Holiday reading, PD. Vicphys News 6/T4/19

This newsletter has some holiday reading from ‘Physics Education’.  There is also information about a talk next week on this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics as well as forthcoming PD and next year’s Conference.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 12th December at Swinburne Senior Secondary College starting at 5:00pm.  This meeting will be the AGM.  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. Holiday Reading: IOP’s Physics Education Journal – Open Access articles
  2. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  3. Events for Students and General Public
  • The Unintended Humour of the Universe, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
  • Physics Days at Luna Park: 3rd March – 6th March, 2020

4. Events for Teachers

  • Nobel Prize Talk: Insights on Exoplanets: Monday, 2nd December, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, Monash University
  • Energy Futures: Hydrogen, Worth the Hype?: Friday, 6th December, 6:00pm – 7:15pm, University of Melbourne
  • 2020 Physics Teachers’ Conference, Friday, 14th February, La Trobe University
  • Vicphysics Beginning Physics Teachers In-Service, Tuesday, 31st March, Kew High School
  • ISV Teaching Units 1 & 2, Wednesday, 22nd January, ISV Office, West Melbourne
  • ISV Teaching Units 3 & 4, Friday, 24th January, ISV Office, West Melbourne
  • Workshop for Lab Techs, Monday, 14th September, Camberwell Grammar School

5. Physics News from the Web

  • How many neutrons can a nucleus hold?
  • Porous polymer could help regulate heat and light in buildings
  • Ultrasound device creates an audio, visual and tactile 3D display
1.  IOP’s Physics Education Journal: Open Access articles
‘Physics Education’ is the journal of the UK’s Institute of Physics.  It is one of two authoritative journals for secondary physics.  The other is ‘The Physics Teacher’ by the US’s AAPT.
Each is available only by subscription.  However each edition of ‘Physics Education’ has a few articles marked ‘Open Access’.  Below are some relevant ones from recent editions:
Vol 54 No 6, Nov 2019

  • ‘Observation’ in quantum physics: challenges for upper secondary students in discussing electrons as waves.
  • Students making sense of motion in a vertical roller coaster loop by Ann-Marie Pendrill who recently spoke in Melbourne.
  • Content structure and analogies in introductory electricity chapters of physics schoolbooks

Vol 54 No 5, September 2019

  • Contemporary science as context for teaching nature of science: teachers’ development of popular science articles as a teaching resource.  Co-written by Ann-Marie Pendrill
  • Wireless power transfer experiments for a high school physics lab

Vol 54 No 4, July 2019

  • Rutherford visits middle school: a case study on how teachers direct attention to the nature of science through a storytelling approach.

‘Physics Education’ also has a link to the ‘most read’ articles from the journal in the last year and nearly all of these are ‘Open access’ as well.  They can be found here under ‘Most Read’. Articles include:

  • Let’s have a coffee with the Standard Model of Particle Physics!
  • Force, acceleration and velocity during trampoline jumps – a challenging assignment
  • Introducing 12 year olds to elementary particles

2. 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 six.  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.

3.  Events for Students and General Public

a) The unintended humour of the Universe, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
A special End of Year Lecture in ATC101.  Scientific research is not only fun but also funny. In this end of the year talk, Dr Tiantian Yuan explains how the universe makes us laugh and think. For more details and to book, click here.  Audio recordings of lectures in this series are also available at this link.

Dr Tiantian Yuan is an Astro 3D Fellow at Swinburne University’s Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing.
Her research goals include understanding how galaxies like our own Milky Way assembled and evolved from young galaxies in the early universe. Her research takes up the challenge of directly resolving high-redshift galaxies to the finest spatial scale.

Her current ASTRO 3D project at Swinburne focuses on when and how spiral arms formed in the early universe. The formation of spiral arms is part of the unsolved puzzle of the origin of the Hubble sequence. Despite early successes in the 1960s-70s, the necessary and sufficient conditions of spiral arm formation are still unknown. Breakthroughs can come from observations of high-redshift galaxies, when spiral arms are in their earliest stage of formation.

Tiantian obtained her PhD from the University of Hawa’ii, and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the ANU before coming to Swinburne in 2017.

b) 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.
The silly Serpent has been removed, two rides have been relocated and a new ride is being installed.
If you wish to book a Pasco data logger, please contact Ciderhouse directly.

