Physics positions – Vicphys News 4/T4/19

Physics positions:

  • VCAA is inviting teachers to apply for the position of State Reviewer for Physics
  • Vicphysics is also inviting teachers to nominate for executive and committee positions

There is a talk this week for physics teachers on using Amusement Parks to assist student learning.  It will be at Swinburne University on Thursday, 31st October at 6pm.  Booking is required.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 14th November at Swinburne Senior Secondary College starting at 5:00pm.  It will focus on reviewing the 2019 Physics Exam paper.  Teachers are welcome to these meetings. If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1. VCAA State Reviewer position
  2. Vicphysics Executive and Committee nominations
  3. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  4. Events for Students and General Public
  • Brian Cox, A Symphonic Universe, 11:00am, 15th November, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre
  • Mystery Guest, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
  • Physics Days at Luna Park: 3rd March – 6th March, 2020

5. Events for Teachers

  • Amusement Park Physics Lecture: 6pm Thursday, 31st October, Swinburne University

6. Physics News from the Web

  • Encrypt Me! A game-based approach to quantum cryptology for secondary students.
  • The physics of blood splatter.
  • Giant negative thermal expansion seen in nanomagnet
1. VCE Physics State Reviewer for 2020 – 21
VCAA is seeking applications from experienced teachers to be the State Reviewer for Physics for the years 2020 and 2021.  The position is about school-based coursework and the responses to VCAA’s School-based Assessment Audit.  The closing date is Monday 4th November, 2019

To apply you need to enter your details on SSMS , the Sessional Staff Management System. If you have not used SSMS before to apply to be an assessor, for example, you will need to apply as a new applicant to obtain a username and password.  Once you have logged in, you go to ‘Select Job’ and search for the position. You will need to enter details of your qualifications, teaching experience and possibly name(s) of referee(s).

A detailed description of the responsibilities of the position are available here.

For enquiries: Meredith Young (Program Manager School-based Assessment Audit) VCE Unit, Curriculum Division (VCAA) Tel: 9032 1735 Email: young.meredith.e@edumail.vic.gov.au 

2. Vicphysics Executive and Committee nominations
The Vicphysics website features many activities and resources for teachers and students.  To continue with these requires an active committee.  Vicphysics invites you to nominate for one of the up to five ordinary committee positions or for one of the four executive positions.
You can simply nominate yourself by emailing the returning officer preferably by Friday, 6th December or at the AGM on Thursday, 14th December.
Please note: To nominate you need to be a member of Vicphysics Teachers’ Network, but receiving this newsletter does not mean you are automatically a member of Vicphysics, rather you need to lodge a membership form with the Secretary.  However there is no membership fee, so a membership application can be lodged at the same time.as the nomination.  As an incorporated association, Vicphysics is required to have a membership structure.

3. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
Last year 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.  Several schools placed notices.
The web page also lists the Government schools seeking a physics teachers, currently there are twelve.  This web page will be updated every weekend.
The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and also lodge a payment for this service.

4.  Events for Students and General Public

a)  Brian Cox, A Symphonic Universe, 11:00am, 15th November, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre
An MSO Education Concert for upper primary and secondary students.  Be whisked through space and time by Professor Cox in this science meets music, special schools-only event. Joining Professor Cox on stage will be conductor Daniel Harding, to lead the Orchestra through some of classical music’s most universal repertoire.

MSO Education Concerts for secondary schools offer you and your students the opportunity to explore the power of music in colourful, engaging, narrative-based concert experiences.

Recommended for secondary school-aged students, with broader suitability at the discretion of teachers.

To discuss the suitability of this content to the learning interests and needs of your students, please feel free to contact the MSO education team: schools@mso.com.au.
Important information
Ticket price: $17 per ticket, one free teacher per 10 students  Duration: 50min.
To book tickets, click here.

b) Mystery Guest, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
A special End of Year Lecture in ATC101.  For more details and to book, click here.

c) Physics Days at Luna Park: 3rd March – 6th March2020
The dates for 2020 are Tuesday, 3rd March to Friday, 6th March.
Bookings are open for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park, click on ‘Events’.  You can make a booking for a particular day this year and change your day once your timetable for 2020 is known. But please remember to notify Luna Park on any change of date at least a fortnight before the event.
An aerobatic display by a member of the Roulettes has been requested, but confirmation is often not provided before February next year.

