Tag Archives: Public lecture

PUBLIC LECTURE – Why Should I Care About Physics? From Atoms to Cancer Therapy and More!

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”.

Igniting stars with super intense lasers

presented in conjunction with the
Women In Physics Group,
by the Australian Institute of Physics (SA branch) http://aip.org.au/category/sa/ Email: aip_branchsecretary_sa@aip.org.au

The Claire Corani Memorial Lecture
The South Australian lecture in the
2018 AIP Women in Physics Lecture Tour

at 6:30pm–7:40pm on Thursday 9th August 2018

in the Napier G04 Lecture Theatre
Napier Building, the University of Adelaide, North Terrace campus.

Abstract: When we press FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world,
we deliver a packet of light that is a thousand billion billion times more
intense than the sunlight you feel while out on Bondi beach in peak
summer! That’s super intense! We can use this extreme power to
recreate the conditions at the centre of Sun and in the process release
vast amounts of energy in a clean and safe way. Harnessing this power
for electricity generation is an inspiring story. It combines pure and
applied physics and requires engineering to handle the most extreme conditions in our solar system!

Biography: Ceri Brenner is a plasma physicist and innovator who uses the most powerful lasers in the world to study what happens when extreme bursts of light come into contact with matter and is using this knowledge to design new X-ray technology that can see through steel! The extreme physics she studies can also be applied for understanding supernova explosions in space or how we can ignite a star on earth for clean electricity generation.

The Claire Corani Memorial prizes, available for award to the top second-year female Physics student at each SA university in 2017, will be presented at the lecture.

AIP Women in Physics lecture – Macquarie University

Special Public AIP Lecture Event – at Macquarie University
“Innovation with the most powerful lasers in the world”

Each year the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) funds a national tour by an eminent female physicist. This year’s AIP Women in Physics lecturer will be Dr Ceri Brenner, an experimental physicist from the UK. Ceri’s AIP lecture in Sydney is in partnership with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University.

Ceri Brenner is a plasma physicist and innovator who uses the most powerful lasers in the world to study what happens when extreme bursts of light come into contact with matter and is using this knowledge to design new X-ray technology that can see through steel! The extreme physics she studies can also be applied for understanding supernova explosions in space or how we can ignite a star on earth for clean electricity generation.

When Ceri shines the CLF’s super-intense lasers at a solid, liquid or a gas, they super-heat to millions of degrees in less than a trillionth of a second and rip apart the material structure to transform into plasma—the fourth state of matter.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/aip-women-in-physics-lecture-dr-ceri-brenner-tickets-47341985152
Enquiries phone: (02) 9850 8959

Light for Extra-Sensory Perception

International Day of Light Public Lecture
by Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem
Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS),
ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP),
The University of Adelaide

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.

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 – Shedding Light on Dark Matter

Professor Chris Power of the University of Western Australia will review what the latest observations and numerical simulations are telling us about dark matter. He will also 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.

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

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?

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



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.




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.

QLD Branch AGM 2017

Dear Members of the Australian Institute of Physics, Queensland Branch,

I would like to hereby invite you to join us at the upcoming Annual General Meeting and the two talks preceding and following the AGM.


The meeting will be held on Thursday the 26th of October from 17h (AGM~17:40h) onwards at Brian Wilson Chancellery, 61A- Senate Room, University of Queensland, St. Lucia. For catering purposes it would be appreciated if you could register your attendance by Tuesday the 24th of October via reply email or to aip_branchsecretary_qld@aip.org.au. Catering will involve pizza and cold drinks.


The talks will additionally be streamed online. If you are unable to attend in person, please feel free to join us online using the following link: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/7870078684.

Presentation and AGM details:
This year our meeting will be preceded by the AIP QLD Bragg Gold Medal Nominee Dr. Martin Ringbauer giving a presentation based from his PhD: “Experimental Metaphysics and the Nature of Reality” starting at 17:00h.

The AGM will follow Martin’s talk at approximately 17.40h.

After the AGM concludes, we are proud to present Dr. Helen Maynard-Casely (based at ANSTO) who will present us with this year’s AIP-QLD sponsored John Mainstone Youth Lecture Tour Talk entitled: “Journeying to the centres of the planets”.  Helen has presented this highly entertaining talk to hundreds secondary school students throughout Queensland, reaching from the urbanised south-east corner, to the tropical reaches of Cairns in the north. For online viewers we anticipate Helen’s talk to commence at 18.00h.
Please feel free to encourage non-members to attend the presentations as they are geared towards a general audience.

Part of our business for the AGM will be to elect the branch committee for 2018.
As per the AIP by-laws, the retiring committee has made nominations for next year’s committee, and these are listed below:

Till Weinhold (Chair) (UQ),
Joanna Turner  (Secretary) (USQ),
Joel Alroe (Vice-Chair) (QUT) ,
Igor Litvinyuk (Treasurer) (GU),
Scott Adamson (All Hallows),
Simon Critchley (Qld Health),
Austin Lund (UQ),
Nunzio Motta (QUT), and
Carolyn Brown (USQ).


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 the 26th October!

Kind Regards
Joanna Turner
Secretary of the AIP QLD