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The AIP runs a monthly bulletin that goes out to over 4000 scientists, future scientists and those interested in science! 

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  • 1 Dec 2021 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The Australian physics community has suffered another great loss with the recent passing of Emeritus Professor Anthony (Tony) Klein AM FAA.

    He served as AIP President from 1989 to 1991, was joint recipient of the 1990 AIP Walter Boas Medal for excellence in physics research in Australia, and an AIP Honorary Fellow.

    Prof Klein was an internationally recognised physicist in the field of neutron optics.

    Having completed a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and his PhD degrees at the University of Melbourne, he returned in 1965 as a senior lecturer in the School of Physics. He eventually became the Head of the School of Physics (1987-1996) and held a Personal Chair in Physics until his retirement in 1998.

    Prof Klein’s research legacy includes significant fundamental experimental studies in quantum physics using beams of slow neutrons. Together with the late Professor Geoffrey Opat, he developed the technique of neutron interferometry and used it to demonstrate that the wave function of a spin-1/2 particle changes sign when the particle is rotated by 360 degreesHis work earned him a shared ‘R&D 100’ Award for “developing one of the 100 most technologically significant products of the year 1995”.  

    He was not only a talented teacher, but a great science communicator. He wrote reports for the ABC and provided commentary on the first moon landing during the live broadcast of the event on Australian TV, as well as for the following Apollo 12 and 13 missions.

    He also generously gave his time to serve as President of the Australian Optical Society in 1985-86 (now Australian & New Zealand Optical Society or ANZOS) and was Chair of several committees, including the Standards Advisory Committee of the CSIRO National Measurement Laboratories (1985-1995), Research Committee of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (1991-2010), and Beam Instrument Advisory Committee for OPAL (1997-2007). A Life Member of ANZOS, he won its Beattie Steele Medal in 2016.

    For his significant contributions to Australian Physics, Prof Klein was named a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1994 and was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 1999.

    On a personal front, Prof Klein was known to be a memorable character with a “great sense of humour and a seemingly infinite supply of jokes”, according to the Australian Academy of Science’s tribute to him on social media.

    Many other personal tributes have been posted, including ones from science communicator Dr Shane Huntington OAM: “Many memories of Tony. Nobody taught me optics as well as he did.” and from Prof Deb Kane (Macquarie University): “Profs Klein and Opat were a great duo at AIP congresses. Big and positive personalities.”

    Vale Tony.

    Image credit: Australian Academy of Science.

  • 1 Dec 2021 9:50 AM | Anonymous

    The Australian physics community is saddened by the recent passing of 2020 AIP Fellow Professor Les Kirkup after a short illness.

    His contribution to Australian physics education was outstanding and recognised with a 2014 AIP Education medal.

    Prof Kirkup was an enthusiastic teacher of physics at the higher education level. Originally from the UK, he joined the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as a lecturer in 1990 and was one of the first to complete its Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Learning.

    He was known for his passion for inquiry-based learning of physics, both in laboratories and lectures. This was born of his awareness that students were unsatisfied with ordinary lectures and with following step-by-step lab experiments. So, instead, he advocated interactive, practical lectures. He also encouraged first-year physics students to design and conduct experiments of their own right from the start.

    In 2011, Prof Kirkup’s work on inquiry-oriented learning was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. Together with former AIP President and current Australian Chief Scientist Cathy Foley, he developed a program that enabled undergraduate students to become familiar with the work and research of CSIRO since, in Prof Kirkup’s words, “the next generation of scientists needs to be introduced to new ideas and innovative ways of thinking as early as possible”.

    Other recognitions of his work include a Carrick Associate Fellowship in 2007 and UTS Medal for Teaching and Research Integration in 2012. Prof Kirkup also wrote many popular textbooks on experimental methods and data analysis.

    After retiring in 2016, Professor Kirkup was still active and committed to improving physics education. Recently, he wrote blogs on the value of peer review for students (here and here).  His recommendations for teaching online physics labs under difficult COVID19 pandemic conditions were featured in the most recent edition of Australian Physics magazine.

