Category Archives: Public Lecture

PUBLIC LECTURE – 28 November 2019

Thursday, 28 November 2019, 6:00 PM
Physics Lecture Theatre 1, Sandy Bay Campus, University of Tasmania

The quest for new physics

Professor Raymond Volkas, School of Physics, The University of Melbourne

The standard model of particle physics is an extremely successful theory, but we know that it is an incomplete description of nature. I will review the evidence for “new physics”: interactions and particles that extend the standard model. The evidence ranges from the experimental detection of neutrino masses through the existence of dark matter to puzzles such as the lack of antimatter in the universe and various technical problems with big bang cosmology that may be solved by a period of cosmological inflation. I will also survey some other hints for new physics in the form of anomalous experimental results, and touch on some past disappointments in the quest for new physics. The conclusion will be that new physics certainly exists, and that a wide-ranging experimental and observational program is needed to discover its underlaying nature.

Further details: Krzysztof Bolejko (krzysztof.bolejko@utas.edu.au)

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.

A space Adventure

at 6.30pm on Wednesday 9th Oct 2019

The Braggs Lecture Theatre,
The University of Adelaide, North Terrace

Abstract: Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, Daniel Tani went on to spend 120 days living and working aboard the International Space Station. During his tour of duty aboard the station, he performed numerous robotic operations and logged a total of 34 hours and 59 minutes during five spacewalks. Come and hear about his amazing space adventure and what it is like to live and work in space.

Bio: Daniel Tani received his Bachelors and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1984 and 1988, respectively, in addition to an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Elmhurst College (IL) 2003. Dr Tani worked at Hughes Aircraft Corporation, as a Design Engineer in the Space and Communications group, in the Experimental Psychology department of Bolt Beranek and Newman, and in 1988, he went on to join the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC), initially as a Senior Structures Engineer and then as the Mission Operations Manager for the Transfer Orbit Stage (TOS). In that role, he served as the TOS Flight Operations lead, working with NASA/JSC Mission Control in support of the deployment of the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS)/TOS payload during the STS-51 mission in Sep 1993. Dr Tani then moved to the Pegasus program at OSC as the Launch Operations Manager. He held technical duties in the Astronaut Office Computer Support Branch, and EVA Branch and served as a Crew Support Astronaut (CSA) for Expedition 4. In 2002, he was a crew member on the Aquarius undersea research habitat for nine days as part of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO)-2 mission. Dr Tani then trained and qualified as the backup Flight Engineer for Expedition 11. After his flight on Expedition 16, Dr Tani served as Branch Chief of the International Space Station branch. He also served as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for the International Space Station and was the lead CAPCOM for Expedition 26. Tani left NASA in August 2012 to become the Vice President of Mission and Cargo Operations in the Advanced Programs Group of Orbital Sciences Corporation.

SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Dr Tani served as Mission Specialist 2 on STS-108 Endeavour. On his second spaceflight, Dr Tani served as Expedition-16 Flight Engineer and spent 120 days living and working aboard the International Space Station. He launched to the Station aboard STS-120 and returned aboard STS-122.

Free – visitors welcome – booking not required

How neutrons will save the world

The Claire Corani Memorial Lecture

The South Australian lecture in the

2019 AIP Women in Physics Lecture Tour

at 6:30pm–7:45pm on Tuesday 20th August 2019

in the Napier 102 Lecture Theatre
Napier Building, the University of Adelaide, North Terrace campus.

Abstract: They are small, neutral and often in a spin, and so much more than ‘just’ part of the atom. Neutrons are the sub-atomic particles that are here to save the world. This trusty particle can be called on to discover the details that no other can fathom. From the shape of a virus and how a drug can disable it, to keeping electrons flowing in the next generation of batteries. Neutrons truly are today’s super particle

Biography: Dr Helen Maynard-Casely is an Instrument Scientist based at ANSTO (the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) where she uses neutrons to investigate the materials that make up our solar system. She has a PhD in high-pressure physics from the University of Edinburgh and has been lucky enough to have collected data in facilities all over the world.

The Claire Corani Memorial prizes, available for award to the top second-year female Physics student at each SA university in 2018, will be presented at the lecture.

