All posts by aipWPEditor


2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Why should I care about physics? From atoms to cancer therapy and more!

Tuesday 28 August 2018, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart


Dr Catalina Curceanu
National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Frascati, Italy

What a wonderful world! And how many different structures, from stars to human beings! We have learned about atoms, Higgs bosons, black holes and the Big Bang; we have internet, computers, satellites, GPS and so many amazing technologies! Who needs more?

But how do they work? One may think we should not care about the physics beyond technology; it is not our business how technology works! But this is not true! Amazing things happen if we try to understand the physics behind our technology: GPS works due to…Einstein; computers work due to…quantum mechanics; we can cure cancer with particle accelerators. But even more important, we can explore the Universe – inside and outside us – because we are curious beings, we are all born physicists!

The adventure of physics will last as long as humanity – we will never stop asking questions. Stay hungry, stay foolish? No! Stay curious. Albert Einstein once said: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious”.

Further details: Andrew Klekociuk (T 0418 323 341, E

The Claire Corani Memorial Lecture

The South Australian lecture in the 2018 AIP Women in Physics  Lecture Tour

at 6:30pm–7:40pm on Thursday 9th August 2018

in the Napier G04 Lecture Theatre
Napier Building, the University of Adelaide, North Terrace campus

LaserAbstract: When we press FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world,
we deliver a packet of light that is a thousand billion billion times more
intense than the sunlight you feel while out on Bondi beach in peak
summer! That’s super intense! We can use this extreme power to
recreate the conditions at the centre of Sun and in the process release
vast amounts of energy in a clean and safe way. Harnessing this power
for electricity generation is an inspiring story. It combines pure and
applied physics and requires engineering to handle the most extreme conditions in our solar system!


Biography: Ceri Brenner is a plasma physicist and innovator who uses the most powerful lasers in the world to study what happens when extreme bursts of light come into contact with matter and is using this knowledge to design new X-ray technology that can see through steel! The extreme physics she studies can also be applied for understanding supernova explosions in space or how we can ignite a star on earth for clean electricity generation.

MAGIC – Mentoring and Guidance in Careers for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Applications are now open for the second “Mentoring and Guidance in Careers” (MAGIC) workshop for women and gender diverse early career researchers with a PhD in mathematical or physical sciences, awarded within the past 7 years. The workshop will be held from 29 October – 2 November 2018, at University House, ANU, Canberra.

Please see for further information and for the application form.

Up to 35 successful applicants will receive financial support for airfare and accommodation costs to attend the workshop.

The 2017 workshop received an enthusiastic welcome and was oversubscribed, with many interested people turned away due to restricted capacity.

The closing date for applications is 6 August 2018.


The AIP is extremely excited to provide the current tour schedule of Dr Ceri Brenner during the Women in Physics Lecture tour.

Dr Ceri Brenner is a physicist using the most powerful lasers in the world to develop innovative imaging technology for medical, nuclear and aerospace inspection. She has a unique role that spans research, innovation and business development and is driving the translation of laser-driven accelerator research into industrial applications that impact our society. In 2017 she was awarded the UK Institute of Physics’ Clifford-Paterson Medal and Prize for her significant early career contributions to the application of physics in an industrial context.

A graduate of Oxford University and PhD from University of Strathclyde, Ceri has established a unique position working in the UK’s Central Laser Facility, in which her passion for application-focused research works alongside pursuing fundamental understanding of extreme condition physics.

She is a highly experienced and popular science communicator and is a strong advocate of physics engagement to reach new audiences within the public, academia and industry. She especially enjoys inspiring the next generation into this exciting profession. Ceri is also an active member of the physics community with leading committee roles within the Institute of Physics and British Science Association.

Her website can be found here:

IOPawards2017_CBYou can find out if Ceri will be visiting a location near you by accessing the tour document. Please note the document is being updated as more information becomes available and the information listed may be subject to change.


