Category Archives: TAS

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

2017 Tasmanian Branch Public Lecture Recordings

Thanks so much to the speakers who presented our winter series lectures this year. Here are links to recordings if you were not able to attend or would like to revisit the talks (apologies for some glitches):

https://echo360.org.au/…/f288734f-dd86-4db6-acd1-b74…/public (Sue Cook, 20 Sep – Giant Icebergs)

https://echo360.org.au/…/f72c9681-6279-48f7-aba9-125…/public (Clive Baldock, 22 Aug – Radiation)

https://echo360.org.au/…/b6997c3d-40b7-453f-9612-3ff…/public (Katie Mack, 8 Aug – Universe, AUDIO ONLY + video of Katie talking, but no slides)

https://echo360.org.au/…/e5958f39-65e9-48e6-ac3c-aca…/public (Matthew Hole, 27 Jul – Fusion)

https://echo360.org.au/…/46c71f35-84ba-4ec9-bbb0-c81…/public (David Jamieson, 17 May – Power)

https://echo360.org.au/…/faee3c5b-524e-4eca-bf5f-ef9…/public (Nick Seymour, 6 Apr – Big Telescope, AUDIO ONLY)

PUBLIC LECTURE – 30 NOVEMBER 2017

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

The Birth of Suns

Thursday 30 November 2017, 6.00-7.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Professor Mark Krumholz
Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University

We’ve all learned that space is an empty vacuum, but it’s not. The space between the stars in our Galaxy contains, on average, about 1 atom per cubic centimeter. That’s a better vacuum than the best vacuum chamber we know how to make, but there are a lot of cubic centimeters in interstellar space, so the mass of all the gas between the stars adds up to about 10% of the mass of all the stars put together. The temperature of this gas varies enormously from place to place in the Galaxy, with temperatures as high as
millions of degrees and as low as a few degrees above absolute zero.

In the coldest regions of interstellar space, over millions of years gravity is able to draw the atoms together into immense clouds that ultimately condense into clusters of new stars. In our Galaxy, this process produces stars at a rate of about 1 new Sun per year, and the stars it makes are typically the size of the Sun or a little smaller. While we understand how this happens in general outline, many fundamental questions remain unanswered. What sets the rate at which stars form? What determines the final sizes of the individual stars? Where did our Sun form, and what happened to its siblings, the stars that formed out of the same cloud?

In this talk Mark will describe what we currently know, and what we don’t, about the birth of new Suns.

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

http://www.events.utas.edu.au/2017/november/the-birth-of-suns

Public Lecture – 20 September 2017

2017 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Giant Icebergs and the Future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Wednesday 20 September 2017, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Dr Sue Cook
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre

Events such as the 1 trillion-tonne iceberg which recently broke away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf capture headlines around the world. But what can these icebergs really tell us about the future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet? This lecture examines what we know about how icebergs form, how they are affected by climate change, and the implications for Antarctica’s future contributions to sea level rise.

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

http://www.events.utas.edu.au/2017/september/giant-icebergs-and-the-future-of-the-antarctic-ice-sheet

PUBLIC LECTURE – 22 AUGUST 2017

2017 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Measuring Radiation Doses in 3-D with Polymer Gel Dosimeters

Tuesday 22 August 2017, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Professor Clive Baldock
University of Tasmania

Polymer gel dosimeters are fabricated from radiation sensitive chemicals which, upon irradiation, polymerize as a function of the absorbed radiation dose. These gel dosimeters, with the capacity to uniquely record clinical radiotherapy (radiation therapy) radiation dose distributions in three-dimensions (3D), have specific advantages when compared to one-dimensional dosimeters, such as ion chambers, and two-dimensional dosimeters, such as film. These advantages are particularly significant in dosimetry situations where steep dose gradients exist such as in intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery. Polymer gel dosimeters also have specific advantages for brachytherapy dosimetry. Potential dosimetry applications include those for low-energy x-rays, high linear energy transfer (LET) and proton therapy, radionuclide and boron capture neutron therapy dosimetries. These 3D dosimeters are radiologically soft-tissue equivalent with properties that may be modified depending on the application. The 3D radiation dose distribution in polymer gel dosimeters may be imaged using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optical-computerized tomography (optical-CT), x-ray CT or ultrasound. The fundamental science underpinning polymer gel dosimetry will be reviewed along with the various evaluation techniques. Clinical dosimetry applications of polymer gel dosimetry will be presented.

Dr Katie Mack – Women in Physics Lecture Tour 2017 – TAS & SA 7 -11 August

Dr Katie Mack is the Women in Physics Lecturer for 2017.

See if she is coming to a location near you!