The Evolutionary Map of the Universe

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019 at 8pm
Kerr Grant Lecture Theatre
2nd Floor, Physics Building
The University of Adelaide
North Terrace, Adelaide

The Evolutionary Map of the Universe

Professor Ray Norris
CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science &
Western Sydney University

Abstract: The m Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope is nearing completion in Western Australia. One of the key projects driving it is EMU – the Evolutionary Map of the Universe – which has an ambitious goal of studying the sky at radio wavelengths in unprecedented detail, boldly going where no telescope has gone before. Our scientific goal is to figure out how galaxies evolved in the early days of the Universe and how they evolve to the Universe we see today, with stars, planets, rocks, trees, and astronomers. What will we find? How will it change our view of how we got to be here? What is the role of black holes in regulating the growth of galaxies? And given that the most spectacular discoveries in astronomy are unexpected, we will be watching especially carefully for serendipitous discoveries that pop up in the data.

Bio: Professor Ray Norris is a British/Australian astronomer with CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science and Western Sydney University, who researches how galaxies formed and evolved after the Big Bang, and also researches the astronomy of  Aboriginal Australians. He frequently appears on radio and TV, featured in the stage show “The First Astronomers” with Wardaman elder Bill Yidumduma Harney, and has written the novel “Graven Images”.  He was educated at Cambridge University, and University of Manchester, UK, and moved to Australia to join CSIRO, where he became Head of Astrophysics in 1994, and then Deputy Director of the Australia Telescope, and Director of the Australian Astronomy Major National Research Facility, before returning in 2005 to active research. He currently leads an international project (EMU, or Evolutionary Map of the Universe) to understand the origin and evolution of galaxies, using the new Australian SKA Pathfinder radio-telescope nearing completion in Western Australia, and is also pioneering the WTF project to discover the unexpected in astronomical data.

Free – visitors welcome –  booking not required (*Please note – university security locks entrance doors at 8pm sharp*)

 

February VIC Branch Event

On 11 February 2019 at the School of Physics, The University of Melbourne, Prof. Elisabetta Barberio spoke about Australia’s contribution to discovering the Higgs Boson and future experimental research on detecting dark matter such a WIMPs. We also learned that bananas are a potent source of background radiation!

It was poetic that Prof. Barberio spoke on the International Women In Science Day as she is the first female Australian Institute of Physics Walter Boas Medal recipient.

Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Amanda Caples also showed her support by attending the talk and congratulating Prof. Barberio on her Boas Medal afterwards.
AIP-Feb2019-51126586_2535178313176558_4946797504508198912_Prof. Elisabetta Barberio, Boas Medal Winner (Hercus Theatre, Uni. of Melb.)

AIP-Feb2019-52120225_2536250253069364_862112898242052096_nDr Gail Iles (AIP Vic Branch Chair), Prof. Elisabetta Barberio (Uni. Melb.), Dr Amanda Caples (Lead Scientist Victoria)

Bronze Bragg Presentation and Free Public Lecture

Thursday 28th of February 2019 at 6.30 to 7.45 pm
Napier 102 lecture theatre, 1st floor, Napier Building
University of Adelaide

Optical Tweezers ‘Demystified’

Assoc. Professor Bruce Wedding

University of South Australia

Since their invention 32 years ago, optical tweezers have become a powerful tool utilised in a wide variety of experiments in biology and physics. Optical tweezers use light to trap microscopic objects as small as 10 nm using radiation pressure from a focused laser beam. These trapped particles can then be manipulated and forces on the particles in the trap can be measured. The first designs of optical tweezers used high power lasers and expensive optical hardware. Recently however, simple and inexpensive apparatus for undergraduate laboratories can produce a single beam optical tweezer to trap micron-sized particles. Such a system in undergraduate laboratories and the resulting student engagement will be presented.

Interest in microfluidics is also a rapidly expanding area of research and the use of microchips as miniature chemical reactors, so called ‘Labs-on-a-Chip’ is increasingly common. Microfluidic channels are now complex and combine several functions on a single chip. Fluid flow details are important but relatively few experimental methods are available to probe the flow in a confined geometry. We can use optical trapping of a small dielectric particle to probe the fluid flow in microfluidic channels.

Rather than using the optical trap to position and release a particle for independent velocimetry measurement, we map the fluid flow by measuring the hydrodynamic force acting on a trapped particle. The flow rate of a dilute aqueous electrolyte flowing through a microchannel has been mapped using a small (1 µm diameter) silica particle. Such flow mapping is time efficient, reliable, and can be used in low-opacity suspensions flowing in microchannels of various geometries.

