Category Archives: Public Lecture

How neutrons will save the world

The Claire Corani Memorial Lecture

The South Australian lecture in the

2019 AIP Women in Physics Lecture Tour

at 6:30pm–7:45pm on Tuesday 20th August 2019

in the Napier 102 Lecture Theatre
Napier Building, the University of Adelaide, North Terrace campus.

Abstract: They are small, neutral and often in a spin, and so much more than ‘just’ part of the atom. Neutrons are the sub-atomic particles that are here to save the world. This trusty particle can be called on to discover the details that no other can fathom. From the shape of a virus and how a drug can disable it, to keeping electrons flowing in the next generation of batteries. Neutrons truly are today’s super particle

Biography: Dr Helen Maynard-Casely is an Instrument Scientist based at ANSTO (the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) where she uses neutrons to investigate the materials that make up our solar system. She has a PhD in high-pressure physics from the University of Edinburgh and has been lucky enough to have collected data in facilities all over the world.

The Claire Corani Memorial prizes, available for award to the top second-year female Physics student at each SA university in 2018, will be presented at the lecture.

The Evolutionary Map of the Universe

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019 at 8pm
Kerr Grant Lecture Theatre
2nd Floor, Physics Building
The University of Adelaide
North Terrace, Adelaide

The Evolutionary Map of the Universe

Professor Ray Norris
CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science &
Western Sydney University

Abstract: The m Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope is nearing completion in Western Australia. One of the key projects driving it is EMU – the Evolutionary Map of the Universe – which has an ambitious goal of studying the sky at radio wavelengths in unprecedented detail, boldly going where no telescope has gone before. Our scientific goal is to figure out how galaxies evolved in the early days of the Universe and how they evolve to the Universe we see today, with stars, planets, rocks, trees, and astronomers. What will we find? How will it change our view of how we got to be here? What is the role of black holes in regulating the growth of galaxies? And given that the most spectacular discoveries in astronomy are unexpected, we will be watching especially carefully for serendipitous discoveries that pop up in the data.

Bio: Professor Ray Norris is a British/Australian astronomer with CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science and Western Sydney University, who researches how galaxies formed and evolved after the Big Bang, and also researches the astronomy of  Aboriginal Australians. He frequently appears on radio and TV, featured in the stage show “The First Astronomers” with Wardaman elder Bill Yidumduma Harney, and has written the novel “Graven Images”.  He was educated at Cambridge University, and University of Manchester, UK, and moved to Australia to join CSIRO, where he became Head of Astrophysics in 1994, and then Deputy Director of the Australia Telescope, and Director of the Australian Astronomy Major National Research Facility, before returning in 2005 to active research. He currently leads an international project (EMU, or Evolutionary Map of the Universe) to understand the origin and evolution of galaxies, using the new Australian SKA Pathfinder radio-telescope nearing completion in Western Australia, and is also pioneering the WTF project to discover the unexpected in astronomical data.

Free – visitors welcome –  booking not required (*Please note – university security locks entrance doors at 8pm sharp*)

 

February VIC Branch Event

On 11 February 2019 at the School of Physics, The University of Melbourne, Prof. Elisabetta Barberio spoke about Australia’s contribution to discovering the Higgs Boson and future experimental research on detecting dark matter such a WIMPs. We also learned that bananas are a potent source of background radiation!

It was poetic that Prof. Barberio spoke on the International Women In Science Day as she is the first female Australian Institute of Physics Walter Boas Medal recipient.

Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Amanda Caples also showed her support by attending the talk and congratulating Prof. Barberio on her Boas Medal afterwards.
AIP-Feb2019-51126586_2535178313176558_4946797504508198912_Prof. Elisabetta Barberio, Boas Medal Winner (Hercus Theatre, Uni. of Melb.)

AIP-Feb2019-52120225_2536250253069364_862112898242052096_nDr Gail Iles (AIP Vic Branch Chair), Prof. Elisabetta Barberio (Uni. Melb.), Dr Amanda Caples (Lead Scientist Victoria)

Bronze Bragg Presentation and Free Public Lecture

Thursday 28th of February 2019 at 6.30 to 7.45 pm
Napier 102 lecture theatre, 1st floor, Napier Building
University of Adelaide

Optical Tweezers ‘Demystified’

Assoc. Professor Bruce Wedding

University of South Australia

Since their invention 32 years ago, optical tweezers have become a powerful tool utilised in a wide variety of experiments in biology and physics. Optical tweezers use light to trap microscopic objects as small as 10 nm using radiation pressure from a focused laser beam. These trapped particles can then be manipulated and forces on the particles in the trap can be measured. The first designs of optical tweezers used high power lasers and expensive optical hardware. Recently however, simple and inexpensive apparatus for undergraduate laboratories can produce a single beam optical tweezer to trap micron-sized particles. Such a system in undergraduate laboratories and the resulting student engagement will be presented.

