More Conf Proc, Students Events. VicPhys News 3/T1/20

More Proceedings from the Physics Teachers’ Conference, including the presentation from the impressive address by Dr Alistair Stacey from RMIT.

Events for students are now getting into swing with the VCE Lectures at the University of Melbourne starting soon and a public lecture next week on ‘Quantum mechanics and new solar technologies’ at the State Library.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Wednesday, 11th March at St Columba’s College, Essendon, starting at 5:30pm, with a PD starting at 6:30pm.   If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Jane Coyle (Pres), Dr Barbara McKinnon (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe OAM (Sec) and Paul Walters (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1. 2020 Physics Teachers Conference Proceedings: Material provided so far
  2. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  3. Events for Students and General Public
  • Light Conversations, 6:00pm, Thursday, 27th February, State Library Victoria.
  • Physics Days at Luna Park: 3rd March – 6th March, 2020
  • Girls in Physics Breakfasts in 2020
  •  VCE Lectures for Students, 6:00pm Thursdays, University of Melbourne
  •  Science Work Experience at University of Melbourne: 22nd – 26th June, Applications close 8th March.
  •  Girls in Physics Day, Friday, 17th July, University of Melbourne

4. Events for Teachers

  • PD at Vicphysics Meeting, 6:30pm, Wednesday, 11th March, St Columba’s College, Essendon
  • Vicphysics Beginning Physics Teachers In-Service, Tuesday, 31st March, Kew High School

5. Physics News from the Web

  •  Quantum calorimeter is as precise as nature allows
  •   Tuned ultrasound selectively disrupts the structure of cancer cells
  •   Ancient rings surrounding the Sun could have divided the solar system

1.  2020 Physics Teachers’ Conference: More Proceedings

The presenters of the following workshops have provided material for the conference proceedings.
The material can be found at this conference webpage. Select ‘conference proceedings’.

  • Address: Real World Physics by Dr Alistair Stacey, RMIT
  • A2, D2 Physics Exam Review by Andrew Hansen, Chief Assessor (Also see item 4 below)
  • A4, D4 Making Physics Accessible – The Masterclass Experience by Victor Sam, Maribyrnong College and Soula Bennett, Quantum Victoria
  • A8 Using Mathematica by Brian Stokes, Monash University
  • A10, D10 Topics for Practical Investigation by Dan O’Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers’ Network
  •  B2 Form-ative Exam Preparation by Rachael Gore, Albert Park College
  • B4 Constructing DC motor from the kit by Gracie Saxena and Adrian Roberts, Bacchus Marsh Grammar School
  • B8 Working with multimodal literacies in VCE Physics by Prof Russell Tytler, Deakin University, Pascal Roulant, Penola Catholic College and Tamara Peterson, Brunswick Secondary College
  • B9 What now for Climate Science? by Keith Burrows, Beyond Zero Emissions
  • B10 From Physics to Applied Physics by Milorad Cerovac, Swinburne University
  • C5 Microcontrollers in the classroom by Milorad Cerovac, Swinburne University
  • C8 Eddy Current and Lenz’s Law by Man Lam, Mount Alexander College and Neil Champion
  • D3 Developing an app for physics questions by Damian Bushby, Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College
  • D7 Practical activities for Teaching U3 AOS 1 Fields by Dr Barbara McKinnon, Kew High School

Your feedback is much valued by the conference organisers and presenters alike.  So if you can spare five minutes, we would appreciate you completing the evaluation survey.

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.

  • Ballarat and Queen’s Anglican Grammar School is seeking a physics teacher to start in Term 2.
  • There are three Government schools seeking a physics teacher, Bayswater Secondary College, McClelland Secondary College and Sale College.

