Vicphysics Teachers' Network Inc.
Dear *|FNAME|*,

The webpages for the Units 2 and 4 Areas of Study on the Vicphysics website have been re-designed to give easier access to the large amount of material that we have accumulated over the years.  We welcome your feedback on the new design.

We are repeating last year's popular Lab Techs Workshop on Tuesday, 17th September, but this year the program gives more time to each serving, rather than offering a smorgasbord of many smaller items.

Bookings are coming in for the Girls in Physics Breakfast.  The first Synchrotron Tour group is now full, there are still spaces in the other tour groups.

The Physics Extravaganza at Swinburne University on Friday 17th August is now even bigger.  In between the two lectures at 4:30pm and 6:30pm, there will be an Art Exhibition looking at Science through Art, refreshments will be available.  After the last talk there will also be Telescope viewing (weather permitting).

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers' Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 9th August at Melbourne Girls' College.  All teachers are welcome to attend this or any other meeting.  If you would like to attend, please contact Vicphysics

The Vicphysics Executive Team
Frances Sidari (Pres), Bronwyn Quint (Vice-Pres), Barbara McKinnon (Sec), Terry Tan (Treas) and Dan O'Keeffe (Coord)
Table of Contents
  1. New look to Vicphysics Website
  2. Lab Techs Workshop, Tuesday, 18th September, Camberwell Grammar School
  3. Quantum Biology: A good reference
  4. Events for Students and the General Public
  5. Events for Teachers
        6. Physics News from the Web
            a) Rooted in Physics: Plant roots and Electric Fields
            b) Super Window uses krypton to reduce energy costs
            c) The Physics of Soccer - Magnus effect

1.  New look to Vicphysics Website
Many of the webpages for the various Areas of Study now have so many resources listed it is difficult to know where to start. To provide some structure, the webpages for the Units 2 and 4 Areas of Study now have a table at the top with the content sections down the side and the types of resources, e.g. Texts, Activities, Assessment, Useful Weblinks, across the top.  Each cell in the table has either 'Yes' or 'None'  The 'Yes' is an active link to the resources of that type for that section.

Example for Unit 4: How can waves explain the behaviour of light?

Topic Texts Activities Assessment Useful weblinks
Types of Waves Yes Yes Aspects of Sound Yes
Doppler effect None Yes None Yes
Refraction and Dispersion Yes Yes None Yes
Resonance None Yes None Yes
Diffraction and Interference None Yes None Yes
Light as a Wave None None Aspects of Light Yes
Polarisation None None None Yes

We welcome your feedback on this design, before we update the other webpages.  Please check them out at Unit 4 Light and waves, Unit 4 Light and matter and Unit 2 MotionUnit 1 Thermal Physics has an earlier method of organising the content.

2.  Lab Techs Workshop, Tuesday 18th September, Camberwell Grammar School
The all day program includes:
  • Learning new skills: i) Using and repairing multimeters, ii) Setting up a CRO for demonstrations, iii) Using a Ruhmkorff coil for high voltage demonstrations. (do two of the three, each runs for 30 mins)
  • The Van de Graaff Generator: Their care and feeding with Harvey Edwards from Principles and Practice.The frustration and hate of maintaining a VDG is fairly universal among Labies. Either you can seek help from a professional councellor or join in this workshop that will give you all the hints on how to service and maintain them with a minimum of hair pulling and swearing.  1 hour)
  • Good data in a digital world with Doug Bail from Ciderhouse. Hints, tips, tricks and techniques that help you, teachers and students make the most of the digital data acquisition available to schools.  The workshop will include some experiments, chat through tips, maintenance, calibration and analyse some data to help you support the use of this equipment.  The session will use PASCO gear but is intended for support of all equipment and particular notes will be made of options available from other suppliers. (1 hour)
  • Safe handling of ionising radiation and storage of radioactive sources (45 mins)
  • Laboratory management hints and lab tour (45 mins)
  • What is that old equipment in the back cupboard and is it of any use? (30 mins)
Cost: $60. Lunch is provided. A copy of the LTAV's Physics Reference Manual is available at a discounted price of $20.
More details here  To book: go to Trybooking . Bookings close on Monday, 10th September.

