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SA Branch

Welcome to the South Australia (SA) branch of the AIP. Watch this space for local events in SA!

SA 2024 Committee

News and Upcoming Events

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  • 14 May 2024 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    The Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) and the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) invite you to the 2024 AIP/IPAS Physics Careers Fair!

    Are you currently studying physics at university and wondering what comes next? Are you keen to launch an exciting career in physics in Adelaide?

    Listen to employers from over 7 national & local companies who are looking to hire people just like you!

    The event details are:
    Title: 2024 AIP/IPAS Physics Careers Fair
    Date: Wednesday 29th May 2024
    Lecture: Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide,
                    6:00-6:30 PM  Live stream from national employers,
                    6:30-7:15 PM  Presentations by local employers,
    Networking and Pizza: 7:15PM - 8:30PM, Mezzanine (The Hub), University of Adelaide

    Registration: Required. If you would like to attend, please register at the Humanitix below to ensure there is enough Pizza for everyone.
    AIP/IPAS Physics Careers Fair (South Australia) | Humanitix

    Enquires: Email to

  • 3 Apr 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Top scoring year 12 physics students from 2023 Allegra Kleinig and Rianna Herring were awarded Bronze Bragg medals at the AIP SA Branch’s annual Bronze Bragg Presentation and Lecture.

    Congratulations to both of the students, for their hard work and well-deserved achievements.

    The Bronze Bragg medals go to the top scoring year 12 physics students from 2023.

    (From left to right: Allegra Kleinig, Prof Robert Sang, Rianna Herring, Dr Stephen Warren-Smith.)

    Prof Robert Sang gave a lecture on attosecond science: the dynamics of lasers and atoms at one billion-billionth of a second.

    Prof Sang investigates the dynamics of electrons in atoms and molecules and ultra-short laser pulses at this timescale to test fundamental quantum theories and develop new x-ray sources.

  • 7 Feb 2024 11:25 PM | Anonymous

    How to use a time machine to study atomic physics

    Presented by: Prof. Robert Sang, Griffith University

    Date & Time: Monday 19th of February 2024 at 6.30 to 7.45 pm

    Location: The Braggs lecture theatre, The University of Adelaide

    Abstract: In this talk I will give a background into the world of ultrafast laser science with an emphasis on the application to study attosecond science. I will talk about the 2023 Nobel Prize in physics and use some examples of attosecond science research from my own laboratory in the study of atomic physics.

    Bio: Professor Robert Sang is the Dean Academic of the Griffith Sciences Group. Professor Sang is an experimental quantum physicist and he co-founded the Attosecond Science Group at Griffith University. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed research articles in the discipline of atomic physics and his current research involves the applications of ultra-short laser pulses of light to the experimental observation of the dynamics of electrons in atoms and molecules which occurs at the time scale of attoseconds (one attosecond is a billion-billionth of a second). The outcomes of this research are diverse and ranges from the development of new coherent x-ray sources, the testing of fundamental quantum theories, to applications in structure determination of complex molecules. Prof Sang has held posts as a Max-Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Munich, ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship and visiting scientist to the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo.

    The Bronze Bragg medals, and merit certificates, will be presented at the lecture. The medals are awarded for highest achievement in Physics in 2023 in the SACE Stage 2 assessments and IB Higher Level Physics, with merit certificates being for students who achieved a merit or a grade of 7.

    The presentation and lecture will be held in the Braggs Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, at 6.30pm. Members of the public are warmly invited to attend.

  • 2 Nov 2023 10:46 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    You are invited to the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) SA Branch 2023 Annual General Meeting and end of year dinner held in the Ivy Room at the Maylands Hotel.

    The agenda for the evening is as follows:

    6:00 pm Pre-meeting drinks

    6:30 pm Annual General Meeting

    7:30 pm Annual Dinner

    The AIP (SA Branch) Annual General Meeting will start at 6:30 pm (pre-meeting drinks from 6:00 pm). Nomination of the 2024 committee will be included as part of the proceedings. Please see the attached letter for details of the current committee’s nominations for the 2024 committee.

