AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS

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

To provide physics news or subscribe to the AIP bulletin please email physics@scienceinpublic.com.au.

To advertise in the bulletin, see our Jobs page.

  • 1 Sep 2021 3:27 PM | Anonymous

    We’re on the hunt for a beautiful graph or eye-catching laboratory photo to place on the banner of the AIP website through 2022.

    If your work or workplace captures an attractive physics aesthetic, send your image to us at aip@aip.org.au

  • 1 Sep 2021 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    Your chance to be published in the Australian Physics magazine.

    The Australian Physicist, now Australian Physics, has been produced by the AIP since 1964. It is the oldest science magazine in Australia.

    Current editors Peter Kappen and David Hoxley are always on the hunt for material to include in forthcoming issues and invite members to submit: 

    • 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.

    Proposals and finished items can be sent to aip_editor@aip.org.au

  • 1 Sep 2021 3:25 PM | Anonymous

    On 16 and 17 August, the AIP Tasmanian Branch organised a series of outreach talks at St Helens District High in rural Tasmania. The talks were given by Jason Dicker and Georgia Stewart and received a very positive feedback from teachers.

    Georgia, a PhD candidate in astrophysics at the University of Tasmania, discussed our solar system with the primary school students. This included asteroids and some of the exotic members of the outer regions; naturally the children wanted to know why Pluto was demoted!

    Jason is a year 12 physics teacher with over 35 years’ experience, and worked with the senior students. As part of a session on thunderstorms, years 6–8 were entertained by electrostatics with a Van de Graaff Generator and Wimshurst Machine. Bags of lollies were given to volunteers as compensation.

    Students in years 9–11 discussed the present knowledge of the wider Universe, including active galactic nuclei and the 2019 picture of the M87 Black Hole.

    A lecture was presented for the general public on the Monday night.

  • 1 Sep 2021 3:23 PM | Anonymous
    zOOM into Physics

    The August session on Dark Matter/Energy was a vibrant conversation and at the conclusion it was felt that there was still a lot to discuss.

    The great news is that our special guests Ray Volkas and Tamara Davis have agreed to return to continue the topic!!!

    Our universe is dominated by the dark-side, the dark matter and dark energy which have shaped the evolution of the cosmos. But just what is happening in the dark? And how can we be confident what is happening in the dark and that we are not just jumping at shadows?

    This month we will tackle one of the biggest mysteries facing physics, the nature of the dark-side! Around the globe hordes of astronomers and particle physicists are devising new observations, experiments and theories to try and shine a light on dark matter and dark energy. But just what do we expect them to find?

    29 September, 8.00 – 9.30 pm.

    For more details and the all-important Zoom link: https://aip.org.au/ZiP.

  • 1 Sep 2021 3:21 PM | Anonymous

    Professor Eric May (University of Western Australia and AIP member) has been named Scientist of the Year at the 2021 WA Premier's Science Awards ceremony.

    Professor May is an internationally-recognised leader in the areas of fluid science, thermodynamics and natural gas engineering.

    His development and use of measurement technology has produced explanations for long-standing scientific mysteries, revealed unexpected physical phenomena and helped improve industrial processes.

    Premier's Science Awards were also presented to:

    • Associate Professor Edward Litton (University of Western Australia and Fiona Stanley Hospital) and Dr Arman Siahvashi (University of Western Australia) - joint winners of the Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year
    • Liam Scarlett (Curtin University) and Niamh Troy (University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute) - ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year
    • Daniel Curran (Curtin University) - Shell Aboriginal STEM Student of the Year
    • FIRST LEGO League WA (Curtin University) - Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year. 

    Professor Richard Hobbs (University of Western Australia) became the 16th person to be inducted into the WA Science Hall of Fame.

    For more information about the Premier's Science Awards, including the winners and finalists, visit http://www.jtsi.wa.gov.au/ScienceAwards

  • 1 Sep 2021 3:19 PM | Anonymous

    The AIP is calling for Australian-based female physicists to apply for the 2022 AIP Women in Physics Lecture Tour. Applications are open now and close on 17 September 2021.

    The AIP Women in Physics Lecture Tour is a celebration of women’s contribution to the advancement of physics, and is presented every alternate year by an internationally-based physicist.

    2022 was scheduled to host an international physicist, but COVID-19 makes this impractical.

    For this reason, the AIP is re-opening applications to Australian women physicists.