If you would like more information on a certain event, or would like to contact a local organiser, you can contact the National Tour coordinator Joanna Turner for further details:





New Designs for Nuclear Power Reactors

AIP Lecture – Visitors Welcome
6:30 pm, Wednesday 11th July 2018
Kerr Grant lecture theatre, Physics Building
University of Adelaide (North Terrace campus)

by Dr Mark Ho
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation,
Lucas Heights, NSW. President, Australian Nuclear Association

Nuclear reactors generate 11% of the world’s electricity delivering emissions-free, baseload power. Of the world’s 447 power reactors  83% are LWRs (light-water reactors) that operate in a thermal-neutron energy spectrum where the neutron capture cross-section of Uranium-235 is maximised. Light Water Reactors are a proven technology, with over 50 years of operational experience and remain the design of choice for new builds. On the 10 year horizon, small modular reactors (SMR) will become available. Essentially a small LWR by design, these SMRs promise to be safer, faster to build and thus cheaper to finance. Their smaller size may also lead to them becoming brownfield replacements for old retiring coal-fired power plants.
In the future, advanced reactors that operate in the fast neutron spectrum will become widely deployed. Using coolants such as sodium, lead or molten-salt, these reactors will operate at a higher temperature, radiation and corrosion environment but with the ability to breed fuel, burn radioactive waste and operate at a higher thermal efficiency. This talk will provide an overview of all reactor developments.

Dr Mark Ho works at ANSTO, Lucas Heights, specialising in reactor thermo-hydraulics. He’s interested in reactor design, computational fluid dynamics, coding and boiling dynamics. He has recently returned from a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Small Modular Reactors. He is the current President of the Australian Nuclear Association which is an organisation of professional scientists and engineers based in Sydney and with a branch in Adelaide.


The John Mainstone Youth Lecture Tour 2018, Queensland

This year’s youth lecture tour will promote physics to senior high school students and science teachers. Commencing in August, Dr Sean Powell and Dr Jacqui Romero will present lectures in Physics to high school students in major centres across the state.


The 2018 AIP Lecture Series will be delivered by Dr Sean Powell.


Dr Powell’s talk in 2018 is titled Physics is everywhere! – a journey from sub-atomic particles to the large-scale structure of the universe, where physics seeks to answer the most fundamental questions about reality. As we learn more, we can do more! Physics is everywhere in our world and underpins all our technologies. This year, Sean will discuss the important problems that all of us encounter every day: how do I teleport myself to school? What do I do when I find myself inside a black hole? Why is my time-machine not working? He will also talk about the superpowers that you can gain as a physicist, such as the ability to make accurate quantitative observations and predictive and interpretive mathematical models.  These powers mean that you can become very valuable and work in many industries such as fundamental physics research, economics and finance, space and aeronautics, healthcare and medicine, learning and teaching, electronics and computers, and so much more!


An additional regional lecture will be delivered in Mount Isa in 2018 by Dr Jacqui Romero.


Dr Romero’s talk in 2018 will focus on Slower light in free space. The speed of light is nominally given by c/n, where n is the refractive index of the medium in which the light is travelling.  The refractive index of free space is 1, hence it is natural to expect that in free space, light travels at c. We show that this is not the case when you consider real beams.

We consider photons in a Bessel mode and a focused Gaussian mode, and show that in both cases, the reduction in group velocity results to a delay of several micrometers over a propagation distance of 1 m or ~30 femtoseconds in terms of arrival time.

Please refer to the attached itinerary for information regarding dates, times and venues and contact details for the host at each venue.

AIP 2018 Youth Lecture Itinerary Brief

There is no cost to attend these presentations; however, we do ask that you RSVP the organiser at each venue to indicate your school details, staff attending and anticipated student numbers , by Wednesday 25 July.


We would appreciate your assistance in forwarding this to any interested staff and students who may not receive it via the Physics Discussion list.


Scott Adamson (on behalf of the Australian Institute of Physics – Queensland Branch)


2018 Women in Physics Lecture Series

2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Lasers And Super Exciting Research: It’s all in the name!

Tuesday 31 July 2018, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart


Dr Ceri Brenner
Senior Application Development Scientist for High Power Lasers, UK Research and Innovation

Lasers are the greatest multi-taskers; from telecommunications to surgery, from space missions to cutting through steel, they’re used everywhere! But did you know that we are also using the most powerful lasers in the world to tackle some truly global challenges? We’ll explore how lasers are key to providing for our rapidly growing energy demands, how they will help spot and treat cancer and how they can be used for safe handling of nuclear waste.

Further details: Andrew Klekociuk (T 0418 323 341, E