Return to top

5. Events for Teachers

Amusement Park Physics Lecture: 6pm, Thursday, 31st October, Swinburne University

Title: Amusement Parks as informal learning environments: Physics, maths and technology for the whole body
Abstract:  Luna Park can be seen as a large physics laboratory, where your own body can feel many times heavier than normal or experience seconds of free fall weightlessness and live to tell the tale.  The forces on the body can also be captured with a smart phone, when built-in acceleration, rotation and pressure sensors capture the motion.
The data offers rich opportunities to discuss challenging physics – acceleration is no longer abstract when experienced in your own body.  In this way acceleration can be accessible to younger learners.  The function of sensors can also be illustrated by simple toys, such as a short slinky spring providing visual measurements of ‘g forces’ and a soft toy on a string used as  miniature Foucault pendulum to illustrate rotation measurements.
The presentation also addresses pedagogical strategies to ensure that an exciting outing also results in student learning.
Speaker: Prof Ann-Marie Pendrill is Professor of Physics and Director of the Swedish National Resource Centre for Physics Education.  She has used Amusement Parks in physics teaching since 1995, in physics, engineering and teacher education programs, as well as in teacher professional development.  She has been involved in arranging large scale STEM days Liseberg and Grona Land, amusement parks in Sweden. Her articles can be found here.
Ann-Marie is in Melbourne partly to record data from some of Luna Park’s distinctive rides.  She will be at Luna Park on Friday evening, 1st November.
Date: Thursday, 31st October
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus, EN103, Engineering building.  Map
Tickets: Free, but you need to register, click here.
Dinner: If you wish to join others for dinner with the speaker afterwards at a nearby restaurant, please indicate when you register.
Extra: Doug Bail from Ciderhouse ICT will display data logging equipment from 5:30pm.
Queries: Please contact Vicphysics if you have nay questions

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

Encrypt me! A game based approach to quantum cryptology for secondary students

The authors present a game-based approach to teach quantum cryptography at high school. The approach is based on kinaesthetic activities and allows students to experience and discover quantum features and their applications first-hand. They represent quantum states by the orientation of students, and mimic quantitative random behaviour and measurements using dice and apps.

The physics of blood splatter
Analysing the blood stains following a shooting can be key to finding the perpetrator, but it’s a field of forensics that is being called into question. Sidney Perkowitz explains how understanding the physics behind the blood distribution could help uncover the truth.

Giant negative thermal expansion seen in nanomagnet

Most materials expand when they are heated up and contract when cooled down – a phenomenon known as positive thermal expansion (PTE). Over the past three decades, however, an increasing number of materials showing the opposite effect – that is, negative thermal expansion (NTE) – have been discovered. Researchers in Portugal and the US say they have now found NTE above the magnetic ordering temperature in magnetic nanoparticles for the first time. The new discovery will be important for making composites from PTE and NTE materials that have zero thermal expansion for use in a host of technology applications.

Climate Science, Study Design Survey. Vicphys News 1/T4/19

This newsletter focuses on resources for Climate Science.  The item in the last newsletter about the survey for the Review of the Physics Study Design is repeated here, the closing date is 18th October.

There are also dates for Physics Days at Luna Park, competition entries and a Brian Cox event in November.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 17th October at Melbourne Girls’ College starting at 5:00pm.  Teachers are welcome to these meetings. If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1. Teaching Resources for Climate Science
  2. Survey for Review of Physics Study Design
  3. Entries for Physics Competitions entries are due this week.
  4. Physics Days at Luna Park: Bookings for 2020 are now open
  5. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  6. Events for Students and General Public
  • The Cosmic Perspective, 6:30pm, 18th October, Swinburne University
  • Brian Cox, A Symphonic Universe, 11:00am, 15th November, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre
  • Mystery Guest, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University

7. Physics News from the Web

  • Atoms clocked at 8000 km/s as they race towards supermassive black holes
  • The invisibility of length contraction
  • The Twisty Physics of Simone Biles’ Historic Triple-Double.
1. Teaching Resources for Climate Science

  • The US National Centre for Science Education has developed and tested five lessons plans on ‘Turning Misinformation into Educational Opportunities’.  Each package has the lesson plan, supplementary material, a goggle folder of extra material and a webinar on the package.  There are packages on i) Scientific Consensus, ii) Climate Models, iii) Past vs Present Climate Change, iv) Local Climate Impacts and v) Climate Solutions. Also check their ‘Classroom Resources’ under ‘Teach’.
  • The Perimeter Institute has produced resources titled ‘Evidence for Climate Change’. It is an inquiry-based educational resource. Hands-on activities focused on heat, carbon dioxide, and thermal expansion explore the essential science behind climate change. Students are introduced to the observational data for climate change and the climate models that describe the principal factors involved. Opportunities are provided throughout the resource for students to consider how they contribute to both the problem and the solution. Please note: The zipped folder that contains this resource is 1 GB and can take about 5 minutes to download on an average connection.
  • The NASA Climate Change website has links to nine different US websites of educational material of different styles and for different age groups. The websites are by groups such as JPL, NOAA, US Dept of Energy, the National Science Digital Library and several by NASA itself.