    The AIP greatly appreciates the applications it has received and will contact applicants to determine if they wish to be considered for future opportunities. This is an excellent opportunity for an EMCR physicist to expand their domestic networks and inspire the next generation of physicists around the country.


  • 1 Sep 2021 3:16 PM | Anonymous

    The 2021 AIP Women in Physics Lecturer, Associate Professor Susanna Guatelli, is wrapping up her lecture series in Western Australia this month.

    She has criss-crossed the country talking about her work, which includes how to keep astronauts safe from radiation during the long haul to Mars.

    The last talks are:

    Women in Physics morning tea (for academics and students)

    2 September 10:30 – 11:30 am AWST

    University of Western Australia

    Registration: https://bit.ly/3x1ezHF


    Women in Physics afternoon tea (for academics and students)

    2 September 3:30 – 4:30 pm AWST

    Curtin University

    Registration: https://bit.ly/3x1ezHF

  • 1 Sep 2021 12:37 PM | Anonymous

    It is with great regret that we are informing you that colleague and friend Ian Bassett passed away on 26 August after a short illness.

    Ian’s career in optics was very varied: he joined the theoretical physics department at the University of Sydney in the 1960s, he was one of the founders of the Optical Fibre Technology Centre, he led fibre sensor R&D in the Australian Photonics CRC working with ABB, and later played a key role in the start-up Smart Digital Optics (SDO) which was acquired by an international company.

    The last decades of his career were largely devoted to developing a fibre optic current sensor for use in the electricity industry. It started as a PhD project and was ultimately the key product of SDO. For this work he was awarded the AIP’s inaugural Alan Walsh Medal for Service to Industry.

    Ian was a gentleman and an outstanding colleague and mentor to many junior colleagues, including us.

    Simon Fleming, Martijn de Sterke.

    (Dr Ian Bassett was AIP Secretary from 1985-1989)

  • 1 Sep 2021 12:33 PM | Anonymous

    The AIP is very excited to announce the following awards:


    WALTER BOAS MEDAL


    2019 Walter Boas Medal

    Professor Andrea Morello

    UNSW Sydney

    For Professor Morello’s world-first demonstration of quantum information processing with single spins in silicon, and for developing the fundamental components of a silicon-based quantum computer.


    2020 Walter Boas Medal

    Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn

    University of Sydney

    Professor Bland-Hawthorn laid the foundations for modern Galactic archaeology, near-field cosmology and astrophotonics, a field that lies at the interface of photonics and astronomical instrumentation.


    BRAGG GOLD MEDAL


    2019 Bragg Gold Medal

    Dr Samuel Gorman

    University of New South Wales

    For Dr Gorman’s thesis entitled: "Charge and spin dynamics in multi-donor systems"


    2020 Bragg Gold Medal

    Dr Alexander Bray

    Australian National University

    For Dr Bray’s thesis entitled: “Strong field sub-femtosecond electronic processes”


    TH LABY MEDAL


    2018 TH Laby Medal

    Felicity Lee

    Australian National University

    For her thesis entitled: “Pulsed Hydrogen Plasmas: Modelling and Experiment”.

    And


    Albert Zhou

    University of Sydney

    For his thesis entitled: “The Cosmological Electroweak Phase Transition in a Scale-Invariant Standard Model”.


    2019 TH Laby Medal

    Simon White

    University of Technology Sydney

    For his thesis entitled: “Efficient Tomography of Quantum Dots in Photonic Chips”


    2020 TH Laby Medal

    Matthew Goh

    Australian National University

    For his thesis entitled: “Feedback Control of atomic Fermi Gases”


    We congratulate these award winners on their achievements.  


  • 1 Sep 2021 12:29 PM | Anonymous

    Fifteen DECRA applications and 17 Future Fellowship applications were ruled ineligible in this round because they cited preprints such as arXiv papers.

    “If you rip [money] out of physics, that’s bad to begin with. But doing it at the point where we have early career researchers establishing themselves is the worst thing you can do. That’s what we live on, bringing good new people into the system,” said Sven Rogge in an article by The Times Higher Education:
    Toll of ARC’s preprints rule revealed. Fears for physics pipeline, as 32 researchers relinquish up to $22m for citing preprints.

    On behalf of the Australian physics, astronomy, chemistry and mathematics communities, the AIP, ASA, RACI and AustMS coordinated a letter to the Australian Research Council to protest the ruling.

    It’s also been picked up by various media outlets including The Guardian.

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

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