 

7th August – Devonport and Launceston, Tasmania

Event: School Lecture

Topic: Dispatches from a Dark Universe

Where: Don College

When: 8.45am

 

Event: School Lecture

Topic: Everything you wanted to know about Dark Matter but were afraid to ask

Where: Launceston College

When: 1.00pm

 

8th August – Hobart, Tasmania

Event: School Lecture

Topic: A Tour of the Universe (and Selected Cosmic Mysteries)

Where: Elizabeth College

When: 9.00am – 10.00am

 

Event: School Lecture

Topic: A Tour of the Universe (and Selected Cosmic Mysteries)

Where: The Friend’s School – The Farrall Centre

When: 12.00pm – 12.45pm

 

Event: Public Lecture

Topic: A Tour of the Universe (and Selected Cosmic Mysteries)

Where: Physics Lecture Theatre 1, Sandy Bay Campus, University of Tasmania

When: 8.00pm

 

9th August – Hobart, Tasmania

Event: School Lecture

Topic: TBA

Where: Taroona State High School

When: 9.40am

 

Event: School Lecture

Topic: TBA

Where: Ogilvie High School

When: 11.40am

 

10th August – Adelaide, South Australia

Event: School Lecture

Topic: A Tour of the Universe (and Selected Cosmic Mysteries)

Where: Eastern Fleurieu School

When: 10.00am

 

Event: Afternoon Tea

Topic: STEM women

Where: Physical and Chemical Sciences Tea Room, Flinders University

When: 2.00pm-3.00pm

 

Event: Public Lecture

Topic: A Tour of the Universe (and Selected Cosmic Mysteries)

Where: University of Adelaide, Napier G04

When: 7.30pm

 

11th August – Adelaide, South Australia

Event: Department Colloquium

Topic: Everything you wanted to know about Dark Matter but were afraid to ask.

Where: Physics Building Room 121, University of Adelaide

When: 12.00pm-1.00pm

 

 

 

PUBLIC LECTURE – 8 AUGUST 2017

2017 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

2017 AIP Women in Physics Lecture

2017 National Science Week

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

A Tour of the Universe (and Selected Cosmic Mysteries)

Tuesday 8 August 2017, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Dr Katie Mack
University of Melbourne

Everything humanity has ever seen or experienced represents a tiny speck in a vast and mysterious Universe. What else is out there, and how are we figuring it out? What puzzles wait to be solved? Come with your questions about dark matter, dark energy, black holes, or the ultimate fate of the Universe as we delve into some of cosmology’s most fundamental questions.

Further details: Simon Ellingsen (T 03 6226 7588, E aip_branchsecretary_tas@aip.org.au)

http://www.events.utas.edu.au/2017/august/a-tour-of-the-universe-and-selected-cosmic-mysteries

 

PUBLIC LECTURE – 27 JULY 2017

2017 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

The Physics of ITER and Fusion Power

Thursday 27 July 2017, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Associate Professor Matthew Hole
Australian National University

Assuming energy security and stability will always demand some base-load power stations on the grid our children and grandchildren will use, what will provide the heat to boil the water? The most attractive and yet elusive alternative to the chemical burning of carbonaceous fossil fuels and the nuclear fission of the rare heavy nuclei left over from supernovae has long been the nuclear fusion of the light nuclei left over from the big bang, still by far the most common form of ordinary matter.

Spawned by Reagan and Gorbachev as a grand international collaboration to thaw the cold war, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which is now under construction, is the final step towards a demonstration power plant.

ITER heralds a new era in fusion research. Over 70MW of auxiliary heating will be used to initiate fusion events producing 500MW of fusion power. Temperatures will range from near absolute zero in the superconducting cryostat to 10 times hotter than the core of the Sun. The plasma volume approaches that of an Olympic swimming pool, and it will carry 15 MA of current, more than the current in 500 lightning bolts. The machine itself will weigh 23,000 tons, or about half the weight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

ITER’s research goal is to explore the uncharted physics of burning plasmas, in which the energy liberated from the confined products of reaction exceeds the energy invested in heating the plasma. To access these conditions, ITER will rely critically on external heating methods such as neutral beam injection. ITER will also feature fully 3D asymmetric field structure, imposed to mitigate performance limiting edge localised modes.

In this talk I will outline fusion-relevant research across Australia, and highlight ANU-led extensions to ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). Ideal MHD, which is an enabling science of astrophysical plasmas, forms most of the physics basis for ITER.

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

http://www.events.utas.edu.au/2017/july/the-physics-of-iter-and-fusion-power

Public Lectures – 17 & 18 May 2017

2017 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Physics, Power and Climate Change

Wednesday 17th of May 2017, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart
Thursday 18th of May 2017, 1.25-2.25 pm
F Block Theatre
Launceston College, 107-119 Patterson St, Launceston

 

Professor David Jamieson
University of Melbourne

Although the human responses to climate change are volatile, the laws of Physics are not. Since the 1905 Chemistry Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius first modelled the greenhouse effect on the temperature of our planet little has changed from his prediction of a 2.1 degree Celsius temperature rise for a doubling of the 1905 carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.  Today, with greatly improved physical models, the prediction is between 2 and 4.5 degrees under the same scenario.  Physics helps us understand the past, present and future scenarios for the climate of our planet.  Working out what to do about our emissions and climate change requires us to look at our present and future energy budget.  But it is power that drives our civilisation, not energy.  The paths from energy to power are constrained by the unbreakable laws of entropy.  This lecture explains entropy and the big challenges involved in charting the uncertain future.  Please bring your smartphone to participate in the online polling during the lecture!

Further details: Hobart – Andrew Klekociuk (M 0418 323 341, E aip_branchsecretary_tas@aip.org.au), Launceston – Jason Dicker (M 0438 401 063, aip_branchchair_tas@aip.org.au)

http://www.events.utas.edu.au/2017/may/physics,-power-and-climate-change