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Nobel neutrinos; water on Mars; and remembering a great: physics in October

The discovery that neutrinos oscillate and therefore must have mass made us re-think the Standard Model, and has led to an exciting new era in particle physics. Last night, Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their roles in this discovery and we send our congratulations to both of them.

Last week was big for physics too, with NASA’s announcement that they’d found evidence of liquid water on Mars.

What I found great about the announcement was the addition of some new voices to the local media coverage. Fred Watson made his usual appearance on Radio National, but elsewhere we had Alan Duffy, Katie Mack, Amanda Bauer, Daniel Price and other young Australian physicists on hand to explain what it all means to the general public. And what a great job they did.

In this bulletin we pay tribute to another great science communicator Harry Messel. Harry will be remembered as a colossus of Australian physics and of science more broadly, particularly for the way he so effectively and colourfully increased public awareness of science and raised funding for physics education.

His legacies to science and physics are numerous, the two most notable being the Science Foundation for Physics and the International Science School at The University of Sydney, both of which he created more than 50 years ago and which continue to run successfully today. Continue reading Nobel neutrinos; water on Mars; and remembering a great: physics in October