Submitted by Barbara McKinnon

2. Survey for Review of Physics Study Design
VCAA is conducting a review of the Physics Study Design.  They have asked Vicphysics to conduct a survey of physics teachers on aspects of Units 1 and 2 of the current study design to inform the development of the next study design.

The survey is anonymous and responses will be treated with strict confidentiality.  Vicphysics will provide the VCAA with a report of the aggregated data.  The survey will close on 18th October.  The survey can be accessed here.

3.  Physics Competitions entries are due this week
Vicphysics runs three competitions:

4. Physics Days at Luna Park: Bookings for 2020 are now open.
The dates for 2020 are Tuesday, 3rd March to Friday, 6th March.
Bookings are due to open today for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park, click on ‘Events’.  You can make a booking for a particular day this year and change your day once your timetable for 2020 is known. But please remember to notify Luna Park on any change of date at least a fortnight before the event.
An aerobatic display by a member of the Roulettes has been requested, but confirmation is often not provided before February next year.

5. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
Last year 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.  Several schools placed notices.
The web page also lists the Government schools seeking a physics teachers, currently there are seven.  This web page will be updated every weekend.
The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and also lodge a payment for the service.

6.  Events for Students and General Public

a) The Cosmic Perspective , 6:30pm, 18th October, Swinburne University
Dr Ned Taylor from the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University will present the talk in EN103.  For more details and to book, click here.

b)  Brian Cox, A Symphonic Universe, 11:00am, 15th November, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre
An MSO Education Concert for upper primary and secondary students.  Be whisked through space and time by Professor Cox in this science meets music, special schools-only event. Joining Professor Cox on stage will be conductor Daniel Harding, to lead the Orchestra through some of classical music’s most universal repertoire.

MSO Education Concerts for secondary schools offer you and your students the opportunity to explore the power of music in colourful, engaging, narrative-based concert experiences.

Recommended for secondary school-aged students, with broader suitability at the discretion of teachers.

To discuss the suitability of this content to the learning interests and needs of your students, please feel free to contact the MSO education team: schools@mso.com.au.
Important information
Ticket price: $17 per ticket, one free teacher per 10 students  Duration: 50min.
To book tickets, click here.

c) Mystery Guest, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
A special End of Year Lecture in ATC101.  For more details and to book, click here.

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

Atoms clocked at 5000 km/s as they race towards supermassive black holes

Observations of gas being sucked into the supermassive black holes at the centres of quasars have shed new light on how the astronomical objects convert gravitational energy into vast amounts of outgoing radiation. Hongyan Zhou at the Polar Research Institute of China and colleagues measured the speed of the in-falling gas and confirmed that it was being supplied by “dusty tori” that surround quasars.

The invisibility of length contraction
The idea that objects contract in length when they travel near the speed of light is a widely accepted consequence of Einstein’s special relativity. But if you could observe such an object, it wouldn’t look shorter at all – bizarrely, it would seem to have been rotated, as David Appell explains.

You might not have heard of this phenomenon before, but it’s often called the “Terrell effect” or “Terrell rotation”. It’s named after James Terrell – a physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US, who first came up with the idea in 1957. The apparent rotation of an object moving near the speed of light is, in essence, a consequence of the time it takes light rays to travel from various points on the moving body to an observer’s eyes.

The Twisty Physics of Simone Biles’ Historic Triple-Double

Simone Biles appears to defy the laws of physics with this epic tumbling pass from the 2019 US Gymnastics Championships. It’s called a triple-double. That means she rotates around an axis going through her hips twice while at the same time rotating about an axis going from head to toe THREE times. Yes, it’s difficult—but it doesn’t defy physics, it uses physics.

Physics Course Review: A Survey

VCAA is conducting a review of the Physics Study Design.  They have asked Vicphysics to conduct a survey of physics teachers on aspects of Units 1 and 2 of the current study design to inform the development of the next study design.

The survey is anonymous and responses will be treated with strict confidentiality.  Vicphysics will provide the VCAA with a report of the aggregated data.  The survey will close on 18th October.

The survey can be accessed here.

Also your chance to offer a workshop at next year’s Physics Teachers Conference closes during the holidays, on 30th September.  The conference will be on Friday, 14th February at La Trobe University.  To register a workshop, click here  .

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 17th October at Melbourne Girls’ College starting at 5:00pm.  Teachers are welcome to these meetings. If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

New PI Resources. Vicphys News 5/T3/19

The Perimeter Institute has just released some new Resources that will fit nicely with the Fields Area of Study and another that addresses Relativity, Light as a particle and Charges in electric and magnetic fields.  Their quality material is always worth considering.