    Dinner will be from 7.30 pm, following the main course we will have an after-dinner speaker (TBC).

    Meals to be ordered and paid on arrival from the hotel's menu.

    Please register for the event via Humanitix.

  • 29 Sep 2023 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    The Astronomical Society of South Australia (ASSA) and Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) SA Branch are holding a joint public lecture as part of an ASSA monthly meeting. This meeting is being held in-person and is open to the general public.

    Speaker: Professor David Ottaway

    Date & Time: Wednesday 4th of October 2023 at 8:00pm to 9:30pm

    Location: The Braggs Lecture Theater, The University of Adelaide (map here)

    Meeting Agenda:

    • Gravitational Wave Astronomy Now and Looking to the Future
    • Announcements & Upcoming Events
    • Close at 9:30pm

    Abstract: It has been 8 years since the first direct detection of gravitational waves (GW) occurred almost 100 years after Einstein predicted their existence a century beforehand. Since that time the first three GW observing runs have detected 90 detections. After a period of downtime to install the instruments upgrades the twin LIGO detectors have commenced its 4th observing runs and significant GW events are now being observed weekly. In this talk I will describe the instrument science that makes these amazing detectors operate and the exciting new astrophysics results that they enable. I will also describe the plans for the next generation of detectors that are being planned for operation starting towards the end of the next decade.

    Bio: Professor David Ottaway is a Professor and current Head of Physics at The University of Adelaide. He has spent the vast majority of his career developing optical systems for gravitational wave detectors and other forms of extreme remote sensing. He is principally an instrument scientist who has a keen interest in the amazing Astrophysics that GW Astronomy enables. He is also a Chief Investigator and Node Leader in new funded Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Gravitational Wave Astronomy.

    Attend In-Person: This is a free public event. A theatre ticket is NOT required for this meeting. Just roll up.

    Finding the Venue: The Braggs LT entrance faces the Barr Smith Lawns and is located at E10 on the map.

    Watch Live Online: (no ticket required): YouTube or FacebookPlease Subscribe to the ASSA YouTube channel and turn ON Notifications to be instantly notified of our live broadcasts.

  • 21 Sep 2023 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    Pizza & Networking with local employers of Physicists and STEM professionals.

    Curious about Science and Physics? Wondering what careers can come from studying Physics? Not sure if you should choose to study Physics in Year 11, Year 12, or University? The AIP/IPAS Physics Industry Night will satisfy your curiosity and queries.

    Listen to the experts in their fields who have used their physics education to leap into exciting and rewarding careers.

    Hear from local organisations and companies who hire Physics graduates:

    Afterwards, enjoy FREE PIZZA over networking with these local employers.

    Date: Tuesday 26th September 2023
    Time: Lecture: 6:00 - 7:00 PM - The Braggs Lecture Theatre
    Networking: 7:00 - 8.30 PM - Hub Mezzanine
    Location: The University of Adelaide
    Registration: EVENTBRITE registration required!
    Enquires: Email to

    Proudly hosted by Australian Institute of Physics SA Branch and the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing

  • 21 Sep 2023 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Tony Thomas for getting a paper published in the Journal of High Energy Physics

    The existence of dark matter has been firmly established from its gravitational interactions, yet its precise nature continues to elude us despite the best efforts of physicists around the world. The key to understanding this mystery could lie with the dark photon, a theoretical massive particle that may serve as a portal between the dark sector of particles and regular matter. In our recent work, a collaboration between CSSM, the Adelaide node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics and Jefferson Laboratory, we study the potential effects a dark photon could have on the interpretation of existing experimental results from the deep inelastic scattering process. Specifically, we make use of the state-of-the-art Jefferson Angular Momentum collaboration (JAM) global analysis framework for parton distribution functions, modifying the underlying theory to allow for the effect of a dark photon. We show that the dark photon hypothesis is preferred over the Standard Model hypothesis at a significance of 6.5 sigma, which constitutes strong evidence, albeit indirect, for a particle discovery.

    Profile likelihood showing preferred regions for the dark photon mass and mixing parameter. This suggests that the Standard Model is disfavoured at 6.5σ.