3.  Quantum Biology: A good reference
The July lecture in Physics this Friday is on Quantum Mechanics and Biology, see item 5a below.
Steve Draper recommends as a really good book on the subject:  'Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology' by the Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden.  It is available from Booktopia for AU$20, or as an eBook for AU$15.
Other Resources:
  •  A TED talk by Jim Al-Khalili: 'How quantum Biology might explain life's biggest questions
  •   Quantum Aspects of Life A 468 page pdf book by Derek Abbott, Paul C. W. Davies and Arun Pati
  •  Last week's newsletter had an item in the Physics on the Physics on the Web section ' Is photosynthesis quantum-ish?
4.    Events for Students and the General Public
a)   Tuesday, 31st July: Discovery of the first Baby Planet.  6:30pm Monash University, Clayton campus
The next lecture in this series will be on the Discovery of the first Baby Planet and will be given by Assoc Professor Daniel Price, Senior lecturer in the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of A/Prof Price.

A demonstration, practical activity or laboratory tour will precede each lecture, beginning at 6.30pm, with the lecture starting at 7pm.  The venue is Lecture Theatre S3, 16 Rainforest Walk, which is on the West side of the Clayton campus. (see map). Parking is available free after 5pm in N1 (check the map).

These lectures are appropriate for teachers or VCE students.  Information about the series is available here .
The next lectures in the series are:
  • Tuesday, 28th August - Tying electrons into knots - Prof Michael Fuhrer
  • Tuesday, 25th September - Black holes and merging neutron stars: frontiers in gravitational-wave astronomy - Dr Eric Thrane
  • Tuesday, 30th October - Neutron Stars - Prof Alexander Heger
  • Tuesday, 27th November - TBA - Assoc Prof Meera Parish
b)  Tuesday, 14th August: Carbon, Clean Energy, Climate Change and how Chemistry is the solution, 5:30pm, University of Melbourne
To celebrate National Science Week RACI are hold a FREE Public Lectureship on: If the world has to go ‘carbon neutral’ what exactly will this look like and how are we going to achieve this? 
The link and solution between carbon emissions, climate change and a future of clean energy is through chemistry; from removing our dependence on fossil fuels that powers our modern society, the physical chemistry behind carbon dioxide that is causing climate change, to the ability to develop cheap clean alternative energy sources.
This conversation will focus on how we produce and use energy, altering how the large industries that drive our economy operate, to the manufacture of common products that we take for granted in everyday lives.

Dr Colin Scholes from The University of Melbourne; will explore how our energy sector, mineral and chemical processing industries, transportation and even how we grow food will be transformed as we adapt to clean energy, future fuels and ‘zero-footprint’ products as we use chemistry to remove carbon from the equation.  

This event is supported by The Royal Society of Victoria and The University of Melbourne Therapeutic Technologies Hallmark.
When: Tuesday 14 August 2018
Time: 5.30pm - 7pm
Where: ESJ King Theatre, University of Melbourne, Grattan St, Parkville.
Cost: FREE
Please Click Here to Register.

c)  Thursday, 16th August: Seven Mysteries of Modern Physics: from dark matter to oscillating neutrinos, 1:45pm, Kardinia International School, Geelong
Dr Catalina Curceanu, the AIP Women in Physics lecturer from 2016, will be in Melbourne in mid August and she has agreed to speak in Geelong to complement the regional spread of physics talks happening in August.

Her topic is Seven Mysteries of Modern Physics: from dark matter to oscillating neutrinos and she will talk about: Is there anything left to do for the next generations of researchers in fundamental physics?

