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Physics and Astronomy

Knowledge Exchange (KE) and impact in Physics & Astronomy

Knowledge Exchange

The Division has a wide range of KE activities including Public Lectures, School Talks, School Visits, Astronomy Labs., Enrichment Courses/Workshops, Media Corner, Webpage for Public etc.


Media Corner

Young globular clusters

Young globular clusters

Dr. J.J.L. Lim's research team unveils one origin of globular clusters around giant galaxies.

The research team utilizing data from the Hubble Space Telescope, has provided surprising answers to the origin of some globular clusters around giant galaxies at the centers of galaxy clusters. 

The team discovered that globular clusters around the giant galaxy at the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster are not all ancient objects: rather, a few thousand have formed over at least the past 1 billion years, and perhaps many more over the course of cosmic history.

Their work is reported in the journal paper “Sustained Formation of Progenitor Globular Clusters in a Giant Elliptical Galaxy” published on the Nature Astronomy website.

This work also has been reported by different newspapers and media including: 

Ming PaoMirage NewsIndia Education DiaryEurekAlertNewsBeezer - ZimbabweNewsBeezer - SingaporeScienmagNewswise

To know more about this work, please refer to our English press release.


School Visits

Students with Telescope

We launch various events such as HKU Astronomical Observatory Open House. 

In March 2018, the Public science event in the HK SciFest 2018 encouraged the public to observe the Moon and Mars by using our 16-inch reflector telescope.


Please visit our School Visits to find out more.

For more details about our KE and Outreach, please visit



The Research Division for Physics and Astronomy has been active in engaging with the general public through citizen science, liaising with government bodies, and fostering industrial partners in its efforts to translate basic and applied research into meaningful economic and societal impact.

In the past years, there has been several impactful cases arises from such activities, including the surveying of light pollution in Hong Kong, development and manufacturing quality quantum-dot LED backlight devices, battery materials, and semiconductors.


Timelapse photo of Hong Kong

Case I: A cultural, behavioural, and regulation campaign against light pollution: from Hong Kong to the world

Research at HKU’s Department of Physics has underpinned a long-term cultural, behavioural, and regulation movement against light pollution, starting from Hong Kong and extending to other countries.

The research underpinned the Hong Kong government’s Charter on External Lighting, through which more than 4,800 organisations pledged to turn off lighting at night.

The research technique used in Hong Kong has now been applied in 11 other countries/regions, spreading the message of dark sky preservation worldwide, influencing policy decisions and securing a range of environmental and health benefits. 

The PI, Dr. Jason Pun, is now serving in the government’s Working Group on External Lighting – the official consultative body to consider further government restrictions on the use of external lighting in Hong Kong.

For more information, please see:


    Case II: Optimizing devices performance through defect engineering

    Dr. Francis Ling, in collaboration with companies in Greater China Area, is developing new technologies in quantum dot (QD) display used in TVs, and SiC power devises used in electrical vehicles, power transmission and high-speed train.  

    The collaborations yield improvement in QD light emitting devices and one of the smallest SiC chips in the world, as well as reducing production cost, and acquiring new markets for the companies.

    The SEM image of the decapsulated 4H-SiC JBS diode and the corresponding spatial mapping of the cathodoluminescence peak intensity

    (Left) The SEM image of the decapsulated 4H-SiC JBS diode;

    (Right) The corresponding spatial mapping of the cathodoluminescence peak intensity which is associated with electrical active defects concentraiton.