  • 4 Sep 2023 12:10 PM | Anonymous

    Science Alive! is the largest, single, interactive, mobile science exhibition in Australia, which has been running since 2006.

    This year, for the first time, the South Australian branch of the AIP (AIP SA) participated in the event, offering ‘Mind-Bending Light’ – a series of hands-on optics demonstrations – amongst the 80 interactive exhibits at the Adelaide Showgrounds from August 4-6.

    “The motivation behind the development of these activities is to inspire the next generation of physicists in Australia with fun, hands-on activities,” said Dr Chris Perrella, AIP SA Secretary and co-developer of the activities.

    The activities were a hit, with over 750 visitors to the exhibit over the three days, aged from 4 to 18 years old.

    The activities included:

    • Laser Playpen – where  a series of mirrors, prisms and gratings are used to align a laser onto a receiver and play music via a “Laser Radio”
    • Jelly Waveguides – where different shaped jellies and a ‘light dragon’ are used to re-direct laser light onto different detectors, illustrating the principles of total internal reflection and optical fibres.
    • Absorbing Light – where different coloured lasers and jellies are used to demonstrate the meaning of colours.

    This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the AIP SA branch members, with 12 volunteers assisting for a total of 75 hours, 27 battery changes, and more than 30 packets of jelly used.

    “The SA Branch is already planning a repeat performance for 2024, as Science Alive! represents a fantastic opportunity to engage with and excite the general public about physics,” says AIP SA Branch Chair, Stephen Warren-Smith.

    August was a busy month for the AIP SA Outreach team, also running workshops using these activities as part of the 70th Conference of the Australian Science Teachers Association (CONASTA) and the Flinders University STEM Enrichment Academy in July 2023.

    AIP SA thanks SASTA/The Oliphant Science Awards for hosting the Mind-Bending Light station, as well as the OptoFab node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility for providing 3D printing services, The University of Adelaide for assistance developing the Laser Radios, and the Adelaide Optica Student Chapter for providing additional volunteers.

    For additional information please contact the AIP SA Branch Treasurer at

    AIPSA/Adelaide Optical Student Chapter volunteers Darryl Jones, Sabrina Slimani, Ben Sparkes and Harry Noel Lees excited to welcome their first visitors of the day at Science Alive!

    AIPSA Secretary Chris Perrella explaining the Laser Playpen activity to eager participants at Science Alive!

    Adelaide Optical Student Chapter President Gabriel Britto Monteiro demonstrating the Jelly Waveguide activity at Science Alive!

  • 4 Aug 2023 5:45 PM | Anonymous

    The Australian Institute of Physics (SA branch) is proudly hosting the Claire Corani Memorial Public Lecture as part of the Women in Physics national lecture tour:

    Nano-magnets: new materials to address biomedical and technological problems.
    Presented by:
    Dr Karen Livesey
    Date & Time: Wednesday 6th of September 2023 at 6.30 to 7.45 pm
    Location: Horace Lamb lecture theatre, The University of Adelaide (map here)

    Abstract: Tiny magnets that are one thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair are starting to be used in technologies all around us, including cancer treatments, medical imaging and even self-repairing paints. Magnets that are shrunk down to the nanoscale behave very differently to the large ones that you have on your fridge, allowing a whole new set of materials to be designed to answer important technological problems. Come along to hear how a theoretical physicist studies nano-magnets and what exciting problems are currently being solved.

    Bio: Dr Karen Livesey was the first in her family to finish high school and studied Physics at the University of Western Australia, completing a PhD in 2010. For almost 10 years she worked at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs reaching the rank of Associate Professor. While the covid-19 pandemic was raging, she moved to Newcastle NSW with her family in 2020. She is currently a Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Newcastle, and an Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies. Karen has won teaching awards and research grants in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. In 2023 she is a national Superstar of STEM (Science and Technology Australia) and the AIP Women in Physics lecturer (Australian Institute of Physics).

    The Claire Corani Memorial Prize will be presented at the lecture, for high achievement at second year level physics in 2022 at a South Australian University.

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To see more past events from the SA branch, click here.

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