Physics Teachers’ Conf: 14th, 15th Feb 2020

Next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference is on Friday, 14th February and Saturday, 15th February.  The venue for the Friday program is La Trobe University in Bundoora.  On Saturday there are free optional extras of a program of two Excursion tasters and a Medical Physics In-Service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

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 Alastair 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.

The Program and Registration Form are available at STAV and on the Vicphysics website.  Registration can be done with a School Purchase Order Number, with STAV following up with an invoice to the school which can be paid next year.

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

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.

Return to top

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.

Physics Conf, Exam solutions. Phys News 5/T4/19

The program for the 2020 Physics Teachers Conference has been released.  Bookings are now open.  Information about our other PD events during 2020 are also available.

Vicphysics solutions to last week’s November exam are now on our website.

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. 2020 Physics Teachers’ Conference, Friday, 14th February, La Trobe University
  2. Other Physics PD in 2020
  3. 2019 VCE Physics Exam: Solutions
  4. Why a tennis ball goes flying when dropped with a basketball? – An article with simulation
  5. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  6. 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

7. Physics News from the Web

  • The relentless march of renewables
  • Sonic shock waves could help desalinate water
  • Refrigerator works by twisting and untwisting fibres
1. 2020 Physics Teachers Conference, Friday, 14th February and Saturday, 15th February, La Trobe University
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.

2. Other Physics PD in 2020
a) There will be a Beginning Physics Teacher In-Service on Tuesday, 31st March at Kew High School.  Click here for more details and to register.
b) 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.

3.  2019 VCE Physics Exam: Solutions
Vicphysics has prepared solutions for last week’s VCE Physics Exam.  They are available here.
The solutions are written for students to use when doing the exam paper for revision. A suggested marking scheme is included.
At the end of the solutions there are additional questions that use the stem from many of the questions in the paper.  In particular there are several extra questions on Question 19a, which only covered a limited set of the skills students are expected to use in their Unit 4 Investigation.

4. Why a tennis ball goes flying when dropped with a basket ball – An article with simulations
Dropping a tennis ball and basket ball together with the tennis ball on top is not only an impressive demonstration, it is an excellent topic for a Unit 2 or Unit 4 practical investigation.
Rhett Allain, professor of physics at North Carolina State University and a regular columnist in online magazine, Wired, has written an article on the phenomenon, which also has videos, graphs and a simulation written in glowscript, where the reader can edit the code.

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 three.  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.

6.  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.

Return to top

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.

The relentless march of renewables

An article that assesses the current state of play of renewables by Dave Elliott, Emeritus Professor of technology policy at the Open University, UK.

Sonic shock waves could help desalinate water

Shock waves fired repeatedly into water samples can remove dissolved salts, according to A Sivakumar and Martin Britto Dhas of the Sacred Heart College in Tirupattur, India. The researchers say that the effect involves a cavitation-based nucleation mechanism that could be useful for the pretreatment of water at desalination plants. However, not everyone is convinced by their findings.

Refrigerator works by twisting and untwisting fibres

A new refrigeration technology based on the twisting and untwisting of fibres has been demonstrated by a team led by Zunfeng Liu at Nankai University in China and Ray Baughman at the University of Texas at Dallas in the US. As the demand for refrigeration expands worldwide, their work could lead to the development of new cooling systems that do not employ gases that are harmful to the environment.

The cooling system relies on the fact that some materials undergo significant changes in entropy when deformed. As far back as 1805 – when the concepts of thermodynamics were first being developed – it was known that ordinary rubber heats up when stretched and cools down when relaxed. In principle, such mechanocaloric materials could be used in place of the gases that change entropy when compressed and expanded in commercial refrigeration systems. Replacing gas-based systems is an important environmental goal because gaseous refrigerants tend to degrade the ozone layer and are powerful greenhouse gases.

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.