All posts by ScienceInPublic

Nobel for gravitational waves; Australia joins the space race; flip-flop qubits and quantum internet – Physics in October

Professor Andrew PeeleInterim Director, Australian SynchrotronSpace has featured strongly in recent news.

A new gravitational wave detection, and the first from a detector other than the LIGO detectors, means we are improving our ability to identify the source of these signals and strengthening arguments to build more, and more advanced, detectors.

Of course, there is also the small matter of a Nobel Prize!

Overnight Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”. Like the Higgs Boson before it there was very little doubt that this significant work was going to win a Nobel Prize, it was more a matter of who would be awarded the prize and when. You can read the full media release here.

Another success was celebrated with the end of the Cassini mission bringing world-wide media attention and reminding us just how much can be achieved with good planning and a dedicated team.

The International Astronautical Congress also gathered its share of media attention. While Elon Musk headlined with plans for going to Mars and a new acronym for a very large rocket (read the story!), the news for Australia was even more important. The announcement of a space agency for Australia signals exciting times for physics and for members of the Australian Institute of Physics.

On the topic of space, but in a different way, there are some important spaces to fill at Science & Technology Australia, with nominations open for executive committee positions. The AIP is a member of STA and this opportunity to play a role in Australia’s peak body in science and technology is one of the benefits of AIP membership. More on how to nominate below.

For more physics news you can:
1) read on;
2) renew your membership to keep receiving the AIP member only magazine – Australian Physics;
3) stay in touch with other members through events and conferences around the country; such as the Summer Meeting at the end of this year, and the 2018 AIP Congress; or
4) all of the above.
Continue reading Nobel for gravitational waves; Australia joins the space race; flip-flop qubits and quantum internet – Physics in October

Diamond lasers and nano-nails; the total eclipse; teaching physics; and the Summer Meeting: Physics in September

There were physicists galore at the “Oscars of Australian Science” – the Eureka Prizes – hosted by the Australian Museum in August.

Physicists and applied physics researchers featured in at least five Prizes, you can read more about them below. Through both the winners, and all the finalists, it was great to see the impact physics can have on people’s lives.

Another way you as a physicist can have a big impact is through becoming our AIP Special Project Officer for outreach. This is a voluntary position and is a great way to become part of the AIP Executive team. The role will also give you experience and help broaden your skills in science communication. See the information below on how to apply.

Hot off the back of the great 2017 Women in Physics lecture series featuring Katie Mack, we’re putting the call out for nominations for the next Women in Physics Lecturer – and we’re seeking an international speaker for 2018. More below on how you can nominate. 

Finally, the AIP Summer meeting is proceeding with the call for submission of abstracts well and truly open – and closing on 29 September. Make sure to get your in and I look forward to seeing you there.

All this plus information and links to the solar eclipse, teaching physics and even more are in this month’s Bulletin – enjoy!

Andrew Peele
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading Diamond lasers and nano-nails; the total eclipse; teaching physics; and the Summer Meeting: Physics in September

Science Week physics; PhD opportunities; school talks; and teachers honoured – Physics in August

Professor Andrew PeeleInterim Director, Australian SynchrotronThis Saturday, August 12, is the start of National Science Week and physics is well represented – read about some of the great events below.

Science week is a great opportunity to promote our discipline, whether you’re running your own event; or taking a friend, colleague, kid, or yourself along to one of the great events on around the country. Who knows, you might inspire a next-generation physicist, or come up with an idea for an event next year.

Taking inspiration from the generation of ideas in science week, it is not too early to help with suggestions for focus sessions or speakers for the AIP 2018 Congress. This premier event in the AIP calendar is made successful by input from members – so if you have a hot topic or a great suggestion for a plenary talk please let the organisers know.

Another event that will be great for members is the AIP Summer meeting. Designed to benefit students and early-career researchers, the first Summer meeting will be held 3-8 December at UNSW. We’ll be calling for abstracts shortly – watch this space www.aip2017.org.au.

Being informed and active in the areas highlighted in the bulletin, and more, is part of being a member of the AIP. If you would like to become a member, or to renew your membership, go to aip.org.au/joining-the-aip

Andrew Peele
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading Science Week physics; PhD opportunities; school talks; and teachers honoured – Physics in August

Katie Mack tour dates; have your say on 2018 Congress program; fusion, funding, honours; and more – Physics in July

Professor Andrew PeeleInterim Director, Australian SynchrotronThis year’s much-anticipated Women in Physics lecture tour will see Dr Katie Mack undertake a massive schedule of talks at schools and universities across the country this July and August.