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4.  Events for Teachers

a) Nobel Prize Talk: Insights on Exoplanets: Monday, 2nd December, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, Monash University
Speaker: Do Rosemary Mardling, a Monash astrophysicist who uses mathematics to understand how systems of stars and planets move under the influence of their own gravity.

Abstract: The 2019 Physics Nobel Prize was awarded “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos”. Half went to Princeton’s James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”, and half to Geneva’s Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star”. This talk will provide some insights into the exoplanet story. I will discuss why it took until 1995 to detect the first exoplanet around a main sequence star, the impact the field has had on science in general including billions for past, current and future space missions, and some of the completely unexpected surprises revealed so far.
Venue: S3 Lecture Theatre, 16 Rainforest Walk, Monash University

b) Energy Futures: Hydrogen, Worth the Hype?: Friday, 6th December, 6:00pm – 7:15pm, University of Melbourne
An Energy Futures Forum with Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Prof Paul Webley, Melbourne Energy Institute and Tony Wood, Grattan Institute. For more details and to book, click here.

c)  2020 Physics Teachers Conference: Friday, 14th February, La Trobe University, Saturday, 15th February, various venues
The Program and Registration Form for next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference are now available at STAV
and on the Vicphysics website.
The program includes:

  • An opening address on Light and Shade: Revolutionising medical imaging by exploring the wave nature of light by Dr Kaye Morgan, Monash University
  • Real World Physics Forum: Tequila and a microwave oven – how to grow a diamond and apply physics in the real world by Dr Alaistair Stacey, RMIT
  • 54 workshops across four sessions including a review of the 2019 Physics Exam by Andrew Hansen, the Chief Assessor, which is one of fifteen repeated workshops.
  • Extensive display of texts and equipment.
  • Saturday program of excursion tasters to the Australian Synchrotron and the Victorian Space Science Education Centre and a two hour medical physics in-service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Cost: STAV Individual member: $192, STAV School subscriber: $310, Non-STAV member: $336, Retired teacher and full-time student: $78.

d) Vicphysics is organising a Beginning Physics Teacher In-Service on Tues, 31st March at Kew High School.
Cost: Free, with a travel subsidy for regional participants.  Click here for more details and to register.

e) Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) is organising two Physics Workshops, one on Units 1 & 2 on Weds, 22nd January and another on Units 3 & 4 on Fri, 24th January.  Each is for teachers new to teaching physics or seeking a refresher.  The presenter is Theo Hughes.
Cost for each: $295 for teachers from member schools of ISV, $350 for teachers from non-member schools.
Venue: ISV Office, West Melbourne
Details and to register: Units 1 & 2 workshopUnits 3 & 4 workshop

f) There will be a Workshop for Lab Techs on Physics in Years 7 – 10 on Monday, 14th September at Camberwell Grammar School, organised in association with Camberwell Grammar School. Click here for more details.

5  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.
a) How many neutrons can a nucleus hold?
Carbon 22, Nitrogen 23 and Oxygen 24, each with 16 neutrons have been formed.  This article reports on experiments with atoms of higher atomic number.
b) Porous polymer could help regulate heat and light in buildings.
New coating materials that could help cool buildings in the summer, and then change their optical and thermal properties in the winter to keep the same buildings warm, have been created by researchers in the US. The polymer-based materials could also allow daylight to illuminate building interiors.
c)  Ultrasound device creates an audio, visual and tactile 3D display
An ultrasound-powered, 3D visual display that can also produce audible sound and holograms that you can touch been unveiled by researchers at the University of Sussex. The team used the display to produce 3D images such as a torus knot, a globe, a smiley face and letters, as well as a dynamic countdown of levitating numbers.

The display is a type of sonic tractor beam, which uses ultrasound transducers to create acoustic holograms that can trap and manipulate objects in mid-air. The Sussex device uses two arrays of 256 speakers to levitate a single polystyrene bead, which traces out 3D images in mid-air while illuminated by coloured LEDs. The bead can move at speeds of almost 9 m/s (in the vertical direction), which is so fast that an image is drawn in less than 0.1 s. This creates the illusion of a single 3D image in much the same way as a cathode-ray tube creates a 2D image in an old television by rapidly scanning an electron beam across a phosphor screen.

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