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.


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