We shall answer this provocative question by discussing seven major unsolved mysteries of Modern Physics, just to show to the “next generation” that there are many important things to be done in science, in physics in particular. We will discuss items ranging from dark matter and energy, to the interior of black hole and the intimate structure of a neutron star, and explore the Schrodinger cat paradox, to end with something we know exists, but do not know how large it is: neutrino masses, and with something else we do not even know exists: one or more parallel Universes. This is the best moment to study science!

Dr Curceanu leads a research team performing nuclear and fundamental physics experiments on the DAPHNE collider at Frascati and at the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso in Italy.

Time: 1:45pm
Venue: Kardinia International College, 29 - 31 Kardinia Drive, Bell Post Hill.
To Book: Please email Vicphysics with student numbers and their Year level(s)

c)   Friday, 18th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, 4:30pm, Swinburne University
Time: 4.30pm to 5.30pm *
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC building, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Rd) Map

Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2018, will speak on 'Igniting stars with super intense lasers'. She says of her talk 'When we press FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world, we deliver a packet of light that is a thousand billion billion times more intense than sunlight. We can use this extreme power to recreate the conditions at the centre of Sun and in the process release vast amounts of energy in a clean and safe way. Harnessing this power for electricity generation is an inspiring story. It combines pure and applied physics and requires engineering to handle the most extreme conditions in our solar system!

*After the talk there will be an Art Exhbition combined with refreshments.  The Exhibtion 'Deeper Darker Brighter' Art conveys the wonder of science through art. Pamela Bain and Carolyn Lewens explore the universe with Swinburne University Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing resulting in an odyssey of aesthetic and sensory experiences.  The refreshments will be provided by the AIP Victorian Branch and participants can stay on for the talk by Dr Rebecca Allen which starts at 6:30pm, see details below.
Bookings: The lecture and refreshments are free and booking will be required, but the details are yet to be finalised.

d)    Friday, 18th August: State of the Universe VIII, 6:30pm, Swinburne University
Speaker: Dr Rebecca Allen from Swinburne University
Topic: State of the Universe VIII – the people’s edition
Whether it is depending on the stars in the sky to navigate a ship’s journey or developing technology that enables the successful landing of a rover on a distant planet, space has always been part of who we are. In this special edition of State of the Universe, Dr Rebecca Allen will discuss some of the contemporary men and women who have advanced the studies of and journeys into the Cosmos, and where we are today.

Time: 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC building, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Rd) Map
 To register click here .
There will also be telescope viewing afterwards 7:30 - 8:30pm, (weather permitting).

e)    Sunday, 19th August: Inspiring Illumination, Creative Curiosity, 2:30pm, Art Gallery of Ballarat

Time: 2.30pm to 3.30pm
Venue: Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard St Nth, Ballarat.
As part of the National Science Week program on Art and Science, Dr Ceri Brenner speaks on Lasers and Art.  Lasers are a beautiful and powerful tool. They’re fascinating to observe and inspiring to study. In describing scientists and artists, artist Alistair McClymont remarks: “both ultimately search for truth and both see beauty in that truth”. Dr Ceri Brenner reveals the beauty behind her work with the most powerful lasers in the world, how she is inspired by the world-changing applications that she and her team work on and the extreme technology she gets to work with.
Bookings: The lecture is free, but booking is essential.  Please click here.

f)    Monday, 20th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, 9:30am, La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus
La Trobe University is organising a Science Day featuring activities and talks.  The program includes Robot Rule workshops (1 hour) at  9:30am, 11:00am and 2:00pm, a Lasertag workshop (2 hour) at 9:30am  and a lecture at 12:30pm by Dr Ceri Brenner from the UK, the AIP Women in Physics lecturer for 2018 will speak on her work with lasers.

For more details of the day or to book teh workshops, please contact Rachel Meredith . Schools wishing to book the lecture, please use this form.  All workshops are offered at no charge to schools.

g) Tuesday, 21st August, Girls in Physics Breakfast - Monash University, Clayton Campus    

The last breakfast for the year will be held on Tuesday, 21st August at Monash University.  The speaker will be Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP's Women in Physics lecturer for 2018.  Dr Brenner will be speaking as part of a national tour in August.