The tour includes a public lecture in most states and territories titled “Everything you wanted to know about Dark Matter but were afraid to ask”. So, bookmark the scheduled dates listed in this month’s bulletin to have all your questions about Dark Matter and the mysteries of the Universe answered by one of Australia’s most inspiring women in physics.

In fact, July sees a feast of public lectures across the country, many of them also listed in this bulletin. Which serves as a timely reminder – if you have an event that is physics related we’re happy to promote it for you. All you have to do is Submit Your Event to the Australian physics calendar via the link on the AIP website. We’ll then include it in this bulletin and promote it via our social media too, on Facebook and Twitter.

While there is much to anticipate there has also been much to celebrate – this edition of the bulletin reports on physicists recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours and recent grant and award successes from members of the AIP and the Australian physics community. Which just goes to show that it is not just July that is a great month in physics – every month has something for physicists in the AIP.

Being informed and active in the areas highlighted in the bulletin, and more, are part of being a member of the AIP. If you would like to become a member or to renew your membership, go to aip.org.au/joining-the-aip

Andrew Peele
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au
Continue reading Katie Mack tour dates; have your say on 2018 Congress program; fusion, funding, honours; and more – Physics in July

Perth 2018, the AIP Congress heads west; success in physics education; events, prizes and more: Physics in June

Australian Institute of Physics members can look forward to some exciting activities in the times ahead.

In thisProfessor Andrew PeeleInterim Director, Australian Synchrotron bulletin, we announce that the 2018 AIP Congress will be held in Perth. More on that below.

But in the meantime, the inaugural Summer Meeting of the Australian Institute of Physics will be hosted by the University of New South Wales from 3 – 8 December 2017.

This meeting will be a cheaper version of our major biennial congress held in the between years. With its lower registration costs it will be more accessible to members, particularly students and early-career physicists. Although cheaper, we’ll still be delivering a comprehensive science program, covering the same range of topics as the full Congress. For more information follow the conference webpage at www.aip2017.org.au.

We also have an exciting opportunity for the right member wanting the right challenge to become the next Editor of our bi-monthly Australian Physics journal. What better way could there be to get a ringside seat on the latest developments in Australian physics? If you’re interested in the role please email myself or current editor Brian James (b.james@sydney.edu.au) for more details.

And for two of our AIP members in particular, some very exciting times.

Congratulations to Dr Maria Parappilly – physics lecturer at Flinders University and head of the AIP’s Physics Education Group – on winning an International award in Teaching Innovation (Physics). She will travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada to receive her award in June.

Also to Professor Susan Scott who has been selected to join an international team of 80 women for the Homeward Bound 2018 program. This 12-month leadership program aims to heighten the impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet over the next decade and culminates in a 3-week female expedition to Antarctica in February-March 2018. We look forward to hearing about her experience on her return.

Being informed and active in the areas highlighted in the bulletin, and more, are part of being a member of the AIP. If you would like to become a member or to renew your membership, go to aip.org.au/joining-the-aip

Andrew Peele
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading Perth 2018, the AIP Congress heads west; success in physics education; events, prizes and more: Physics in June

Diversity in science; Aussie physicists recognised by IUPAP; where could physics take your career – a new guide; and more – Physics in May

This month we celebrate some young achievers, discuss the implications of the 457 visa changes, invite nominations for the AIP prizes, and preview the new international physics careers guide. Professor Andrew PeeleInterim Director, Australian Synchrotron

I’d like to begin by highlighting the achievement of AIP member Dr Mohsen Rahmani from the ANU, who has won the 2017 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Laser Physics and Photonics (Fundamental Aspects).

Australia plays an important international role in the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics with a number of members of IUPAP Commissions and, indeed the chair of IUPAP is currently an AIP member—Professor Bruce McKellar.

Diversity in our workplace and in our collaborations is a way of bringing new ideas and approaches into what we do. Sometimes diversity in areas other than gender representation gets overlooked in the discussion, but diversity in nationality, and to some extent ethnicity, is one that science and physics has traditionally incorporated intuitively—for instance through the many large scale international physics collaborations that are undertaken.

In this bulletin there are two items relating to diversity: first, an opportunity to assist researchers running a research project to find out what drives the success and well-being of indigenous and non-indigenous professionals; and second, some important information about the recent 457 visa changes, which may impact the future ability of institutions to continue current levels of international collaboration and training.

