5. Events for Students
1. 2021 Physics Teachers' Conference - A Virtual Conference
The 2021 VCE Physics Teachers' conference will be an online event, which creates exciting opportunities to include a broader range of participants and presenters. The call for sessions is not likely to go out before next term, however it would greatly assist with our planning to have an indication of:
(i) your interest in presenting a workshop(s) and
(ii) what kind of workshops you would like to attend.
We are proposing workshops of no more than 50 minutes duration, including at least 20 minutes for discussion and interaction between the participants and the presenters.
Please let us know your plans and thoughts using this form: google doc
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2. Practical Investigations for 2020 - More resources
A number of teachers along with Vicphysics have contributed videos of investigations and data files for students to analyse. The titles have been listed in recent editions of this newsletter. The resources are on the Vicphysics google drive and access is available to teachers who request it by emailing Vicphysics. So far about 50 teachers have requested access.
There is now one extra source of data files. Kelvin Barraclough has provided files and support notes on aircraft performance, both model and full size planes. Much of the model plane data has been collected with a phone app.
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3. Puzzling Light Effects
One of us (DOK) recently took the two photos below. The photo on the left, of the top of the Eureka Tower, suggests light reflecting up from the gold surface. The one of the left show multiple rainbow effects in a cloud at a small angle from the sun.
The images can also be downloaded from here. Explanations greatly received.
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The Vicphysics Teachers' Network set up a Job Ads page on our website to assist schools in finding a physics teacher, either to be a LSL replacement or to fill an ongoing position or just to cover an extended sick leave.
There are four Government schools seeking a physics teacher:
This webpage is updated every weekend. The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and also lodge a payment for this service.
- Balwyn High School, Brighton Secondary College, Rochester Secondary College, St Albans Secondary College.
a) COSPAR-K. A free Space STEM Event: Friday, 29th Jan - Tuesday, 2nd Feb, 2021
COSPAR-K is to be held in Sydney, but because of COVID-19, it is going virtual allowing students from around Australia to participate.
The organisers' aim is to provide FREE access to everyone interested so they can "ask questions to their keynote speakers, spark ideas from presentations and take part in activities from wherever you are".
The website describes the aspects of the program that have been confirmed so far including some speakers. You can register to be kept informed. The original event was to have a conference format with activities for students on some of the days at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. However COVID-19 has required a move to virtual and a drastic re-think about what can be offered and how, but the event is well resourced, so a watching brief is justified.
COSPAR-K TV will be delivered via the NSW Department of Education in collaboration with the STEM Industry Schools Partnerships program.
6. Physics from the Web
Items selected from the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (UK).
a) Has the COVID-19 lockdown changed Earth’s climate?
Each item below includes the introductory paragraphs and a web link to the rest of the article.
The lockdown measures imposed by many nations due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to air pollution falling dramatically, thereby offering scientists a rare opportunity to study its links with climate and weather. But it’s a complicated connection.
b) Quantum computers may be heading underground to shield from cosmic rays
Such is their sensitivity to environmental noise, quantum computers might in future be shielded by thick layers of lead and even operated deep underground. So say physicists in the US, who have found that ionizing radiation significantly limits the coherence time of superconducting qubits. Indeed, they say that minimizing radiation effects will be crucial if general-purpose quantum computers are to be made using superconducting technology.
c) Beating the Diffraction Limit with Sound
A system that reconstructs and classifies acoustic images with far smaller features than the wavelength of sound they emit has been developed by at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. Their technique beats the diffraction limit by combining a metamaterial lens with machine learning and could be adapted to work with light. The research could lead to new advances in image analysis and object classification, particularly in biomedical imaging.
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