The Bronze Bragg medals and certificates will be presented at the lecture. The medal is awarded for highest achievement in Physics in 2018 in the SACE Stage 2 assessments, with certificates being for students who achieved a merit.

 The presentation and lecture will be held in the Napier 102 Lecture Theatre, Napier Building, 1st floor, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, north from Pulteney St., at 6.30pm. Members of the public are warmly invited to attend. We are obliged for security reasons to keep the front door of the building attended, so please arrive before 6.30pm. Bookings are not available. The doors must be closed if all seats are taken.

Enquires: Email via aip_branchsecretary_sa@aip.org.au  mob: 0427 711 815.

2018 Annual General Meeting QLD Branch – Room Change

Please take note, we have incorporated a room change so that there will be better amenities to account for our online viewers!

The new location will be:

Parnell Building: Room 7-302

The link to join us online is available below.

 

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 2 November from 4pm – 6pm, Room 50-S201, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus.

I am very pleased to announce that we will have two speakers bracketing the AGM, with the QLD nominee for the Bragg Gold Medal Dr Sarah Walden presenting her research; and the John Mainstone Youth lecture Tour presenter Dr Sean Powell.  More information about their presentations are provided below.

The expected timing of the proceedings will be as follows:

4.00pm – 4.50pm      Dr Sarah Walden presents her research

5.00pm – 5.15pm      AGM

5.15pm – 6.00pm      Dr Sean Powell – “Physics is everywhere!”  Presentation from the John Mainstone Youth Lecture Tour.

For catering purposes it would be appreciated if you could register your attendance by Tuesday the 30th of October  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-6pm here.

 

Additionally, part of the business for the AGM will be to elect the branch committee for 2019.

 

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),

Simon Critchley (Qld Health),

Austin Lund (UQ),

Nunzio Motta (QUT),

Carolyn Brown (USQ),

Till Weinhold (UQ)

Jacinda Ginges (UQ)

Scott Hoffman (post-graduate student representative 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 2nd November!

 

Dr Sarah Walden

Title: Nonlinear optical properties of ZnO and ZnO-Au composite nanostructures for nanoscale UV emission

Abstract: This thesis investigates the nonlinear optical properties of ZnO and ZnO-Au composite nanostructures. For applications such as photodynamic therapy, it is desirable to use nanoparticles to generate localised UV emission while illuminating them with visible or infrared light. This is possible using nonlinear optical processes such as two photon absorption. Nonlinear optical processes however, are extremely weak, so this work investigates the potential of increasing the efficiency of two photon absorption in ZnO nanoparticles by coupling them to metal nanoparticles. Using new experimental methods, the two photon absorption and resulting UV emission from the nanoparticles are measured.

Dr Sean Powell

Physics is everywhere! – a journey from sub-atomic particles to the large-scale structure of the universe, where physics seeks to answer the most fundamental questions about reality. As we learn more, we can do more! Physics is everywhere in our world and underpins all our technologies. This year, Sean will discuss the important problems that all of us encounter every day: how do I teleport myself to school? What do I do when I find myself inside a black hole? Why is my time-machine not working? He will also talk about the superpowers that you can gain as a physicist, such as the ability to make accurate quantitative observations and predictive and interpretive mathematical models.  These powers mean that you can become very valuable and work in many industries such as fundamental physics research, economics and finance, space and aeronautics, healthcare and medicine, learning and teaching, electronics and computers, and so much more!

PUBLIC LECTURE – 28 NOVEMBER 2018

2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Good vibrations: Using ambient seismic signals to explore deep continents and distant oceans

Wednesday 28 November 2018, 6.00-7.00 pm (note early time)
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

 

Professor Anya Reading
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania

Seismic ‘noise’, the background ambient signals recorded by seismic stations around the planet, can be utlised to infer the structure of the deep continents, the 3D architecture of the tectonic plates.  Ocean storms, at incredible distances, also transmit signals to seismic stations on land.  Archive seismic records can hence be used to investigate storms, and possible changes in storm patterns, over recent decades.  This presentation will survey the variety of seismic signals that we record, novel ways of extracting information from those signals and new insights on the continents and oceans that have arisen through making use of these ‘good vibrations’.

Further details: Simon Ellingsen (E simon.ellingsen@utas.edu.au)