1. Live Stream of the talk at the Girls in Physics Breakfast, 8:20am, Tuesday, 21st August
The Breakfast is fully booked and Vicphysics is live streaming the talk by Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP's Women in Physics lecturer for 2018. The talk will start at 8:20am and finish at 9:25am.
The video link and more details are available on our website and the video can also be accessed from here and here. Questions for the speaker can be through firstname.lastname@example.org The video file will be available after the event.
Dr Brenner's topic is Pressing FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world. Dr 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.
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.
2. Physics Competitions for Students
Vicphysics runs the following competitions for secondary students. Each competition has book voucher prizes:
a) Photo Competition: The contest is open to students in Victorian schools. Entrants must submit their photos by email attachment. In addition entrants must print out, complete, sign, and mail the Contest Rules and Entry Agreement available at this webpage. Entries are due by the first Friday of Term 4.
b) Video Competition: The contest is open to students in Victorian schools. The subject of teh video must relate to an aspect of the VCE Physics Curriculum. The video may not be longer than three minutes in length. In addition entrants must print out, complete, sign, and mail the Contest Rules and Entry Agreement available at this webpage. Entries are due by the first Friday of Term 4.
c) Practical Investigation Poster Competition: For Year 11 students. There is a maximum of ten prizes, the entry of each prize winner must satisfy the list of criteria on this webpage. Entries must be submitted as a one page pdf. The posters must be sent as an email attachment by the teacher to Vicphysics by the second Friday of Term 4. Successful entries with judges' comments are also on the webpage.
3. Workshop on Special Relativity, 3:30pm, 27th August, Bairnsdale.
Peter Cheung from Nagle College will be running a workshop on the Lorentz Transformation and Minkowski diagram.
The time: Monday, 27th August 2018, 3:30 to 5:00 pm.
Venue: Nagle College, Bairnsdale
To book, please contact the school on Phone: 5152 6122
4. Physics Days at Luna Park in 2019
The dates for 2019 are Tuesday, 5th March to Friday, 8th March. The bookings are not open yet, but you can now begin the administrivia of getting permission. Extra rides are being planned by Luna Park. More details later in the year.
5. Events for Students and the General Public
a) Monday, 13th August: Would you Survive on Mars?, 7:00pm Monash University
Venue: G09 lecture room, 9 Rainforest Walk, Monash University
Bookings and Map: Free. Click here.
Mars is our favourite planet and the only other planet in the Solar system where humans will live one day. But stories that are often told about Mars, mostly by popular sci-fi movies, paint a hostile world. These stories focus on challenges of survival in a harsh environment (“The Martian”, “Red planet”), fear of invasion by Martians (“The War of the Worlds”, “Life”), origin of life and human species (“Mission to Mars”), an environmental and ethical impact of humanity on another planet (“Total recall”), and whether it’s ethical to even raise humans on Mars (“The Space between Us”).
This is an interactive talk that would challenge your knowledge about real Mars and test your skills of survival on another planet while discussing fun science from sci-fi movies. After the talk, there is a chance to observe Mars and other delights of the night sky, weather permitting.
The event is organised by FLEET, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies.
Their free massive open online course “How to survive on Mars - the Science Behind the Human Exploration of Mars” opened on 6th August - all welcome!
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.
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.
Venue: Kardinia International College, 29 - 31 Kardinia Drive, Bell Post Hill.
To Book: Please email Vicphysics with student numbers and their Year level(s)
d) Thursday, 16th August: Three Years of Winter: The (Scientific) Story behind Shelley's Frankenstein, 7:00pm Monash University
Venue: G09 lecture room, 9 Rainforest Walk, Monash University
Bookings and Map: Free Click here.
”It was a dark and stormy night..." ...hold on a minute, let’s ditch this cliched horror story! It was actually a hot and tropical April in 1815, prior to the terror that would engulf the inhabitants of Sumbawa, Indonesia. In this gothic tale that weaves art and science, Monash University's Dr James Driscoll will focus on the geological and climatic catastrophe that created the conditions for the writing of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, three years later and half a world away. We'll also explore the science of catastrophic volcanic eruptions and comment on the present volcanic hazards of Victoria.
Two public Lectures, an Art exhibition, refreshments at interval and Telescope viewing are on offer.
The program is:
- 4:30pm. Igniting stars with super intense lasers with Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2018. Dr Brenner is a laser physicist from the UK Research and Innovation and will be speaking as part of her national tour. See details below.