Also if you wish to offer a workshop at next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference, you have until next week to register the details.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 19th September at Melbourne Girls’ College starting at 5:00pm.  Teachers are welcome to these meetings. If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1. New Resources from Perimeter Institute
  2. Entries for Physics Competitions entries are due early next term
  3. Tutoring positions
  4. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  5. Reminder: Offering a workshop at the Physics Teachers’ Conference
  6. Events for Students and General Public
  • 20th September, The Never-Ending Story of a Star, 6:30pm, Swinburne University
  • Holiday programs: Astro Tours, 24th Sept, 2nd Oct, Swinburne University
  • Holiday Program: Scienceworks: Building Roads and Bridges

7. Events for Teachers

8. Physics News from the Web

  • Cosmic clash over Hubble Constant shows no sign of abating
  • Healthcare can worsen global climate crisis
  • Ready, Set, Bake – Physics of Baking
1. New Resources from Perimeter Institute
The Perimeter Institute continues to produce high quality educational material that is free to download.  Their latest releases are:

  • Contemporary Physics: Students consider the challenges of space travel and learn about gravity assist manoeuvres and magnetic accelerators. Conservation of energy and the motion of charged particles in magnetic fields are applied as students examine how particle detectors work. Relativistic effects, such as time dilation and length contraction, are explored using hands-on activities. The diffraction of light is used to introduce Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, which is also the topic of the engaging, accompanying video. The final activity combines Bohr’s quantum hypothesis with the de Broglie wave relation to provide an explanation for discrete energy levels
  • Fields is focused on establishing the reality of electric, magnetic, and gravitational fields. Activities begin with an exploration of the nature of fields and the models that describe them. Students develop a physical model for electric fields and then test it using LEDs. They construct mathematical models that describe electric and magnetic fields and compare these to Maxwell’s equations. Students further explore the reality of fields as they investigate how auroras form. The nature of the gravitational field—as understood by Einstein—is applied to the orbit of Mercury to provide a model for orbital precession. The final activity is a design challenge that introduces students to magnetohydrodynamic propulsion.

2.  Physics Competitions entries are due early next term
Vicphysics runs three competitions:

3. Tutoring positions
Vicphysics is regularly approached by teachers or parents seeking a physics tutor.
A tutor is sought for a Year 11 student in St Kilda.  If you are interested, please email Vicphysics and contact details will be passed on.

4. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
Last year 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.  Several schools placed notices.
The web page also lists the Government schools seeking a physics teachers, currently there are five.
The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and also lodge a payment for the service.

5. Reminder: Offering a workshop at the Physics Teachers’ Conference
The chance to offer a workshop at next year’s Physics Teachers Conference closes on 30th September
The conference will be on Friday, 14th February at La Trobe University.  To register, click here

6.  Events for Students and General Public

a) The Never-Ending Story of a Star , 6:30pm, 20th September, Swinburne University
Speaker: Renee Spiewak, OzGrav Centre of Excellence, Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University
Click here for details of her talk and the location of the venue.
Audio recordings of the lectures held earlier this year are available at the website link above.
b) Holiday Programs: Astro Tour, Swinburne University: 24th Sept at 11:00am, 3rd Oct at 3:00pm.  Cost: $10 per person.  Duration: 50 minutes. To book and more details, click here.
c) Holiday Program: Scienceworks   Building Roads and Bridges. Activities for all ages

7.  Events for Teachers

a) ANSTO PD Day, Weds, 2nd October, Australian Synchrotron

ANSTO is offering a PD at the Australian Synchrotron  The program will look at a number of syllabus-focused educational resources to teach areas of the Year 9 Science curriculum and Year 12 Physics. You will also hear from prominent scientists and have a tour of the Australian Synchrotron.
Cost: $55, Lunch is not provided.
To book, click here.

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

Cosmic clash over Hubble constant shows no sign of abating

A new way to measure absolute distances in the universe has allowed scientists to work out a new value for the Hubble constant, which tells us how quickly our local universe is expanding. The latest expansion rate is consistent with other direct measures obtained from relatively nearby space, but in conflict with others that rely on the universe-wide spatial features of primordial radiation. This disparity has become more pronounced in recent years and suggests that our current understanding of cosmic evolution may need an overhaul.

Healthcare can worsen global climate crisis
If the global healthcare sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter on the planet, according to a new report. Its authors, who argue for zero carbon emissions, say it is the first ever estimate of healthcare’s global climate footprint.
While fossil-fuel burning is responsible for more than half of the footprint, the report says there are several other causes, including the gases used to ensure that patients undergoing surgery feel no pain.

Ready, Set, Bake – Physics of Baking
Baking is like a scientific experiment, combining the reactions of chemistry, the processes of biology and the laws of physics. Rahul Mandal, a metrology researcher by training, talks about how his scientific thinking helped him become a baker and win The Great British Bake Off in 2018
The article also has a link to Robert Crease’s article on the Physics of Bread.