    Several personal tributes to Prof Kirkup have been posted on social media, including from Prof Geoffrey Crisp, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Canberra. He said:

    “Les was such a genuine person and had that quiet passion for making things better for students. His sense of humour, humility and generosity of spirit will be remembered by all those that knew him. Our thoughts are with your family Les and we will miss your company and insights.”

    Vale Les.

  • 1 Dec 2021 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    • AIP NSW Awards Presentation luncheon Friday 3 December 2021 at 12pm.

    Quantum physicist and passionate science communicator Professor Andrea Morello has been awarded the 2021 AIP NSW award for Community Outreach to Physics.

    Prof Morello is a Scientia Professor at UNSW and a Program Manager at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T). 

    He is an international leader in the field of quantum computing, having published foundational observational studies of the first electron quantum bit, first nuclear quantum bit and nuclear electric resonance in the journal Nature.

    Prof Morello was given the award for being a relentless advocate of physics outreach in Australia.

    His achievements include creating popular YouTube video series (with over 10 million views) on explaining quantum computing, building quantum computers and quantum phenomena in the world around us.

    Prof Morello has also contributed to several popular science initiatives to engage students and the younger public. These include the National Youth Science Festival, World Science Festival and featuring in the ABC Science ‘elevator’ pitch series.

    He has further engaged the fields of visual and literary arts to reach wider audiences. He has developed visual art based on quantum bits and chaos in collaboration with Prof Paul Thomas (UNSW Art & Design).

    Together with writer Bernard Cohen and funded by Writing NSW, Prof Morello is assisting NSW schools to develop experiential learning activities that combine science and creative writing.

    On the academic front, he also led the development and launch of the world’s first bachelor’s degree in Quantum Engineering at UNSW.

    Other recognition of his work includes being awarded the 2013 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.

    We congratulate Prof Morello and thank him for his passion for physics and tireless work. We look forward to seeing him at our AIP NSW Awards Presentation luncheon at the Concord Golf Club on Friday 3 December 2021 at 12pm.

    Information contributed by Dr Fred Osman.

  • 1 Dec 2021 9:45 AM | Anonymous

    As reported by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science.

    Exciton Science researchers have used tin mono-sulfide (SnS) nanosheets to create the thinnest X-ray detector ever made, potentially enabling real-time imaging of cellular biology.

    SnS has already shown great promise as a material for use in photovoltaics, field effect transistors and catalysis.

    Now, members of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, based at Monash University and RMIT University, have shown that SnS nanosheets are also excellent candidates for use as soft X-ray detectors.

    Their research, published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, indicates that SnS nanosheets possess high photon absorption coefficients, allowing them to be used in making ultrathin soft X-ray detectors with high sensitivity and a rapid response time.

    Read the full media release here.

  • 1 Dec 2021 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    As reported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discover(OzGrav).

    An international team of scientists, including Australian researchers from the ARC OzGrav have collaborated on a study released earlier this month, presenting the largest number of gravitational wave detections to date - 90 detections!

    Gravitational waves are cosmic ripples in space and time that are caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe, like supernovas, merging black holes and colliding neutron stars--city-size stellar objects with a mass about 1.4 times that of the Sun.

    The newest gravitational wave detections come from the second part of the third observing run which lasted from November 2019 to March 2020. There were 35 new gravitational wave detections in this period: 32 detections were from pairs of merging black holes; 3 were likely to come from the collision of a neutron star and a black hole.

    Read the full media release here.

  • 1 Nov 2021 10:44 AM | Anonymous

    Ever wondered how Santa manages to deliver so many presents in just one night? Or how the big guy makes it down the chimney? How about his magic reindeer?

    Tune into a special zOOm into Physics where we try to tackle these questions and more through the lens of the laws of Physics.

    zOOm into Physics is a monthly lightly-moderated zoom conversation with our resident panel and special guests.

    Wednesday 24 November, 8pm-9.30pm AEDT

    Further details and zoom link:

  • 1 Nov 2021 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    Members are invited to submit content for the Jan-Mar 2022 edition of Australian Physics. The deadline for content is 1 December.

    We welcome: 

    • pitches for articles describing current research
    • physics-themed cartoons
    • reviews of physics-themed books (they might even get the book for you!)
    • physics poetry
    • obituaries of recently passed members.

