All posts by aipWPEditor

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

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)

PUBLIC LECTURE – 31 JULY 2018

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 aip_branchsecretary_tas@aip.org.au)

PUBLIC LECTURE – 7 JUNE 2018

2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Glitch – Investigating the densest matter in the universe: The 2016 glitch of the Vela pulsar

Thursday 7 June 2018, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Jim Palfreyman
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania

Pulsars are neutron stars that are the remnants of supernova explosions. They are highly dense and rotate rapidly, some with accuracy better than atomic clocks. The Vela pulsar famously “glitches” or speeds up in rotation roughly every three years. No glitch has ever been observed in-action with a radio telescope large enough to see individual pulses, until now. Some remarkable events occurred and these will be covered in detail. The presentation will be aimed at people who have a general interest in astronomy.

Further details: Andrew Klekociuk (T 0418 323 341, E aip_branchsecretary_tas@aip.org.au)

International Day of Light Public Lecture

6:30 pm, Wednesday 16th May 2018

Napier 102 lecture theatre, Napier Building,
University of Adelaide (North Terrace campus)

Heike Ebendofff-HeidepriemLight for Extra-Sensory Perception

 

Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem

Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS),
ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP),
The University of Adelaide

Abstract

Photonics is a disruptive technology whose impact and potential to transform industry and our lives has been likened to those of electronics. We all use photonics enabled devices every day such as lasers, sensors and optical fibres, even without realising it. The global photonics market is currently worth around USD$500 billion and is expected to grow to over US$600 billion by 2023, which makes physics and photonics a very attractive prospect to join this locally and internationally growing high-tech industry.

This talk will explore the different approaches and devices used for harnessing light to measure the world around us, for example temperature, magnetic fields, gravity, corrosion and much more.

Biography

Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem received the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Jena, Germany, in 1994. She subsequently held two prestigious fellowships and received the Weyl International Glass Science Award in 2001. During 2001-2004 she was with the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, UK. Since 2005, she has been with the University of Adelaide, Australia. Currently, she leads the Glass and Fibre Group and is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing. Her research focuses on the development of novel optical glasses, fibres, surface functionalization and sensing approaches.

PUBLIC LECTURE – 10 May 2018

2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Shedding light on dark matter

Thursday 10 May 2018, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Professor Chris Power
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, University of Western Australia

A standard cosmological model has emerged over the last 30 or so years in which the matter content of the Universe is predominantly in the form of an exotic non-baryonic matter, quite unlike the ordinary matter of everyday experience. Uncovering the physical nature of this dark matter is one of the most pressing problems facing fundamental physics and cosmology in the 21st century.

Astronomical observations and modelling have played a key role in establishing what we think we know so far about the dark matter – the widely favoured Cold Dark Matter (CDM) model predicts successfully the large-scale distribution of galaxies in a cosmic web, and is consistent with our deepest observations of the early Universe, which show that galaxies, groups, and cluster are the product of mergers over the last 13 or so billion years of cosmic time. The CDM model is not without its problems, however, and, in particular, it is on the smallest galactic mass scales of dwarfs and satellites of the kind we find around the Milky Way that it has faced its most severe challenges.

I will review what the latest observations and numerical simulations are telling us about dark matter, and I will speculate on what we might learn in the coming years, especially as observation, theory, and experiment place more stringent limits on what the dark matter can be.

Further details: Andrew Klekociuk (T 0418 323 341, E aip_branchsecretary_tas@aip.org.au)

PUBLIC LECTURE – 10 APRIL 2018

2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

From Mad Scientists to Eco-Warriors: The changing image of scientists in fiction and film

Tuesday 10 April 2018, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Adjunct Associate Professor Roslynn Haynes
School of English, Media and Performing Arts, University of New South Wales

For approximately 600 years, from 1380 to 1980, scientists or their predecessors, the alchemists and natural philosophers, fared ill at the hands of writers and, later, film makers.

They were obsessed to the point of madness, or evil, amoral, arrogant, impersonal, and inhuman. At best, they were well intentioned but blind to the dangers of forces they barely controlled. They were Faustus and Frankenstein, Jekyll and Moreau, Caligari and Strangelove – the scientists of film and fiction, cultural archetypes that reflected ancient fears of tampering with the unknown or unleashing the little-understood powers of nature.

Yet, since the 1990s, there has been a trend by novelists to present scientists as more complex, realistic figures, many honest and admirable even if confused as to their role. They are eco-warriors saving the planet, or medical researchers discovering new cures for humanity. However, in films, the mad, evil stereotype endures. What are the reasons for this disparity?  What do they teach us about the difficulties scientists have in convincing politicians and large sections of society of the need to take environmental pollution and climate change seriously?

Further details: Andrew Klekociuk (T 0418 323 341, E aip_branchsecretary_tas@aip.org.au)

http://www.events.utas.edu.au/2018/april/from-mad-scientists-to-eco-warriors-the-changing-image-of-scientists-in-fiction-and-film

Bronze Bragg Presentation and Free Public Lecture

6:30 pm, Thursday February 22nd 2018

 Napier 102 lecture theatre,
Napier Building, University of Adelaide (North Terrace campus)

 

DavidOttawayGravitational Wave Detection and the Birth of Multi Messenger Astronomy”

Prof. David Ottaway,
University of Adelaide

 

Abstract:

The existence of gravitational waves was first predicted by Albert Einstein as a direct consequence of his Theory of General Relativity. These waves were first directly detected on Earth a little more than 2 years ago. These waves were created by the collision between two black holes that occurred over a billion years ago. The significance of this detection was celebrated with the awarding of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to Weiss, Barish and Thorne. Further detections have helped solve the mystery of how gold and other heavy elements are created in the Universe. In this talk I will present an overview of the field of gravitational wave detection and how this has led to the opening of a new window on the universe.

BronzeBraggMedal

 

 

The Bronze Bragg medals and merit certificates will be presented at the lecture.

 

The medal is awarded for highest achievement in Physics in 2017 in the SACE Stage 2 assessments, with certificates being for students who achieved a merit.