Physics Conf and PD Budgets, Vicphys News 4/T3/19

PD budgets in schools are very tight. One way to extend the funds is to not pay the conference fee by presenting a workshop at the conference, better still, ask a colleague to join you in the workshop and you both don’t have to pay the fee.

The chance to offer a workshop at next year’s Physics Teachers Conference closes on 30th September

The conference will be on Friday, 14th February at La Trobe University.  To register, click here

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 19th September at Melbourne Girls’ College starting at 5:00pm.  Teachers are welcome to these meetings. If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

Peter Mac Open Day – Regional Physics talks. VicPhys News 2/T3/19

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is holding its annual Open Day on Sunday, 25th August.
There are day-time physics talks for secondary students in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong in late August. Booking is required.
Bookings for the Girls in Physics Breakfast at Monash University close on 19th August.
The previous newsletter has an extensive list of events on Apollo 11 and for National Science Week as well as an invitation to present at next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference. Check your emails or click here for details.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Tuesday, 23rd July at Swinburne Senior Secondary College starting at 5:00pm. Note the change of date and venue for this meeting. Teachers are welcome to these meetings. If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1. Poster Competition for Unit 2 Practical Investigation
  2. Events for Students and the General Public

3. Events for Teachers

4. Physics News from the Web

  •  Physicist creates remarkable tennis ball towers including one with 46 tennis balls – All with the force of Friction.
  • Solar panel generates fresh water and electricity
  • Simple system brings body-powered electricity a step closer
1. Poster Competition for Unit 2 Practical Investigation

  The Poster Competition is designed to award quality student work and to provide exemplars of quality investigations. There is a maximum of ten prizes, with a list of criteria on this webpage.  Entries need to be submitted as a one page pdf.  The posters should 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.
2.   Events for Students and the General Public
a) ANSTO Big Ideas Forum,  Applications now open.
The ANSTO Big Ideas Forum brings 22 Year 10 students and 11 teachers from across Australia to Sydney to meet world-class researchers and go hands-on with amazing technology.  Applications must be for two students and one teacher.
When: Monday 11 November -Thursday 14 November, 2019
Applications opened:  Friday 31 May 2019. To apply you film a 40-second video of your two students explaining:“What problem would you like to solve through science for the future of our society?”,
This event is free – flights, travel, accommodation and meals are covered by ANSTO.
For more details click here   Applications close late August.

b) July Lectures in Physics: The Moon, 6:30pm Fridays in July, University of Melbourne

  • 26th July, The Physics of the Apollo Moon Mission in 1969: Do Astronauts obey Kepler’s Laws?

Venue: Basement Theatre B117, Glyn Davis Building.
For more details, click here. There is information about the lecture as well as a link to book.

c) 30th July, 50 Years of Apollo, 6:30pm, Monash University

Speaker: Prof John Lattanzio, Monash University
Abstract: July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  I will present some of the interesting challenges, decisions and methods used to achieve this goal.  In addition to Apollo 11 I will cover the Apollo 1 fire, the Apollo 12 lightning strike and the near disastrous oxygen tank explosion on Apollo 13, as well as the decision structure at Mission Control in Houston. There are many fascinating, inspiring and humorous aspects that are not well known. I will also explain the 1201 and 1202 errors, and why Apollo 11 landed despite them.
Venue: Theatre S3, 16 Rainforest Walk, Monash University, Clayton (Map)  Flyer

d) 25th August, 10:00am – 2:00pm, Peter Mac Open Day
On Sunday, 25th August Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has an Open Day on Medical Radiations covering Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine. Tours are available.  Peter Mac is at 305 Grattan St, Melbourne. A flyer can be downloaded from here under ‘Open Days’.

e) 26th, 27th August, Physics Talks in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong
Three free talks by Dr Helen Maynard-Casely, the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2019 as part of her national tour.

  • 26th August, Bendigo, “How Neutrons can save the World” 1:30pm – 2:30pm, Latrobe University, Bendigo Campus.  Check our website here , under ‘Day programs’ for the flyer and details on how to book.
  • 27th August, Ballarat, “Journeying to the Centre of Planets” 10:15am – 11:30am, Federation University, Mt Helen campus as part of a full day’s program. Check here for details of the full program and how to book.
  • 27th August, Geelong, “How Neutrons can save the World” 1:45pm – 2:45pm, Western Heights Secondary College, Vines Rd, Hamlyn Heights.  Check our website, here , under ‘Day programs’ for the flyer.  To book email Vicphysics with your student numbers and their Year level(s).