The breakfast is for students in Years 10 to 12.  At the breakfast the students will share a table with two or three young women in the early stages of a career in science or engineering.  The students have a chance to ask questions about their careers and what study at university is like.  Students will be seated with students from other schools.
As student at last year's event said: 'I was talking to a guest at my table and her career sounded so amazing.  Then I realised that in 8 years that could be me.  I got so excited.'

Dr Brenner's topic is Pressing FIRE on the most powerful laser in the worldDr Ceri Brenner is a physicist at UK Research and Innovation. She is using the most powerful lasers in the world to develop innovative imaging technology for medical, nuclear and aerospace inspection. She has a unique role that spans research, innovation and business development and is driving the translation of laser-driven accelerator research into industrial applications that impact our society. 

Times: The Breakfast will start at 7:30am and finish about 9:30am. 
Program: After the breakfast for those opting to stay on, there are two additional activities :
  • A 90 min tour of the Australian Synchrotron, a walk away in Blackburn Rd.  There is a maximum group size for the Synchrotron Tours with tours starting 10:00, 10:30, 11:00 and 11:30, so a specific time needs to be selected when booking. Note: The 10:00am tour is fully booked
  • A set of three activities on Careers in STEM  each of which lasts for 30 minutes. The activities are: i) People Like Me Quiz and Job Roles Analysis, ii) Panel of Guests and Case Studies analysis and iii) Video on 'Keeping Doors Open' and Activities with Careers posters. The students booked in the first tour group will head off straight after the breakfast. They can do the first activity at the Synchrotron after the tour. For students in the other tour groups, the activities will be done at Monash, with the second tour group doing first activity before it heads off for the Synchrotron and so on for the other tour groups.
Please check the website for information about the tours and the activities. Please note: The person making the booking will need information about which tour time the school prefers as well as details about the students and teachers attending.

The Cost per student is $15 with teachers free.  There is no extra cost for the additional optional activities.
Max number of students per school.  To enable more schools to participate, there is an initial maximum of six (6) students per school.
Bookings is through Trybooking.  The person making the booking will need to know their preferred Synchrotron Tour and the names and any dietary requirements of the students and teachers coming to the event.  Please note: Trybooking transactions require a credit card.
Check our website for further details and flyers to promote the event in your school.  They contain:
  • the address of the venue,
  • a biography of the speaker and
  • the abstract of her talk.
This event is sponsored by ANSTO, Vicphysics Teachers' Network, the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies (FLEET), and supported by Federal Government's Inspiring Australia - Inspiring Science Program.

h)    Tuesday, 28th August: Tying electrons into knots,  6:30pm, Monash University, Clayton Campus.

The August lecture in this series will be on Tying electrons into knots and will be given by Professor Michael Fuhrer from the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of Prof Fuhrer. See details of the venue, check under a) above.

i) Sunday, 9th September: Open Day at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 10am - 2pm, Parkville
This Open day is for studenst interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medecine.  Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information.  University course providers will also be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Venue: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre within the VCCC building at 305 Grattan St Melbourne

j)   Friday, 14th September: It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference,  Melbourne Girls' College
This conference is designed by students and teachers for students and teachers.
The intent of the 'It Takes a Spark' conference is to bring together Girls and their Teachers to connect with inspiring female industry role models, share their current school based activities and projects using an authentic sharing and experiential model, create networks of teachers and student teams, and solve social justice design challenges.
The participation of the students is as important as teachers as the intent is to ignite, empower and nurture both students and teachers to be leaders of STEAM and Entrepreneurship within their schools.
Teachers will have both formal and informal opportunities to speak to other teachers who have enacted programs and activities in their schools and get their questions answered. The workshops and social justice design challenges are all hands-on so students and teachers will experience first-hand what it is like to be part of great STEAM and entrepreneurial learning.  This will spark new ideas about curriculum and pedagogy.
The event is for:
  •  those who are already (or aspire to be) technology leaders in their school,
  •  those who have little experience and those who have a lot,
  • Curriculum Coordinators– who wish to discuss how to create trans-disciplinary units that are powerfully engaging,
  • Principals and Deputy Principals – to witness what is possible by embedding the Technologies Curriculum in their school. 
Cost: Teacher: $235 (early bird $195 by 24th August), Student : $33 , Includes lunch.
Check here for the details of program, speakers and the workshops for teachers and for students.