- 5:30pm. Deeper Darker Brighter: An Art exhibition with refreshments provided.
- 6:30pm. State of the Universe VIII – the people’s edition with Dr Rebecca Allen, Swinburne University. See details below.
- 7:30pm Telescope viewing. Weather permitting.
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Rd) Map.
Igniting stars with super intense lasers with Dr Ceri Brenner
Refreshments will be provided in the hour between the two talks.
For more details and a flyer, click here
To book, click here. Note: You will need to tick which sessions you want to attend. This will assist with the catering and while the venue is large, the Swinburne lectures are popular.
Time: 4.30pm to 5.30pm
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!
State of the Universe VIII – the people’s edition with Dr Rebecca Allen, Swinburne University.
Time: 6.30pm to 7.30pm
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.
f) 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.
g) 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.
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.
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:
i) Tuesday, 4th September, Medical Radiations Open Night, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Moorabbin Hospital
- 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
This Open night is for students interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine. Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information. This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Venue: Clinic 1B, Moorabbin Hospital, 823 - 865 Centre Rd, Bentleigh East
To book: Email here by 29th August to assist with tour co-ordination.
j) Sunday, 9th September: Open Day at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 10am - 2pm, Parkville
This Open day is for students interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine. 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
k) 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:
Cost: Teacher: $235 (early bird $195 by 24th August), Student : $33 , Includes lunch.
- 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.
Check here for the details of program, speakers and the workshops for teachers and for students.
l) 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.
6. Events for Teachers
a) It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference, 14th September, Melbourne Girls' College
See item 5k above
b) Lab Techs Workshop, Tuesday 18th September, Camberwell Grammar School
The all day program includes:
Cost: $60. Lunch is provided. A copy of the LTAV's Physics Reference Manual is available at a discounted price of $20.
- 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)
More details here To book: go to Trybooking . Bookings close on Monday, 10th September.
7. 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) The physics of baking good pizza
Physical principles are involved in almost any aspect of cooking. Here we analyze the specific process of baking pizzas, deriving in simple terms the baking times for two different situations: For a brick oven in a pizzeria and a modern metallic oven at home. Our study is based on basic thermodynamic principles relevant to the cooking process and is accessible to undergraduate students. We start with a historical overview of the development and art of pizza baking, illustrate the underlying physics by some simple common examples, and then apply them in detail to the example of baking pizza.
A research article by Andrey Varlamov, Andreas Glatz, Sergio Grasso.
b) The dark energy deniers
The discovery that the universe is expanding with increasing speed may have bagged a Nobel prize, but some cosmologists are still not sure if dark energy is the explanation for it. Keith Cooper looks at the arguments for and against this mysterious phenomenon
It was the most profound discovery in cosmology since the detection of the faint radio hiss from the cosmic microwave background (CMB). In 1998 two teams of researchers, locked in a fierce rivalry to be the first to measure the expansion rate of the universe, independently announced that they had arrived at the same startling conclusion: the expansion of the universe is not slowing down as expected, but is speeding up. The discovery led to the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics being awarded to the two team leaders – Brian Schmidt of the High-Z Supernova Search Team and Saul Perlmutter of the Supernova Cosmology Project – as well as Schmidt’s teammate, Adam Riess, who was the first to plot the data and realize that the universe is not behaving as it should.
c) Did dark matter have a chilling effect on the early universe?
New research lends further support to the idea that a detection of surprisingly strong absorption by primordial hydrogen gas, reported earlier this year, could be evidence of dark matter. The new results, described in three papers in Physical Review Letters, are theoretical and do not settle the issue. Indeed, one group is sceptical of the dark-matter interpretation. But the work heightens interest in ongoing observations of the “cosmic dawn”, with new results from radio telescopes expected within the next year.
According to cosmologists, the hydrogen gas that existed in the very early universe was in thermal equilibrium with the cosmic microwave background (CMB), which meant that the gas would not have been visible either through absorption of the microwave photons or through emission. But at the start of the cosmic dawn about 100 million years after the Big Bang, ultraviolet light from the first stars would have excited the hydrogen atoms and shifted the distribution of electrons within the lower and upper levels of the hyperfine transition. As such, the hydrogen would have started to absorb much more radiation at the transition wavelength (21 cm), which would be seen today as a dip at longer, re-shifted wavelengths in the CMB spectrum.