f) 27th August, Girls in STEM and the Future of Work, 5:00pm – 7:30pm, Engineers Australia, 600 Bourke St
“An exciting, interactive evening for girls in Years 9,10 & 11.  Come along to be inspired and learn all about your future STEM career options & the future of work! 
Refreshments served, door prizes, gift bags, interactive workshops & more!”
Cost: Free
Venue: Engineers Australia, Level 31, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
To book: Click here. Please note demand is high for this event and they want as many students to attend as possible, as such they are limiting attendance to female secondary students and preferably only one accompanying parent.

g) 28th August: Girls in Physics Breakfast at Monash University

This is our fourth year of running Girls in Physics Breakfasts. The aims of the program are:

  • to encourage girls in Years 10 to 12 to appreciate the diversity of careers that studying physics enables,
  • to appreciate the satisfaction that comes from a challenging career in science, and
  • to be aware of the success that women can achieve in the physical sciences.

The one remaining Breakfast for this year is on 28th August at Monash University, Clayton campus, see details below.
At each breakfast, students share a table with two or three women who are either have a career in physics or engineering, or are at university as undergraduates or postgraduates.  At the table, discussion ensures about what the women do, what they like about it as well as their training, future prospects, etc.  As a student at one of  early breakfasts told her teacher, ‘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.

There is also a guest speaker at each breakfast who presents a talk on her area of expertise.  After the talk there are activities on Careers in STEM and Q & A panel with three of the guests.

The date, venue, speaker, topic and Trybooking link is:

  • 28th August, Clayton Speaker: Dr Helen Maynard-Casely, ANSTO. Topic: How neutrons can save the world. Closing date: 4:00pm, 19th August.  Trybookings.

Further details: For promotional flyer and more details on the talk, etc, go to our website.
Numbers:  There is an initial maximum of  6 students per school, to ensure that more schools that can participate. On 8th August, extra spots will be opened up to schools that have already booked.
Cost: $15 per student with teachers free, a discounted fee is available to schools with a low ICSEA rank.
See the specific Trybookings link for details.

The Guardian newspaper has just produced a 15 page booklet on Women in Engineering.  It is full of stories about different sectors, articles on current issues, as well as many profiles.

3.  Events for Teachers

a) ANSTO PD Day, Weds, 2nd October, Australian Synchrotron

ANSTO is offering a PD at the Australian Synchrotron  The program will look at a number of syllabus-focused educational resources to teach areas of the Year 9 Science curriculum and Year 12 Physics. You will also hear from prominent scientists and have a tour of the Australian Synchrotron.
Cost: $55, Lunch is not provided.
To book, click here.

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

Physicist creates remarkable tennis ball towers including one with 46 tennis balls – All with the force of friction.
Andria Rogava, a physicist from Ilia State University in Georgia, reveals how simple friction allows bizarre towers to be built using tennis balls – and wonders how far could you go?
As a physicist and keen tennis player, Andria Rogiava would like to share an amusing “discovery” he recently made. ‘In my office, I have about 20 used tennis balls and so decided to try building some tennis-ball “pyramids”.

As you might expect, a four-level pyramid has a triangular cross-section, with 10 balls at the bottom, followed by six in the next layer, then three and finally one ball on top. When I carefully removed the three corner balls from the bottom layer plus the upper-most ball, I ended up a with a beautiful, symmetric structure of 16 balls with three hexagonal and three triangular sides.’

Solar panel generates fresh water and electricity

A new system for removing salt from seawater using the waste heat from solar panels has been created by Peng Wang and colleagues at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. The team installed a multistage membrane distillation (MSMD) device directly underneath the solar panels so that the system occupies the same footprint as the solar panels.

Simple system brings body-powered electricity a step closer

A simple body-integrated self-powered system (BISS) can convert mechanical motions of the human body into electrical energy by exploiting the triboelectric effect. The device works without the need for complicated structures or high-cost production and maintenance thanks to research by a team in China, led by Zhou Li and Zhong Lin Wang at Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems.

Physics webinars; NH exam paper. VicPhys News 3/T3/19

VCAA will be holding webinars on school-based assessment later this term in a number of subjects including physics. They have also released the Northern Hemisphere (NH) VCE Physics Exam paper for 2019, which will be useful revision for the November paper. Vicphysics has prepared solutions.

There are day-time physics talks for secondary students in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong in late August.  Booking is required. Bookings are also open for the last Girls in Physics Breakfast of 2019 to be held at Monash University and they close on 19th August.

