AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS

Promoting the role of Physics in research, education, industry and the community

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The AIP runs a monthly bulletin that goes out to over 4000 scientists, future scientists and those interested in science! 

To provide physics news or subscribe to the AIP bulletin please email physics@scienceinpublic.com.au.

To advertise in the bulletin, see our Jobs page.

  • 1 Feb 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to announce the following winners of our competitive Medals, honouring the brilliant work of Australian physicists:

    2021 Walter Boas Medal Professor Howard Wiseman (Griffith University)

    For elucidating fundamental limits arising from quantum theory, in particular in its applications to metrology and laser science, and via its implications for the foundations of reality.

    This Medal aims to promote excellence in physics research and perpetuate the name of metallurgist and physicist Walter Boas.

    2021 Bragg Gold Medal Dr Timothy Gray (Australian National University)

    For the thesis entitled: Electromagnetic Moments and Emerging Nuclear Collectivity near Z = 50

    This Medal recognises the most outstanding physics PhD thesis by an Australian University student.

    It was named after Sir Lawrence Bragg and his father Sir William Bragg, who jointly won the Nobel Prize for their work in x-ray crystallography .

    2021 TH Laby Medal - Ethan Payne (Monash University)

    For the thesis entitled: Probing the Universe through gravitational waves

    This Medal commerates physicist and chemist Thomas Howell Laby and is given to the best Honours or Masters thesis from an Australian University student.

    We congratulate the award winners on their achievements – well done!

  • 1 Feb 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    The AIP acknowledges the tireless work of our 2019-2021 selection panel members.  Selecting winners can be a long and difficult task; we thank them for their work behind the scenes.

    The contributers are: Ann Roberts, Anton Tadich, Catherine Stampfl, Ceri Brenner, Daniel Langley, David Jamieson, David Ottaway, Fred Osman, Geraint Lewis, Hans Bachor, Helen Maynard-Casely, Ian McArthur, Ilya Shadrivov, Jarryd Pla, Joan Vaccaro, Karen Siu, Katie Auchettle, Maria Parappilly, Matthew Arnold, Pegah Maasoumi, Peter Jarvis, Peter Veitch, Sarah Brough, Susanna Guatelli, Till Weinhold, Tony Williams, Tracy Slatyer, Victoria Coleman.

    Additional thanks to our Branch Committee members, who who are involved in State level selection of the Bragg Gold Medal and the TH Laby Medal, and the IOP Harrie Massey UK selection committee.

    If you are interested in being involved in helping determine the awards winners and honours, please get in touch with us.  Selection committees are chosen based on experience, international standing, gender diversity, national diversity and subject matter.
  • 1 Feb 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    As reported by the Australian National University (ANU).

    ANU pays tribute to science pioneer and educator Mike Gore

    The Australian National University (ANU) and the wider science community is mourning the loss of passionate science educator and visionary, Questacon founder and ANU physics lecturer Professor Michael Gore AO.

    Driven by a desire to share his love of science with others and a determination to make science fun, Professor Gore was integral in shaping the science communication landscape in Australia.

    It was his love of teaching and attitude toward science - a recognition that science is best communicated through hands-on and experimental learning - that led to the creation of Australia's first interactive science centre, Questacon. His vision was to provide a fun and educational experience to inspire young Australians and the general public to pursue a career in the sciences.

    ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt says Professor Gore inspired us all to dream big and think beyond the limitations of what's possible.

    "Professor Gore's passion for science and teaching was infectious. He never stopped wanting to empower and encourage others through science and he will be dearly missed by so many," Professor Schmidt says.

    "His work promoting greater awareness of science through a unique lens, a belief that we should approach science with curiosity, wonder and fun, has inspired generations of Australians to pursue their dreams."

    Professor Joan Leach, Director of the Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science(CPAS), says the passing of Professor Gore left a gaping hole in the Australian and international science community.

    "From a hands-on set of exhibits at the ANU School of Physics to an enlarged space at Ainslie Primary School to the fabulous new building in the Parliamentary Triangle, Mike was determined that Australia was going to be on the leading edge of a new way of communicating science publicly," Professor Leach says.

    In 2015, Professor Gore was made an officer of the Order of Australia for his service to science communication. He was awarded the 2001 AIP Outstanding Service to Physics in Australia Award and in 2006, the Academy Medal from the Australian Academy of Science.

    Read the full tribute here.

    Photo credit: ANU.
  • 1 Feb 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Last year’s 2021 AIP Summer Meeting was the most attended AIP Summer Meeting to date with 455 registrations.

