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excellence in teaching physics Prize QLD 2020

The AIP QLD branch would like to congratulate Shane McDonald, from St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School who was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Prize for 2020 . Shane was awarded the 2020 prize, due to the range and depth of work he has displayed across all the criteria the award is assessed upon. This criteria includes:

  • promoting student interest in physics by providing an environment that stimulates student curiosity and learning,
  • using, developing or writing innovative instructional materials and new technologies and approaches to the teaching of Physics,
  • be a positive role model or mentor for other teachers of physics
  • participate in professional development activities in science as a facilitator and continued development as an effective science educator, with a focus on physics.
Shane McDonald receives the Queensland Excellence in Teaching Prize for 2020

Congratulations Shane!

Do you know a deserving Physics teacher in Queensland you would like to nominate for this award in 2021?

In other news, the 2019 winner Richard Walding was acknowledged for receipt of his Excellence in Physics Teaching Award in a ceremony earlier in 2020. Moreton Bay College has kindly shared this ceremony and the presentation of the award. The ceremony can be viewed at the AIP YouTube channel or below.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND DINNER

To be held on Wednesday 2nd December in the Public Schools Club, 207 East Terrace,  Adelaide

  • 6:00 pm Pre-meeting drinks
  • 6:30 pm Annual General Meeting
  • 7:30 pm Annual Dinner

Menu: 3 courses, alternate drop of one of each. (See menu below).

We need to give seven days’ notice for vegans, vegetarians and or any other dietary  considerations (lactose free, peanut allergy, gluten-free).

Bookings are essential and should be made with Dr Laurence Stamatescu by Wednesday  25th November, by email to lstamatescu@gmail.com

The cost of the 3-course dinner (to be paid on the night) is:

  • AIP members and guests: $59 per person
  • AIP student members: $30 per person

The mid-dinner speaker will be Dr Bruce Ward (retired, DSTgroup).

MENU 

SANDFORD HOUSE DINING  

ENTREÉ 

  • Pan Fried Halloumi 
  • Grilled Portobello Mushrooms  

MAIN  

  • Salmon Fillet – Crispy Vegetables – Citrus & Dill Sauce 
  • Sirloin Char Grilled – Mash Potato – Greens – Red Wine Jus 

DESSERT 

  • Vanilla Panna Cotta – Mixed Berry Compote 
  • Braggs Mess

2020 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING TAS BRANCH

Members of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics are invited to attend the upcoming Annual General Meeting.

The AGM will be held on the 25 November, 5pm – 5.30pm, via Zoom: https://utas.zoom.us/j/87885892491 (please contact Krzysztof Bolejko if you wish to attend in person)

Order of Proceedings:

  • 5.00pm: Opening and declaration of a quorum
  • Minutes of 2019 AGM
  • Annual Report – Chair
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Election of the 2020 Committee. Please send your nominations to the Secretary (krzysztof.bolejko@utas.edu.au). Current nominations are:
    • Chair: Krzysztof Bolejko
    • Vice-Chair: Nicola Ramm
    • Treasurer: Elizabeth Chelkowska
    • Committee: Andrew Cole, Jason Dicker, Stanislav Shabala
  • Science Teachers Workshop
  • Other business

Public Talk:

  • 6.00pm: Free Public Lecture by Professor Neil Holbrook ​”Heatwaves in the ocean – really?”

AGM Dinner:

AIP Certificate of Excellence in Physics for QLD Year 12 students

The Queensland Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics calls for nominations from Queensland schools for 2020 AIP Certificates for Excellence in Physics.

This certificate is awarded to students with a confirmed raw result for internal assessment of 27/30 (90%) (or IB level 7) as of the beginning of Term 4.  The committee’s aim is to make these certificates of achievement available to schools for presentation at the school’s final year 12 assembly or speech night late in term four.

To nominate students, please use the “AIP [School Name] Certificate Mail Merge Spreadsheet 2020”. Please complete this spreadsheet, replacing the words ‘[School Name]’ with the name of your school in the file name.

Send your completed spreadsheet, as an email attachment, to Scott.Adamson@ahs.qld.edu.au no later than 3 p.m. on Friday 16 October 2020 in order to have certificates to you in time for your school’s presentation. Please submit your nominations any time from now. Submissions after the date may not be able to be provided prior to any award ceremony.

Correct use of the spread sheet makes this process quick and simple. Remember, the committee loves to hear your good news stories about the impact these certificates have on your students!