The first newsletter of this term has an extensive list of events on Apollo 11 and for National Science Week as well as an invitation to present at next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference. Check your emails or click here for details.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 22nd August at Melbourne Girls’ College starting at 5:00pm.  Teachers are welcome to these meetings. If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1. VCAA Webinars on School-based Assessment in VCE Physics
  2. Northern Hemisphere 2019 VCE Physics Exam Paper and Solutions
  3. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  4. Events for Students and the General Public

5. Events for Teachers

6. Physics News from the Web

  • Delignified wood could help cool down buildings
  • Physicists make moving pictures at trillions of frames per second
  • Dumb Or Overly Forced Astronomical Acronyms Site (DOOFAAS)
  • A global 100% renewable energy system

 

1.  VCAA Webinars on School-based Assessment in VCE Physics
VCAA is running two webinars on School-based assessment on Monday 19th August and Wednesday 28th August. They will run from 3:45pm – 5:00pm.  Bookings close one week before each event.
Key messages from the 2019 Unit 3 School-based Assessment Audit will also be discussed. 
For more details and to register click here.

2. Northern Hemisphere (NH) VCE Physics Exam Paper for 2019 and Solutions
VCAA has released this year’s NH Physics Paper. It can be downloaded from here . Physics is at the bottom of the list.
Vicphysics has produced detailed solutions to help students when they use the paper in their revision. The solutions also have a suggested marking scheme.  The solutions are available on our website here .  This webpage also has a copy of this paper as well as previous NH papers along with VCAA’s solutions, but the solutions do not have a marking scheme nor statistics on each question.
The stems of some exam questions can be used to generate other questions that can provide extra revision. There are several of these questions at the end of the solutions.

3. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
Last year 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.  Several schools placed notices.
The web page also lists the Government schools seeking a physics teachers, currently there are five.

The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and also lodge a payment for the service.

4.   Events for Students and the General Public

a) ANSTO Big Ideas Forum,  Applications now open.
The ANSTO Big Ideas Forum brings 22 Year 10 students and 11 teachers from across Australia to Sydney to meet world-class researchers and go hands-on with amazing technology.  Applications must be for two students and one teacher.
When: Monday 11 November -Thursday 14 November, 2019
Applications opened:  Friday 31 May 2019. To apply you film a 40-second video of your two students explaining:“What problem would you like to solve through science for the future of our society?”,
This event is free – flights, travel, accommodation and meals are covered by ANSTO.
For more details click here   Applications close late August.

b) 30th July, 50 Years of Apollo, 6:30pm, Monash University
Speaker: Prof John Lattanzio, Monash University
Abstract: July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  I will present some of the interesting challenges, decisions and methods used to achieve this goal.  In addition to Apollo 11 I will cover the Apollo 1 fire, the Apollo 12 lightning strike and the near disastrous oxygen tank explosion on Apollo 13, as well as the decision structure at Mission Control in Houston. There are many fascinating, inspiring and humorous aspects that are not well known. I will also explain the 1201 and 1202 errors, and why Apollo 11 landed despite them.
Venue: Theatre S3, 16 Rainforest Walk, Monash University, Clayton (Map) Flyer

c) 25th August, 10:00am – 2:00pm, Peter Mac Open Day
On Sunday, 25th August Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has an Open Day on Medical Radiations covering Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine. Tours are available.  Peter Mac is at 305 Grattan St, Melbourne. A flyer can be downloaded from here under ‘Open Days’.

d) 26th, 27th August, Physics Talks in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong
Three free talks by Dr Helen Maynard-Casely, the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2019 as part of her national tour.

  • 26th August, Bendigo, “How Neutrons can save the World” 1:30pm – 2:30pm, Latrobe University, Bendigo Campus.  Check our website here , under ‘Day programs’ for the flyer and details on how to book.
  • 27th August, Ballarat, “Journeying to the Centre of Planets” 10:15am – 11:30am, Federation University, Mt Helen campus as part of a full day’s program. Check here for details of the full program and how to book.
  • 27th August, Geelong, “How Neutrons can save the World” 1:45pm – 2:45pm, Western Heights Secondary College, Vines Rd, Hamlyn Heights.  Check our website, here , under ‘Day programs’ for the flyer.  To book email Vicphysics with your student numbers and their Year level(s).

e) 27th August, Girls in STEM and the Future of Work, 5:00pm – 7:30pm, Engineers Australia, 600 Bourke St
“An exciting, interactive evening for girls in Years 9,10 & 11.  Come along to be inspired and learn all about your future STEM career options & the future of work! 
Refreshments served, door prizes, gift bags, interactive workshops & more!”
Cost: Free
Venue: Engineers Australia, Level 31, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
To book: Click here. Please note demand is high for this event and they want as many students to attend as possible, as such they are limiting attendance to female secondary students and preferably only one accompanying parent.

f) 28th August: Girls in Physics Breakfast at Monash University

This is our fourth year of running Girls in Physics Breakfasts. The aims of the program are:

  • to encourage girls in Years 10 to 12 to appreciate the diversity of careers that studying physics enables,
  • to appreciate the satisfaction that comes from a challenging career in science, and
  • to be aware of the success that women can achieve in the physical sciences.