    The event was held 6-9 December, both in-person at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, and online. 

    The scientific program featured a diverse range of work at the vanguard of Australian physics, including plenary lectures delivered by Distinguished Professor Lidia Morawska FAA (QUT), Professor Michael Fuhrer (Monash) and Professor Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop AO FAA (UQ).

    Focused Sessions provided an opportunity for members of the physics community to bring together eminent speakers working on cutting-edge research topics.

    The meeting included:

    ·       11 topic streams with over 30 keynote and invited speakers

    ·       More than 280 talks and 45 posters

    ·       Three workshops and two pitch sessions

    ·       In relation to the meeting’s diversity agenda, 42% of plenary/keynote/invited speakers identified as female, 55% were male-identifying and 3% were unspecified. Almost all Australian states and territories as well as universities were represented. More info here.

    A list of student prize winners for posters and oral presentations can be found here– congratulations to all the participants.

    On behalf of the organisers, we would like to thank everyone who participated in the meeting, including our volunteers and sponsors without whom the event would not have been possible!

    Photo: Our enthusiastic meeting volunteers Lady Gamboa and Terry Turner. Credit to Jennifer MacLeod.
  • 1 Feb 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    The boundary of chaos, optical metasurfaces, AIP Vice President Professor Nicole Bell on the AIP’s advocacy on the ARC ‘no-preprint rule’, and the difference between weight and mass for young physicists.

    Members can read these stories and more online in the latest edition of Australian Physics.

    If you have a physics-related article, poem or book review you would like to have included in future editions, you can send through proposals and finished items editors to Peter Kappen and David Hoxley via email: aip_editor@aip.org.au.

  • 1 Feb 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    As reported by UN Women.

    The world needs science, and science needs women and girls.

    On 11 Feb, use the hashtag #WomeninScience to spread messages that defy gender stereotypes and let everyone know that we need more women and girls in science!

    Women have led ground-breaking research into public health, vaccines, treatments and innovative technology, and been on the front lines of COVID-19 response as scientists, health care workers and more.

    Yet, the gender gap in science and technology holds women back.

    According to UNESCO’s forthcoming Science Report,  only 33 per cent of researchers are women, despite the fact that they represent 45 and 55 per cent of students at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels of study respectively, and 44 per cent of those enrolled in PhD programs.

    While 70 per cent of health and social care workers are women, they are paid 11 per cent less than their male counterparts.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is poised to widen the existing gender disparities, especially for women scientists at the early stages of their career, unless we act deliberately to keep women in the career pipelines in STEM.

    It’s more important than ever to recognize women’s contributions in science, smash stereotypes and defeat discrimination against women and girls in science.

    Support the women researchers you know.

  • 1 Feb 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Do you or someone you know have a physics PhD, and have had an unexpected career path, including roles outside of academia?

    We’d love to hear your story and how physics has got you to where you are.

    Past examples include physicists that have gone on to have careers in epidemiology, patent law, comms, medicine, education and even visual effects!

    Email your interest in sharing your story to aip@aip.org.au to have it featured in our monthly bulletin and website.

  • 9 Jan 2022 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    On Christmas Eve 2021 it was announced that 6 ARC Discovery Projects were vetoed by the acting Minister for not demonstrating value for taxpayers’ money nor contributing to the national interest. This was despite the projects having been selected through a rigorous independent peer review process. It is shocking to see this kind of political intervention in a country like Australia where we expect a fair go for those who follow the grant rules. We expect our rigorous grant allocation systems to be guided by excellence and merit and to be determined by experts. Last-minute intervention from politicians should not be a routine part of this process and does not result in good value for money for the Australian taxpayer. We call on all our STEM colleagues from around Australia to join us in standing strong with our colleagues in humanities against political interference in the independent grant processes.

  • 15 Dec 2021 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    The Australian government has announced reforms to Australian Research Council processes, outlined in a recent letter from the Minister. 

    We are very concerned about the rapid timeline for reform and lack of consultation. Commitment to a new direction offers the opportunity for long overdue consultation with the Australian research sector, and guidance from best practice internationally. 

    We urge the government to undertake such consultation as a matter of priority. Changes at the ARC - the national funding body for all research outside the medical sector - will have long term impact.

    We need to get it right this time.

    • Read about the ARC reforms in their media release here.
    • Read the letter from the Minister here.
    • Read coverage of the issue in The Australian here.

AIP news and bulletin posts prior to 20 June 2021 can be found here.

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