    Australian Physics magazine has been produced by the AIP since 1964 and is the oldest science magazine in Australia.

    Previous magazines can be found here and here.

    Proposals and finished items can be sent to editors Peter Kappen and David Hoxley on

  • 1 Nov 2021 10:38 AM | Anonymous

    See how science can influence government policy by participating in Science meets Parliament (SmP) in early 2022.

    Science & Technology Australia is Australia’s peak advocacy body for science and technology and as a member organisation, the AIP can sponsor two delegates (one early career researcher and regular attendee) to attend.

    SmP will be a hybrid live and online gathering with events including:

    ·       28 February – 4 March: Online professional development for STA members (including AIP members)

    ·       2 March – National Press Club address by STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson.

    ·       7 March onward    Meeting with parliamentarians.

    ·       2 June – All members of the nation’s science community are invited to dinner, which will use online technology to link up participants across eight capital cities.  Dinner in ACT is usually held at the Old Parliament House.

    If you are interested in attending, please send an expression of interest to AIP Secretary Kirrily Rule at by 30 November.

    Please include: 

    ·       A CV, no longer than one page;

    ·       A statement, no longer than one page, indicating why you would like to attend and what you hope to gain from the experience.

    The executive team will assess each application, taking into account gender balance, research area balance and geographic coverage. The AIP will cover registration of successful applications for the event.

    More details:

  • 1 Nov 2021 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    We are saddened to hear of the recent passing of Australian physicist and AIP Fellow Professor Rodney (Rod) Jory AM.  Prof Jory was the inaugural winner of AIP’s Award for Outstanding Service to Physics in Australia in 1996.  He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia the following year.

    Prof Jory’s legacy in Australian physics includes establishing the National Science Summer School (renamed the National Youth Science Forum) in 1984 and being the director since its inception until 2005. He was also heavily involved in the teaching of Australian student teams that have competed at International Physics Olympiads.

    AIP member Professor Tim Sneden (Director of ANU’s Research and Engineering) was among the 198 students who attended the first Summer School.

    In his eulogy at Prof Jury’s funeral, Prof Sneden said: “Rod believed in empowering youth” and that “[Rod] worked tirelessly to evolve the program to reach as many young minds as he could”.

    Ben Kremer, Chair of Australian Science Innovation (ASI), has also said on the ASI Twitter page: “I was fortunate enough to be taught by Rod in the Summer School in December 1989 and it was a formative event in my life. Rod’s passion, drive, hard work and selflessness will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

    Prof Jory completed his PhD studies on the drift velocities and diffusion coefficients of electrons in nitrogen, hydrogen and helium at the University of Adelaide and Australian National University (ANU). 

    He was supervised by Professor Leonard Huxley, who was the first president of the AIP when it was established in 1963.

    He taught at ANU and the University of Canberra as well as several international universities including the University of British Columbia.

    An obituary will be included in the upcoming Australian Physics magazine.

  • 1 Nov 2021 10:32 AM | Anonymous

    Australia has secured representation in six commissions of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) after delegates attended the 30th IUPAP General Assembly on 20-22 October.

    Commissions promote the objectives of the IUPAP within their areas of expertise as well as providing advice to the Union on the activities and needs of the subfields of physics they represent.

    The AIP, in coordination with the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Physics, sent out a delegation to the virtual General Assembly that included Sven Rogge (UNSW, AIP President). Nicole Bell (UniMelb, AIP Vice President), Judith Dawes (Macquarie), and Jacinda Ginges (UQ).

    That Australia is represented in six commissions is a good result since it is above the nominal representation of four positions.

    The Australian commission members are:

    • C11 – Particles and Fields - Nicole Bell (UniMelb)
    • C14 – Physics Education - Manjula Sharma (USyd)
    • C15 - Commission on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics - Igor Bray (Curtin)
    • C17 - Commission on Laser Physics and Photonics - Judith Dawes (Macquarie)
    • C18 - Commission on Mathematical Physics - Jan de Gier (Uni Melbourne)
    • C20 - Commission on Computational Physics - Derek Leinweber (Uni Adelaide)

    More details on IUPAP commissions here.

AIP news and bulletin posts prior to 20 June 2021 can be found here.

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