Meet an astronaut

Dr Epps video recording for the Claire Corani Memorial Lecture:

https://video.flinders.edu.au/events20/20/MeetAnAstronaut.cfm

Dr Jeanette Epps
Obtained a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1992 from LeMoyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, New York. She completed a master’s degree in science in 1994 and a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.
While earning her doctorate, Epps was a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, authoring several journal and conference articles on her research. After completing graduate school, she worked in a research laboratory for more than two years, co-authoring several patents, before the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited her. She spent seven years as a CIA technical intelligence officer before her selection as a member of the 2009 astronaut class.

NASA Experience:
Dr. Epps was selected in July 2009 as one of 9 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. Her Astronaut Candidate Training included Russian Language training, spacewalk training (EVA), robotics, T‐38 jet training, geology and National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) training. After graduating Dr. Epps continued training by participating in NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation), geologic studies in Hawaii, and language immersion in Moscow as well as continued training in EVA, robotics and T‐38.

NASA has assigned astronaut Jeanette Epps to NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.

Epps will join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition planned for a launch in 2021 to the orbiting space laboratory. The flight will follow NASA certification after a successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 and Crew Flight Test with astronauts.

Questions

  • How did you go from being a CIA agent to an Astronaut?
  • Do you think Space Tourism will be possible?
  • Do you think the Artemis program will fulfil its goal of sending humans back to the Moon by 2024?
  • I would like to know about the rigour and nature of the preparations for the travel to the moon in 2024 and the aims and expected duration of the mission; what is her current involvement in this?
  • Do you think feasible beyond the moon travel, will the SpaceX Mars program fulfill its goal of a manned flight to Mars in 2024?
  • Did she have an inspiration or a role model that she looked up to become an astronaut?
  • How on earth do you go from CIA to Astronaut?
  • What has been your biggest challenge in as an astronaut?
  • Are there any specific challenges for females in the industry that you work in?
  • Hypothetical: if you had contact with an off world species, is there a protocol for that and what is it… or is that not something that is considered. 
  • What is the likelihood of being hit by a small piece of space debris on a space walk?
  • Besides during your T-38 training, how often do you get to fly in the T-38?
  • What physical/survival training is required to be an astronaut?

The Claire Corani Memorial Lecture

by Dr Jeanette J. Epps, NASA Astronaut

at 9:00am–10:00am on Friday 28th August 2020

in the South 1 Lecture Theatre
off Anchor Court, South Ridge (near car parks 7, 8 and 9)
Flinders University

Biography: Jeanette J. Epps (Ph.D.) was selected as an astronaut in 2009.  She completed astronaut candidate training which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalk training, robotics, T-38 flight training and wilderness survival training.  The New York native was a NASA Fellow during graduate school and authored several journal and conference articles.  Dr. Epps worked for Ford Motor Company where she received both a provisional patent and a U.S. patent.  After leaving Ford, she joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a Technical Intelligence Officer before becoming an astronaut.

NASA Experience: Dr. Epps was selected in July 2009 as one of 9 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. Her Astronaut Candidate Training included Russian Language training, spacewalk training (EVA), robotics, T-38 jet training, geology and National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) training. After graduating Dr. Epps continued training by participating in NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation), geologic studies in Hawaii, and language immersion in Moscow as well as continued training in EVA, robotics and T-38. Dr. Epps served as a representative to the Generic Joint Operation Panel working on crew efficiency on the space station as well as other topics, served as a Crew Support Astronaut for two expeditions, and served as lead CAPCOM in mission control.

The Claire Corani Memorial prizes, available for award to the top second-year female Physics student at each AIP-accredited SA university in 2019, will be presented at the lecture.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, if you plan attending in person please register with the AIP secretary: aip_branchsecretary_sa@aip.org.au

QLD EXCELLENCE IN PHYSICS TEACHING Award 2020 – nominate now!

The AIP-QLD is looking for nominations of Physics teachers that have made a positive impact to teaching Physics to students at the high school level by anyone of the following criteria.

  1. Promote student interest in physics by providing an environment that stimulates student curiosity and learning.
  2. Use, develop or write innovative instructional materials and new technologies and approaches to the teaching of physics.
  3. Be a positive role model or mentor for other teachers of physics.
  4. Participate in professional development activities in science as a facilitator and continuous development as an effective science educator, with a focus on physics.