Also related to the future of physics—members and non-members alike who are looking for a career in physics would be well advised to take a look at the Institute of Physics 2017 edition of Physics World Careers. If you are an AIP member, remember one of the benefits of membership is a healthy discount on the IOP membership fee.

Being informed and active in the areas highlighted in the bulletin, and more, are part of being a member of the AIP. If you would like to become a member or to renew your membership, go to aip.org.au/joining-the-aip

Kind regards,

Andrew Peele
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading Diversity in science; Aussie physicists recognised by IUPAP; where could physics take your career – a new guide; and more – Physics in May

Katie Mack is the 2017 Women in Physics lecturer; space films & podcasts; physics prizes; and more – Physics in April

Professor Andrew PeeleInterim Director, Australian SynchrotronOne of the special things an organisation like the AIP can do is to support people doing wonderful things for physics. One way we do this is through the Women in Physics lecture tour, which celebrates the contribution of women to advances in physics. Under this scheme, a woman who has made a significant contribution in a field of physics is selected to present lectures in venues arranged by each participating state branch of the AIP.

The AIP has been running the Women in Physics lecture series since 1997 and this edition of the bulletin introduces a new Women in Physics lecturer—Dr Katie Mack—who is not only doing world-leading research but is also an inspired and effective communicator. More on Katie below.

Another important way to support physics is by being informed about issues that affect our discipline, and science more broadly, and by being prepared to advocate for science. Some of our members have taken this to heart and have decided to join in the March for Science on April 22.  The AIP endorses the March objectives. More below on how you can be involved.

While on the topic of being informed, the Australian Government has recently released its National Science Statement, which sets out a framework to guide investment and decision making in the longer term. The document is part of a process to formulate and support a strategic plan for the innovation, science and research system to 2030. I encourage all AIP members to be aware of and to have opinions about the National Science Statement. More on this below.

Being informed and part of all these areas, and more, are part of being a member of the AIP. If you would like to become a member or to renew your membership, go to aip.org.au/joining-the-aip

Kind regards,

Andrew Peele
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading Katie Mack is the 2017 Women in Physics lecturer; space films & podcasts; physics prizes; and more – Physics in April

Welcoming a new committee; a review of the Physics Decadal Plan; physics prizes; and more: Physics in March

Professor Andrew PeeleInterim Director, Australian SynchrotronThere is a lot to be excited about in physics and the Australian Institute of Physics in 2017. We have some new members and people in new roles on the AIP executive committee this year and I am delighted to welcome them to the team. We are looking forward to exploring physics in Australia throughout the year and bringing it to this audience. More on the new committee below.

I recently had the pleasure of writing my first president’s column for the Australian Physics magazine and there is nothing like reflecting on what we do as an organisation to bring the inherent strength and value of the AIP into focus.

We are an institute that has a rich tradition of promoting, protecting and practicing physics and Australian Physics is a great example of this. Under the guiding hand of Brian James, this magazine is a fascinating mix of physics from around the country and provides real insight into the varied research and achievements of our colleagues.  Continue reading Welcoming a new committee; a review of the Physics Decadal Plan; physics prizes; and more: Physics in March

A new President; ARC Centre jobs; prizes; and other opportunities in 2017 – Physics in February

Warrick Couch imageThis month, I’d like to welcome the new President—not Donald Trump, but our new AIP President Professor Andrew Peele.

Andrew has been the Director of the Australian Synchrotron since 2013 and is also a Professor of Physics at La Trobe University. With his leading role in science and experience in research facility management, as well as his past life as a lawyer, I know that the AIP will be in great hands and I look forward to working with Andrew in my role as Immediate Past President. You can read more about Andrew below.

For my part, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as President, helping to modernise the AIP, attract more members, and raise the profile of Australian physics in the national science policy domain and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. For the latter, one of the highlights has been holding the very first joint AIP Congress and Asia-Pacific Physics Conference in Brisbane in December. This brought together 850 attendees including ~250 from the Asia-Pacific region—the highlights of which were covered in our special January Bulletin.

Continue reading A new President; ARC Centre jobs; prizes; and other opportunities in 2017 – Physics in February

Summer reading: Physics Congress special edition

Welcome to 2017, and to a special edition of the AIP Bulletin where we are sharing with you some of the great stories from the Joint 13th Asia-Pacific Physics Conference and 22nd AIP Physics Congress (APPC-AIPC), held in Brisbane in December.

We also introduce the winners of last year’s AIP Prizes, who received their awards and medals at the Congress. More below.  Continue reading Summer reading: Physics Congress special edition