Category Archives: TAS


Wednesday, 12 August 2020, 8:00 PM

A Space like no other : the past, present and future of Tasmania’s involvement in space

Professor Simon Ellingsen from University of Tasmania

As small island sitting on the edge of the Pacific and Southern oceans Tasmania has a view of the sky accessible to few others. Tasmania has a long association with the exploration of space and so when the Australian Space Agency was created in mid-2018, with the goal of tripling Australia’s slice of the rapidly growing international space industry, it was natural that our location and expertise be utilised as part of this bold endeavour.

In this talk I will give a brief history covering some of the past highlights of Tasmania’s involvement in space-related ventures, through to our most recent project to construct a dedicated satellite tracking station at the University of Tasmania’s Greenhill observatory. This facility has been funded by the Australian Space Agency and will support Australian innovation in both research and commercial space activities. The new tracking station will commence operation in 2021 and will provide a unique opportunity for Tasmanian researchers and businesses to leverage the benefits that access to space can provide.

Further details: Krzysztof Bolejko (


Wednesday, 26 February 2020, 8:00 PM
Physics Lecture Theatre 1, Sandy Bay Campus, University of Tasmania

No qualms about quantum theory

Professor Berge Englert from Centre for Quantum Technologies (Singapore)

Quantum theory has been singularly successful in the almost one-hundred years since its foundations were laid by Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Max Born, Paul Dirac, and others. Nevertheless, there is a debate – seemingly never ending – about the so-called “measurement problem” and other perceived problems. I shall argue that quantum theory is a well-defined local theory with a clear interpretation. No measurement problem or any other foundational matters are waiting to be settled. The answers to questions such as: What is a physical theory? What are the preexisting concepts in quantum theory? Probabilities in quantum theory are probabilities for what? What is state reduction? Do wave functions collapse? Is there instant action at a distant? Is quantum theory nonlocal? Where is Heisenberg’s cut? How many interpretations do we need? Is there a measurement problem? demonstrate the case.

Further details: Krzysztof Bolejko (


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 28 November, 5pm – 5.30pm, Physics Lecture Theatre 1, Clark Road, University of Tasmania.

Order of Proceedings

  • 5.00pm: Opening and declaration of a quorum
  • Minutes of 2018 AGM
  • Annual Report – Chair
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Election of the 2020 Committee. Please send your nominations to the Secretary ( Current nominations are:
    • Chair – Dr Stanislav Shabala
    • Treasurer – Dr Elizabeth Chelkowska
    • Secretary – Dr Krzysztof Bolejko
    • Committee – Dr Andrew Cole, Mr Jason Dicker, Ms Aikaterini Vandorou
  • Other business
  • 5:30pm: Pre-lecture light refreshments in Physics/Maths Tea Room.
  • 6.00pm: Free Public Lecture – Physics Lecture Theatre 1 by Raymond Volkas.
  • 7:30pm AGM Dinner – TBD (local restaurant). RSVP to by 5.00 pm Tuesday 26 November. Members and partners welcome.

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 (


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


2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Why should I care about physics? From atoms to cancer therapy and more!

Tuesday 28 August 2018, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart


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”.

Further details: Andrew Klekociuk (T 0418 323 341, E


2018 Women in Physics Lecture Series

2018 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Lasers And Super Exciting Research: It’s all in the name!

Tuesday 31 July 2018, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics Lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart


Dr Ceri Brenner
Senior Application Development Scientist for High Power Lasers, UK Research and Innovation

Lasers are the greatest multi-taskers; from telecommunications to surgery, from space missions to cutting through steel, they’re used everywhere! But did you know that we are also using the most powerful lasers in the world to tackle some truly global challenges? We’ll explore how lasers are key to providing for our rapidly growing energy demands, how they will help spot and treat cancer and how they can be used for safe handling of nuclear waste.

Further details: Andrew Klekociuk (T 0418 323 341, E