If you have a colleague, a former teacher of your own, or have heard of an inspiring teacher in your circle of friends, please consider nominating them for this years award by filling out the nomination form and sending this nomination (or any inquiries) by email to: aip_branchsecretary_qld@aip.org.au

The award consists of a cash prize, plaque and certificate.

Nominations close Friday 24 July 2020.

QLD Excellence in PHYSICS TEACHing AWARD 2019

We received several outstanding nominations last year and are very pleased to announce Richard Walding as the prize winner for our 2019 Excellence in Physics Teaching Award.

The award recognises outstanding efforts by Queensland physics teachers in stimulating student engagement with physics, developing innovative teaching resources or techniques as an effective educator, and/or mentoring and facilitating the development of other physics educators.

Richard’s contributions have been particularly noteworthy including the development of the Oxford Senior Physics texts and extensive online resources for students and teachers. He helped create the Physics Discussion List and continues to have an active role, offering advice to fellow educators. In addition, he has contributed to state-level curriculum development and oversight and has been very active in delivering physics education seminars for teachers both locally and overseas.

So we sincerely congratulate Richard and thank him for his contributions to physics education!

We will be calling for nominations for the 2020 Excellence in Physics Teaching award in coming months.

Bronze Bragg Presentation and Free Public Lecture

6:30 pm, Thursday February 20th 2020

 The Braggs lecture theatre in the Braggs building

University of Adelaide (North Terrace campus)

On the 2019 Nobel Prize

“A short history of the universe – as we understand it today”

Prof. Rachel Webster

University of Melbourne

Abstract:

Most of the universe is made of Hydrogen; indeed, in the early universe, there were essentially no elements heavier than Hydrogen and Helium. During this talk Professor Webster will trace the history of the universe, using Hydrogen as the primary focus. She will explain the bits we understand and some of the key questions we are addressing today.  The efforts of Australian astronomers will be highlighted, as well as some of the new telescopes that will be operating in the next few years. 

The Bronze Bragg medals and merit certificates will be presented at the lecture.

The medals are awarded for highest achievement in Physics in 2019 in the SACE Stage 2 assessments and IB Higher Level Physics, with certificates being for students who achieved a merit or a grade of 7.


2019 Annual General Meeting QLD Branch

Members of the Australian Institute of Physics, Queensland Branch.

You are invited to attend the upcoming Annual General Meeting.

The AGM will be held on the 15 November from 4pm – 5:30pm, Room E207, E Block, Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point Campus.

I am very pleased to announce that the QLD nominee for the 2019 Bragg Gold Medal, Dr Satya Undurti, will be presenting his research prior to the AGM. More information about his presentation are provided below.

The expected timing of the proceedings will be as follows:

4.00pm – 4.50pm      Dr Satya Undurti presents his research

5.00pm – 5.30pm      AGM

For catering purposes it would be appreciated if you could register your attendance by Thursday  the 14th of November to aip_branchsecretary_qld@aip.org.au . Catering will involve pizza and cold drinks.

We additionally hope to stream the presentation online using the Zoom platform. You can join us at AEST 4pm-5:30pm here.

Additionally, part of the business for the AGM will be to elect the branch committee for 2020.

As per the AIP by-laws, the retiring committee has made nominations for next year’s committee, and these are listed below:

Joel Alroe (Chair) (QUT),

Joanna Turner  (Secretary) (USQ),

Scott Adamson (Vice-Chair) (All Hallows),

Igor Litvinyuk (Treasurer) (GU),

Carolyn Brown (USQ),

Scott Hoffman (post-graduate student representative UQ),

Austin Lund (UQ),

Nunzio Motta (QUT),

Till Weinhold (UQ)

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 15th November!

Dr Satya Undurti

Title: ‘Attoclock’ experiments on atomic and molecular hydrogen

Abstract: This thesis describes strong-field ionization experiments on atomic and molecular hydrogen using an ultrashort-pulse laser source and a sophisticated electron/ion detection setup called a reaction microscope (REMI). It aims at benchmarking strong-field physics with the help of precision measurements performed on the simplest atomic (H) and molecular (H2) systems. This work resulted in a definitive resolution of a long-standing controversy on measurement, value and interpretation of quantum tunneling time – determining that electron tunneling in atomic hydrogen is instantaneous within experimental precision (tunneling time is less than 1.8 attoseconds, or 1.8×10-18 seconds) and ruling out all previously proposed theoretical definitions of tunneling time.