k)  Saturday, 15th September: What's Next: Prof Kip Thorne on Gravitational waves, etc, 7:30pm, Palais Theatre, St Kilda
Let's talk Gavitational Waves, Black Holes, Wormholes, Dark Matter and Time Travel.

See American Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Prof Kip Thorne, Astrophysicist Prof Alan Duffy and co-host of the Infinite Monkey Cage, British comedian Robin Ince.  Professor Kip Thorne will lead a panel discussion, delving into how scientific advances will change how we live our lives and how the world we live in will change forever.

Ticket prices range from $97 to $178.  To book, click here.

5.     Events for Teachers
a)    July Lectures in Physics, 6:30pm, Fridays in July, University of Melbourne
Venue:.  Basement Theatre B117, Melbourne School of Design, Masson Road.  Check here for details and map.
27th July: Quantum Mechanics and Biology: What are the Prospects?
Speaker: Dr David Simpson
Abstract: The rise of quantum technology brings with it exciting new opportunities in computation and communication. Now biology is set to benefit from this revolution. This lecture looks at how quantum technology and biology are coming together to provide new insights into how birds navigate and how living organisms assemble incredibly complex structures. In addressing these questions, we will explore where this technological revolution can take us in the coming decades.
b)         It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference, 14th September, Melbourne Girls' College
See item 2e above

6.   Physics from the Web
Items selected from the bulletins of the Institute of Physics (UK).
Each item below includes the introductory paragraphs and a web link to the rest of the article.

a) Rooted in Physics: Plant roots and Electric Fields
Roots are fundamental to a plant’s survival, but some of their behaviour at a cellular level remains a mystery to scientists. How can electric fields affect root growth and regeneration?

Roots are complex branched systems whose topology and structure determine the entire physiology of the plants above them. The tip of each branched root has distinct regions where different cell activities take place. At the very end there is the “meristem” where cell divisions occur. Moving up the root, an “elongation zone” comes next where the cells stop dividing and instead elongate. It is followed by a “differentiation zone” where the cells stop elongating and start differentiating.  The direction and rate of root tip growth are influenced by the signals they perceive from the environment, and the organization of the internal tissue within each root tip plays a big role in this root-soil interaction.

b) Super Window uses krypton to reduce energy costs
The(Berkeley Lab) has joined forces with window companies to resurrect its “thin triple” super window design, first patented in 1991.   new collaboration aims to commercialise the super window, which is at least twice as insulating as 98% of the windows for sale today – potentially halving the estimated $20 billion in heating energy lost every year by windows in the US. 
The new design is an evolution of the common double-glazed window. It has two layers of 3 mm thick glass that sandwich a third layer of very thin glass that is less than 1 mm thick. A standard low-emissivity coating that helps to block long-wave infrared rays is applied to the thin central glass. Finally, argon that would usually fill the double-glazed window cavity to reduce heat transfer is replaced by krypton, which has superior insulating properties.

c) The Physics of Soccer - Magnus effect
Roberto Carlos last year took a free kick. The ball was placed about 30 m from his opponents’ goal and slightly to the right. Carlos hit the ball so far to the right that it initially cleared the wall of defenders by at least a metre and made a ball-boy, who stood metres from the goal, duck his head. Then, almost magically, the ball curved to the left and entered the top right-hand corner of the goal – to the amazement of players, the goalkeeper and the media alike. Apparently, Carlos practised this kick all the time on the training ground. He intuitively knew how to curve the ball by hitting it at a particular velocity and with a particular spin. He probably did not, however, know the physics behind it all.


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