a reality and we know of over 1000 so-called exoplanets, with thousands of further possible ones identified. In this talk Professor Norton will tell a little of the history of this remarkable advance, and show just how exoplanets are discovered, using a range of models and demonstrations. Some highlights from recent discoveries will be discussed, including those from the SuperWASP project which staff at the OU are involved with, and the prospects for future discoveries of habitable Earth-like planets will be outlined.

Paul Ruffle (1951-2013) was an astrophysicist at the University of Manchester, an OU tutor, Café Scientifique organiser, honorary auditor of the RAS, and a founder member of Fusion, the OU Physics & Astronomy Society. He was also a great populariser of astronomy, through his many public lectures and appearances on local radio. After a successful career as a graphic designer, Paul completed an Open University physics degree and then a PhD at Manchester University, followed by a period at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia, USA and postdoctoral research in Manchester.

Andrew Norton is Professor of Astrophysics Education at the Open University and Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Director of the OU's George Abell Observatory. His research interests include: wide field surveys for variable stars and transiting exoplanets; observation and modelling of Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables; and observation and modelling of High Mass X-ray Binaries.

Saturday 13th September, 3.00pm at the Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BQ

Admission free. All welcome!


  • The Paul Ruffle Memorial Lecture 2014: Exoplanets and how to find them
  • Surrey Satellite Visit


    We are very pleased to announce there is another opportunity to visit the always popular Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd on 19th September 2014 at 12pm

    SSTL have been delivering small satellite missions for over 25 years - longer than anyone else in the world. Today they have a reputation as the world's premier provider of operational and commercial satellite programmes

    Please contact Dwyn to register for this event at Fusionevents@live.com