Interest in microfluidics is also a rapidly expanding area of research and the use of microchips as miniature chemical reactors, so called ‘Labs-on-a-Chip’ is increasingly common. Microfluidic channels are now complex and combine several functions on a single chip. Fluid flow details are important but relatively few experimental methods are available to probe the flow in a confined geometry. We can use optical trapping of a small dielectric particle to probe the fluid flow in microfluidic channels.

Rather than using the optical trap to position and release a particle for independent velocimetry measurement, we map the fluid flow by measuring the hydrodynamic force acting on a trapped particle. The flow rate of a dilute aqueous electrolyte flowing through a microchannel has been mapped using a small (1 µm diameter) silica particle. Such flow mapping is time efficient, reliable, and can be used in low-opacity suspensions flowing in microchannels of various geometries.

The Bronze Bragg medals and certificates will be presented at the lecture. The medal is awarded for highest achievement in Physics in 2018 in the SACE Stage 2 assessments, with certificates being for students who achieved a merit.

 The presentation and lecture will be held in the Napier 102 Lecture Theatre, Napier Building, 1st floor, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, north from Pulteney St., at 6.30pm. Members of the public are warmly invited to attend. We are obliged for security reasons to keep the front door of the building attended, so please arrive before 6.30pm. Bookings are not available. The doors must be closed if all seats are taken.

Enquires: Email via aip_branchsecretary_sa@aip.org.au  mob: 0427 711 815.

2018 Annual General Meeting QLD Branch – Room Change

Please take note, we have incorporated a room change so that there will be better amenities to account for our online viewers!

The new location will be:

Parnell Building: Room 7-302

The link to join us online is available below.

 

Members of the Australian Institute of Physics, Queensland Branch.

 

You are invited to attend the upcoming Annual General Meeting .

The AGM will be held on the 2 November from 4pm – 6pm, Room 50-S201, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus.

I am very pleased to announce that we will have two speakers bracketing the AGM, with the QLD nominee for the Bragg Gold Medal Dr Sarah Walden presenting her research; and the John Mainstone Youth lecture Tour presenter Dr Sean Powell.  More information about their presentations are provided below.

The expected timing of the proceedings will be as follows:

4.00pm – 4.50pm      Dr Sarah Walden presents her research

5.00pm – 5.15pm      AGM

5.15pm – 6.00pm      Dr Sean Powell – “Physics is everywhere!”  Presentation from the John Mainstone Youth Lecture Tour.

For catering purposes it would be appreciated if you could register your attendance by Tuesday the 30th of October  to aip_branchsecretary_qld@aip.org.au . Catering will involve pizza and cold drinks.

 

We additionally hope to stream the presentation online using the zoom platform. You can join us at AEST 4pm-6pm here.

 

Additionally, part of the business for the AGM will be to elect the branch committee for 2019.

 

As per the AIP by-laws, the retiring committee has made nominations for next year’s committee, and these are listed below:

 

Joel Alroe (Chair) (QUT),

Joanna Turner  (Secretary) (USQ),

Scott Adamson (Vice-Chair) (All Hallows),

Igor Litvinyuk (Treasurer) (GU),

Simon Critchley (Qld Health),

Austin Lund (UQ),

Nunzio Motta (QUT),

Carolyn Brown (USQ),

Till Weinhold (UQ)

Jacinda Ginges (UQ)

Scott Hoffman (post-graduate student representative UQ)

 

Members may make further nominations, which need to be duly proposed and seconded and forwarded to the Secretary at least 24 hours before the AGM, directed to aip_branchsecretary_qld@aip.org.au . I look forward to seeing you on 2nd November!

 

Dr Sarah Walden

Title: Nonlinear optical properties of ZnO and ZnO-Au composite nanostructures for nanoscale UV emission

Abstract: This thesis investigates the nonlinear optical properties of ZnO and ZnO-Au composite nanostructures. For applications such as photodynamic therapy, it is desirable to use nanoparticles to generate localised UV emission while illuminating them with visible or infrared light. This is possible using nonlinear optical processes such as two photon absorption. Nonlinear optical processes however, are extremely weak, so this work investigates the potential of increasing the efficiency of two photon absorption in ZnO nanoparticles by coupling them to metal nanoparticles. Using new experimental methods, the two photon absorption and resulting UV emission from the nanoparticles are measured.

Dr Sean Powell

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!

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)

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)