This webpage is 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) Light Conversations, 6:00pm, Thursday, 27th February, State Library Victoria
How quantum mechanics can help us harvest energy from the sun. 
Presenters: Prof Jared Cole, RMIT, Prof Dane McCarney, UNSW.  Presented by the Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science is an Australian Research Council research centre linking the University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, UNSW and the University of Sydney.
Free, you need to register here.
Abstract: The term ‘exciton’ refers to the excited state of a material, created whenever light is absorbed by that material.  Excitons can relax by converting light energy into heat, electric currents or fluorescence.  Professor Jared Cole and Professor Dane McCamey will unpack ideas around how the control and manipulation of excitons at the quantum level, could open the door to big possibilities for a solar energy future.
This lecture is perfect for Year 10-12 students who want to learn about how their future study in Physics, no matter at what scale this may be, could have vast and long-lasting impacts for our renewable energy future.

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’.  Bookings are heavy with Friday close to capacity.
An aerobatic display by a member of the Roulettes has been requested, but confirmation is often not provided before March.
The Silly Serpent has been removed, two rides have been relocated and a new ride has been installed, called the Supernova, which is a rotating swing. A worksheet for the new ride is on our website .

If you wish to book a Pasco data logger, please contact Ciderhouse directly.

The Vicphysics website has an article by Prof Ann-Marie Pendrill and others on ‘Teacher Roles during Amusement Park visits‘.  Prof Pendrill from Sweden is an international expert on using amusement parks to teach physics.  She publishes regularly in ‘Physics Education’ and five of her articles are available on ‘open access’ at this website (look under ‘most read’).  One of the articles is on the rotating swing.

c) Girls in Physics Breakfasts for 2020
2020 will be the fifth year of Girls in Physics Breakfasts. With the support of a Community Grant from Bank Australia, Vicphysics is able to continue the regional component and expand it to Mildura. The details for the program for 2020 are:

  • Mildura: Tuesday, 10th March with speaker: Dr Suzie Sheehy from the University of Melbourne and Oxford University on ‘Colliding Worlds: Using particle physics to cure cancer’.
  • Ballarat: Friday, 13th March with speaker: Hilary Wilson from the Bureau of Meteorology on ‘Measuring the atmosphere to predict the weather’
  • Geelong: Wednesday, 18th March with speaker: Dr Elizabeth Hinde from the University of Melbourne on ‘Glow in the Dark: Using fluorescence to observe DNA in a living cell
  • Wodonga: Friday, 17th April with speaker: Dr Judy Hart from the University of New South Wales on ‘Developing new materials for renewable energy’
  • Warrnambool: Friday, 1st May with speaker: Emeritus Professor Frances Separovic AO from the University of Melbourne on ‘MRI of Molecules: Biophysics meets Cell Chemistry’.
  • Bendigo: Friday, 18th May with speaker: Dr Gail Iles from RMIT on ‘Human spaceflight and science in space’.
  • Monash University: 2nd June with speaker: Dr Dianne Ruka from Monash University on ‘Future Computing and Low Energy Electronics’.
  • Central Melbourne: Term 3 with the Australian Institute of Physics Women in Physics International lecturer for 2020 to be announced in April 2020.

Breakfasts with confirmed dates and speakers can now be booked.  Information is now on the Vicphysics website.
At a Girls in Physics Breakfast, students from Years 10 to 12 share a table with two or three women with careers in physics or engineering or still at university.  In addition to the conversation at the table and the talk there are also activities on Careers in STEM.

Cost per student is $15 with the first teacher free. The cost for additional teachers was $15 each. A discount to $5 per student is available for schools with a low ICSEA rank. Discounts can be applied for by emailing Vicphysics .

Max number of students per school: To enable more schools to participate, there was an initial maximum of six (6) students per school. For regional events up to 12 students can be accommodated.

Bookings must be made through Trybooking. The link is the Vicphysics website.

