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PUBLIC LECTURE – 28 NOVEMBER 2018

2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Good vibrations: Using ambient seismic signals to explore deep continents and distant oceans

Wednesday 28 November 2018, 6.00-7.00 pm (note early time)
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Professor Anya Reading
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania

Seismic ‘noise’, the background ambient signals recorded by seismic stations around the planet, can be utlised to infer the structure of the deep continents, the 3D architecture of the tectonic plates.  Ocean storms, at incredible distances, also transmit signals to seismic stations on land.  Archive seismic records can hence be used to investigate storms, and possible changes in storm patterns, over recent decades.  This presentation will survey the variety of seismic signals that we record, novel ways of extracting information from those signals and new insights on the continents and oceans that have arisen through making use of these ‘good vibrations’.

Further details: Simon Ellingsen (E simon.ellingsen@utas.edu.au)

QLD Outstanding Physics Teacher Award – nominate now!

The AIP-QLD is looking to introduce the outstanding Physics teacher award. We are looking for nominations of Physics teachers that have made a positive impact to teaching Physics to students at the high school level by anyone of the following criteria.

  1. Promote student interest in physics by providing an environment that stimulates student curiosity and learning.
  2. Use, develop or write innovative instructional materials and new technologies and approaches to the teaching of physics.
  3. Be a positive role model or mentor for other teachers of physics.
  4. Participate in professional development activities in science as a facilitator and continuous development as an effective science educator, with a focus on physics.

If you have a colleague, a former teacher of your own, or have heard of an inspiring teacher in your circle of friends, please consider nominating them for this years award by filling out the nomination form and sending this nomination (or any inquiries) by email to: aip_branchsecretary_qld@aip.org.au
Nominations close Friday 19th October 2018.

The Cherenkov Telescope Array – Approaching a New Era of Gamma-Ray Astronomy

CherenkovWednesday 5th of September 2018 at 8pm
Kerr Grant Lecture Theatre
2nd Floor, Physics Building
University of Adelaide
North Terrace, Adelaide

Dr. Sabrina Einecke
University of Adelaide
SabrinaEinecke
Abstract: When the term gamma radiation pops up, associations with radioactive hazards may arise. Do we have to be afraid of gamma radiation from space? Fortunately, we don’t have to be, because the Earth’s atmosphere protects us. Unfortunately, it also prevents us from directly observing this radiation from Earth. But it is in the nature of man to be curious to overcome these obstacles to investigate this vicious radiation from space. In 1961, a satellite was the first to detect gamma rays from space. At about the same time, the Cherenkov radiation was discovered – a radiation that is emitted when charged particles move through a medium at the speed of light. This led to a new technique, capable of measuring gamma rays from Earth, and paving the way for ground-based gamma-ray astronomy. However, it took 30 years until an appropriate experiment discovered the first gamma-ray emitting astrophysical source. Since then, hundreds of sources of Galactic and extragalactic origin have been discovered, and higher energies and sensitivities have been reached. The Cherenkov Telescope Array will exceed current experiments in a multitude of aspects: With more than 100 telescopes in 3 sizes at 2 locations equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, it will cover an area of 10 square kilometres on the ground, and it will provide a new view of the sky at energies of up to 300 TeV  – more than a 1000 billion times the energy of visible light. With its unprecedented capabilities, it will refine our knowledge tremendously and will mark the beginning of a new era of gamma-ray astronomy. Deeper insights into this field will be subject of this presentation.

Bio: Born around the time when Cherenkov telescopes made their first discovery, Sabrina Einecke is observing the extreme gamma-ray universe for more than 8 years. She took her first steps in gamma-ray astronomy with the ground-based experiments MAGIC, FACT and CTA. Completing research stays at the Columbia University in New York, she expanded her interests to the utilisation of machine learning approaches to combine a variety of multi-wavelength data to fully exploit the information that is available. This also led to her PhD thesis with the title “The Data Mining Guide to the Galaxy”. According to the German Physical Society, it has been among the best in Germany in 2017. After finishing her PhD studies in Germany, she moved to Australia and now supports the University of Adelaide as a postdoctoral research fellow. Her research focuses on Active Galactic Nuclei – the most extreme objects in the Universe – and data analysis using cutting-edge techniques from the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning – crucial for handling the immense amount of data collected by next-generation experiments.

PUBLIC LECTURE – 28 AUGUST 2018

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 aip_branchsecretary_tas@aip.org.au)

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!

CeriBrenner

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 http://wp.maths.usyd.edu.au/MAGIC/ 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.

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

Abstract
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.

Biography
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.

Enquiries: aip_branchsecretary_sa@aip.org.au