The one remaining Breakfast for this year is on 28th August at Monash University, Clayton campus, see details below.
At each breakfast, students share a table with two or three women who are either have a career in physics or engineering, or are at university as undergraduates or postgraduates.  At the table, discussion ensures about what the women do, what they like about it as well as their training, future prospects, etc.  As a student at one of  early breakfasts told her teacher, ‘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.

There is also a guest speaker at each breakfast who presents a talk on her area of expertise.  After the talk there are activities on Careers in STEM and Q & A panel with three of the guests.

The date, venue, speaker, topic and Trybooking link is:

  • 28th August, Clayton Speaker: Dr Helen Maynard-Casely, ANSTO. Topic: How neutrons can save the world. Closing date: 4:00pm, 19th August.  Trybookings.

Further details: For promotional flyer and more details on the talk, etc, go to our website.
Numbers:  There is an initial maximum of  6 students per school, to ensure that more schools that can participate. On 8th August, extra spots will be opened up to schools that have already booked.
Cost: $15 per student with teachers free, a discounted fee is available to schools with a low ICSEA rank.
See the specific Trybookings link for details.

The Guardian newspaper has just produced a 15 page booklet on Women in Engineering.  It is full of stories about different sectors, articles on current issues, as well as many profiles.

5.  Events for Teachers

a) STEAM Futures Conference, 23rd August, Viewbank College
Viewbank College is hosting an opportunity for principals and teachers of ALL faculties (special emphasis on humanities, languages and arts integrating with STEAM) and features:

  • Presentations from leading scientists and researchers including the Super STARS of STEM (celebrity Australian female scientists and technologists – role models for young women and girls) – on cutting edge technology and research
  • Presentations on work force trends from CEOs and business leaders of new and emerging technology-based industries
  • Hands-on workshops on ready to use integrated classroom activities using emerging technologies from innovative educators and teachers.
  • Trade stalls with business and volunteer organisations to help your STEAM journey.
  • Opportunity to network with presenters and teachers from participating schools to form a community of STEAM Change makers.

Cost: $200 per person.  Discounts apply for bookings of 3 or more.
Venue: Viewbank College, Warren Rd, Rosanna
For more details click here.

b) ANSTO PD Day, Weds, 2nd October, Australian Synchrotron

ANSTO is offering a PD at the Australian Synchrotron  The program will look at a number of syllabus-focused educational resources to teach areas of the Year 9 Science curriculum and Year 12 Physics. You will also hear from prominent scientists and have a tour of the Australian Synchrotron.
Cost: $55, Lunch is not provided.
To book, click here.

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

Delignified wood could help cool down buildings
A new passive radiative “cooling wood” that reflects infrared radiation could reduce the energy costs associated with cooling buildings by between 20 and 60%. The material, which is more than eight times stronger than natural wood, is made by removing the lignin from wood and then compressing the delignified structure.

Physicists make moving pictures at trillions of frames per second

A new technique for the ultrafast imaging of nonluminous objects has been unveiled by Feng Chenand colleagues at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. Their system captures up to 60 high-resolution images at a rate of almost 4 trillion frames per second by storing frames in overlapping subregions of a charge-couple device (CCD) array. The technique could soon be used to explore a variety of high-speed physical processes in unprecedented levels of detail.

Today’s fastest cameras use CCDs to capture the motions of molecules at speeds of over a trillion frames per second. This is done by temporarily storing consecutive image frames on separate subregions of the CCD, before moving the frames into longer-term storage. However, only a handful of consecutive frames can be captured in this way because the CCD array will quickly run out of space for new subregions – which cannot normally overlap.

Dumb Or Overly Forced Astronomical Acronyms Site (DOOFAAS)

Every once in a while you come across a website that renews your faith in the Internet. The Dumb Or Overly Forced Astronomical Acronyms Site (or DOOFAAS) site has done just that by listing a whopping 427 dodgy acronyms dreamt up by astronomers.

Classics include the bonzer CANGAROO (Collaboration between Australian and Nippon for a Gamma Ray Observatory in the Outback) and the expletive GADZOOKS! (Gadolinium Antineutrino Detector Zealously Outperforming Old Kamiokande, Super!).

A global 100% renewable energy system

new report by LUT University in Finland and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) in Germany outlines a cross-sector, global 100% renewable energy system, backing up the version it releasedlast year. The full modelling study simulates a total global energy transition in the electricity, heat, transport and desalination sectors by 2050. It claims that a transition to 100% renewable energy would lead to a system that was economically competitive with the current fossil and nuclear-based system. It could also, the study says, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy system to zero by 2050, or perhaps earlier, without relying on negative CO2 emission technologies.