Note: Payment needs to be made at the time of booking, so a school credit card or personal credit card will be required. School Orders are not accepted. There is a small Trybooking surcharge. If a school subsequently needs an invoice number for their accounts, or if a teacher is making the payment and needs a receipt for reimbursement, please contact Vicphysics .

d) VCE Lectures for Students, 6:00pm, Thursdays, University of Melbourne
The lectures are on fortnightly through to the end of Term 3.  They are preceded at 5:30pm with the offer of snacks and drink.  The lectures finish at 7:00pm  They are held in the Hercus Theatre in the Physics Dept at the University of Melbourne.  Teachers and parents are welcome.
i) 12th March: How will Physics save the world from deadly viruses? : Lecturer: Dr Roger Rassool.  To register click here.
ii) 26th March: Glow in the dark – Using fluorescence to see DNA in a living cell : Lecturer: Dr Liz Hinde. Dr Hinde explores how we are using fluorescence microscopy methods to visualise how molecules move through the 3D DNA network of a living cell.  To register, click here.
iii) 23rd April: The Search for Dark Matter.  Lecturer: Associate Professor Philip Urquijo.  Prof Urquijo take you through the mysteries of dark matter and what we are doing in Australia to find out what it is. To register, click here.
For details of the full program, click here.

e) Science Work Experience at University of Melbourne:  22nd – 26th June.  Applications close: 8th March
The Faculty of Science is offering a Work Experience for Year 10 students.  It is only available from 22nd to 26th June.  For more details and to apply, click here.

f) Girls in Physics Day, Friday 17th July, University of Melbourne
urther information regarding program and registration will be sent out in the coming months. Please feel free to register your interest by email to the University of Melbourne.

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4.  Events for Teachers

a) PD at Vicphysics meeting, 6:30pm, Wednesday, 11th March, St Columba’s College, Essendon.
In the second half of the next Vicphysics meeting, Sandor Kazi from Melbourne Girls’ College,  will talk about what he learned from seeing Eric Mazur in the US.  Eric Mazur is a distinguished Physics educator who has had a profound impact on physics pedagogy.  Click here to register.

b) 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.

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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) Quantum calorimeter is as precise as nature allows

How do you define the position of something that won’t stay still? This is the problem physicists face when they try to measure a system’s properties with such precision that quantum effects contribute a significant source of uncertainty. Whatever the variable, and however refined the instrument, there comes a point at which the signal is lost in the noise.

A quantum calorimeter developed by researchers at Finland’s Aalto University School of Science and Lund University, Sweden, defines this limit for an ideal thermometer by measuring fluctuations in the electron temperature of a copper nanowire. The team found that the intrinsic thermal noise in the wire is small enough for them to detect a single microwave photon. As well as enabling new experiments in quantum thermodynamics, the device could be used to make noninvasive measurements of quantum systems such as qubits in superconducting quantum computers.

b) Tuned ultrasound selectively disrupts the structure of cancer cells

Medical engineers have proven that the unique internal structure of cancer cells can make them vulnerable to vibrations from specific frequencies of ultrasound. These low-intensity pulsed ultrasound waves are a potentially safe therapy to target cancers of the blood.

High-intensity focused ultrasound is sometimes used to destroy cancer cells deep within tissues, but the thermal energy transmitted can also damage healthy cells at the ultrasound focus. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS), on the other hand, doesn’t heat up cells but is used to mechanically modulate cells, for stimulating bone repair, for example.

c) Ancient rings surrounding the Sun could have divided the solar system

The clear divide between the inner and outer solar system is the legacy of a ring structure that existed a very long time ago in the planet-forming disc that surrounded the Sun. That is the conclusion of Ramon Brasser at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Stephen Mojzsis at the University of Colorado Boulder, who have combined computer simulations of Jupiter’s formation with observations of the discs surrounding young stars.

The solar system is clearly divided between the inner rocky planets and asteroids, and the outer gas giants – with the border between the two regions lying between Jupiter and the asteroid belt. This difference can be quantified in terms of carbon – with the element being much more abundant in the outer part of the solar system than it is in the inner rocky planets and asteroids. The difference is so stark that astronomers now widely believe that material in the newly-formed Sun’s planet-forming circumstellar disc was similarly divided in terms of its composition.

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