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Girls in Physics Events

Each year the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) appoints a 'Women in Physics' lecturer. Her role is to visit each state and territory to give a series a talks at schools and universities. Every second year the lecturer comes from Australia. In the alternate years, the lecturer comes from overseas.

Details about the 2017 program will be determined, once the AIP announces this year's speaker. Below are details of the 2016 program.

In 2016 the lecturer was Dr Catalina Curceanu from Italy. Dr Curceanu works at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, which is part of Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics. She leads a research team performing nuclear and fundamental physics experiments on the DAPHNE collider at Frascati and at the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso. Her team also participates in experiments performed at CERN (Geneva) and in Japan (J-PARC). She is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and she has organised many international workshops and conferences. She is heavily engaged in outreach and dissemination activities and wrote the book “Dai Buchi Neri all’adroterapia. Un Viaggio nella Fisca Moderna” (From Black Holes to hadron therapy. A journey into Modern Physics).

The following five events were organised.

1. 'Girls in Physics' Breakfast, 7:00am - 8:45am, Thursday, 25th August, Hawthorn Arts Centre, 350 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

This event is now fully booked.

Dr Curceanu will speak briefly about the opportunities and challenges of a career in Particle Physics, both as a scientist and as a woman.

Additional Optional Feature: The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University is offering a free viewing of their 3D Astro Tour. The 3D Tour lasts 50 minutes and the theatre has a capacity of 55. The viewing will start at 9:00am.

Promotional material that can be downloaded:

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Word

Girls in Physics Breakfast - Flyer

76.8 kB

A flyer for the Girls in Physics Breakfast for display around the school. The flyer can be customised.

Adobe PDF

Poster for Girls in Physics Breakfast

752 kB

Poster for Girls in Physics Breakfast

Generic

A letter to the Head of Science - Girls in Physics Breakfast

23.2 kB

A letter addressed to the Head of Science explaining the Girls in Physics Breakfast.

Teachers can book up to six girls per school. The cost is $15 per student, there is no charge for one teacher, the cost for additional teachers is $15 each. If a teacher would like to bring extra students, please contact Vicphysics.

Students will be seated in pairs at tables with students from other schools. At each table there will be one or two young women either in the early stages of a science or engineering career or still studying at university. Over breakfast, the students can query them about their life and work. There will also be one or two teachers at each table.

This event is now closed.

Note: Payment needs to be made at the time of booking, so a school credit card or personal credit card will be required. School Order numbers are not accepted. There is a small Trybooking surcharge.

This event is being sponsored by Vicphysics Teachers' Network and the Deppartment of Physics and Astronomy at Swinburne University.

2. Science Lecture for secondary students, 12:45pm, Thursday, 25th August, Geoffrey Blainey Auditorium, Mt Helen Campus, Federation University, Ballarat

Topic: 'Where are the “others”? A glimpse into the Fermi paradox'. Note: Change of topic from previously advertised.

Abstract: Where are the “others”? Are there other beings in the Universe, do extraterrestrial civilisations exist? Enrico Fermi said that if they exist, they ought to be here already. Is it so? The search for life in the Universe is a very active field of study. We shall explore the fascinating Drake equation, which calculates the number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy and will discuss the way in which the search for life in our Solar system and outside it is performed. The discovery of more and more planets, some of them similar to our own, gives to some of us the hope, to others the fear, that the “others” might indeed exist.

The lecture is free, but schools need to book by contacting Stefanie Davison, School and Community Engagement Coordinator, Federation University Ph: 5327 9373.

There is A chemistry lecture earlier that day at 10:30am on 'Kitchen Chemistry', which can aalso be booked through Stefanie Davison.

School talks

Dr Curceanu will be speaking at the following schools:

3. Melbourne Girls' College at 1:30pm on Tuesday, 23rd August. Her topic is 'Where are the “others”? A glimpse into the Fermi paradox'.

Abstract: Where are the “others”? Are there other beings in the Universe, do extraterrestrial civilisations exist? Enrico Fermi said that if they exist, they ought to be here already. Is it so? The search for life in the Universe is a very active field of study. We shall explore the fascinating Drake equation, which calculates the number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy and will discuss the way in which the search for life in our Solar system and outside it is performed. The discovery of more and more planets, some of them similar to our own, gives to some of us the hope, to others the fear, that the “others” might indeed exist.

If teachers would like to take some students, please contact Sandor Kazi at the school to see if there is space available. There is no cost

4. MacRobertson Girls' High School at 12:30pm on Wednesday, 24th August. Her topic is Schrodinger’s cat and quantum technologies'.

Abstract: Quantum Mechanics (QM) is probably the best theory we ever had – with implications and applications everywhere around us: from the explanation of atomic structure to silicon based technologies. We would be tempted to believe that QM has no mysteries for us and that we know everything. It is not like this! In spite of its tantalizing success, QM still spurs a lively debate about its interpretation: what does QM really mean about Nature? The famous Schrodinger cat paradox is one of the puzzles of QM. We shall explore it and present possible ways out: a new alternative theory (collapse models), the existence of many worlds and the Bohmian mechanics. We shall also see what types of experiments are done to test QM. The peculiar features of QM (such as entanglement) offer extremely interesting perspectives for future technologies: the so-called quantum technologies. We shall discuss some of them, from quantum computing and cryptography to teleportation. Today’s dreams might become tomorrow’s realities.

If teachers would like to take some students, please contact Diana Sandulache to see if there is still adequate space. There is no cost.

5. Camberwell Girls' Grammar School at 9:30am on Wednesday, 24th August. Her topic is 'From the Big Bang to Black Holes. Quo Vadis the Universe?'.

Abstract: Einstein thought the Universe is static, has no beginning and no end. To make it static he introduced “by hand” in his famous general relativity equation the cosmological constant. But soon after, Hubble discovered that the Universe is expanding! We have now a theory, the Big Bang theory, which tells us the Universe as we know it was born about 13.7 billion years ago and has evolved ever since. We shall explore the main events in the Universe’s history, going from the first instants, when all was just a dense quark-gluon soup, to the formation of the first stars, of our Solar System, and of the mysterious black holes. The Universe is not only expanding, but it does so in an accelerated way – due to the so-called mysterious dark energy, which made us reconsider Einstein’s cosmological constant. How will the Universe evolve? Various scenarios will be discussed, together with the efforts to understand the origin of dark energy.

If teachers would like to take some students, please contact Giselle Lobo to see if there is still adequate space. There is no cost.