Holiday reading, Conf registration, New Resources. Vicphys News 7/T4/18

This final newsletter for the year has some suggestions for holiday reading and some new resources.
Physics Conference registration is now open.  Register early to get your session preferences.  A school purchase order can be used to accompany the form.
There is also a talk this Thursday on the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics at Swinburne University and finally VCAA has extended the accreditation period for Units 1 and 2 to the end of 2021.  All four units will now expire at the end of 2021.

The Vicphysics Executive Team wishes you a relaxing Christmas break.

Frances Sidari (Pres), Bronwyn Quint (Vice-Pres), Barbara McKinnon (Sec), Terry Tan (Treas) and Dan O’Keeffe (Coord)

Table of Contents

  1. Holiday Reading
  2. Physics: Interactive Physics Simulations
  3. Latest Job Ads
  4. Events for Students and the General Public
  5. Events for Teachers

7. Physics News from the Web
a) Try the Physics World Dark Matter Flow Chart:  What kind do you prefer?
b) Beyond the Lithium-Ion Battery
c) A wave of discovery: Gravitational Waves

1.  Holiday Reading
One physics writer that has made a big splash in recent years is Carlo Rovelli.  His first book ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ was an international best seller and translated into 41 languages.  His latest book ‘Reality is not what it seems – The journey to Quantum Gravity’ . His writing has a persuasive clarity, an engaging read. 

2.  oPhysics: Interactive Physics Simulations
This is a comprehensive set of simulations written by a recently retired US physics teacher, Tom Walsh. The simple and elegant illustrations on various physics principles have been written in GeoGebra.  There are no worksheets nor are there any experimental simulations but the animations require user input.  There is limited text, but they are instructive. The EMI and standing wave model for energy levels are impressive.

Nine topics are covered: Kinematics (vectors, graphs projectile motion, relatve velocity) – 14 animations, Forces (friction,conical pendulum, Kepler’s 2nd law) – 5, Conservation (collisions and springs) – 6, Waves (SHM, superposition, standing waves) – 15, Light (colour, mirrors, lenses, rainbows, the eye, interference) – 20, E & M (Coulomb, fields, DC motor, EMI) – 12, Rotation – 10, Fluids – 2, Modern (energy levels) – 1.
This resource has been suggested by Alan Sutton.

3.  IOP’s ‘Physics Education’ Free downloads of selected articles.
The IOP’s Physics Education journal provides free access to several popular articles that are available until 31st December 2018, after which a new set is released.  Currently the list includes:

  • Let’s have a coffee with the Standard Model of Particle Physics!
  • The warm rich sound of valve guitar amplifiers
  • A simple wind tunnel to analyse Bernoulli’s Principle using a mobile phone
  • How to delude your senses
  • What is an image?
  • A ‘sparkling’ low cost revisitation of the historical Hertz’ experiment
  • Nine optical black box experiments for lower secondary students
  • Learning about students’ understanding of particle physics using concept mapping
  • Finding the average speed of a light emitting toy car with a smart phone light sensor

Also check out the ‘What happens next?’ The Archive which is a collection of short, entertaining, brain-teasing demonstrations using the Predict-Observe-Explain model.

4. Latest Job Ads

As schools lodge information about a vacancy, they will be placed here on our website.  The list of government schools seeking physics teachers has also been updated with 11 schools seeking physics teachers.

5.    Events for Students and the General Public
a)  3D Astro Tours, School holidays, Swinburne University
Experience the Universe in 3D during the summer 2019 school holidays. The 50-minute session includes a journey starting in the solar system and then on to explore the Universe. AstroTours feature the 3D movies, created by the award-winning Swinburne Astronomy Productions team, and all sessions are presented by the Centre’s astronomers or post graduate researchers.
Dates and Times: Tues, 15th Jan at 10am, Thurs, 17th Jan at 2pm, Fri, 18th Jan at 2pm, Tues, 22nd Jan at 10am, Thurs, 24th Jan at 2pm
Venue: AR104 Hawthorn Campus, Swinburne University
Bookings are essential and can be made via email to ethackray@swin.edu.au
Cost: $10 per person which can be paid at the door by cash or cheque. If you would like to pay by credit card please ask for a form which you can pre-complete and bring with you on the day, with your card. Please aim to arrive at least 10 – 15 minutes before the advertised start time.
Astrotours are suitable for children aged 6 years and above. Unfortunately, they are not able to admit children younger than this, with one exception: 5 year-olds are able to attend if they are accompanying another child aged 6 years or above. Swinburne University apologises for any inconvenience this may cause. For safety reasons, no prams/strollers, etc. are allowed in the theatre.

b)  Physics Days at Luna Park: Tuesday, 6th March to Friday, 9th March, 2019

Next year there will be two extra rides on offer one of which is the Road Runner located next to the Spider.  Up to 9 people sit in a car as it twists, turns and sways while moving backwards and forwards through a curved dip. It will be useful for data logging and also simple calculation of g forces from using a stop watch and estimating distances.  The other ride will be a new ride, which is yet to be announced.

Bookings are now open for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park.  You can make a booking for a particular day at this year and change your day once your timetable for 2019 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.

6.     Events for Teachers
a) Thursday, 13th December, 6:30pm, AIP 2018 Nobel Prize Talk, Swinburne University.

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 11.07.14 pm
The many uses of optical forces – Art Ashkin’s legacy presented by Prof Kris Helmerson, Monash University
Abstract: Arthur Ashkin was awarded the 2018 Nobel prize in Physics for his invention of optical tweezers and it’s application to biology. Ashkin’s research on optical tweezers, which evolve from his fundamental studies of optical forces, the force arising from the momentum of light, has had a far greater impact. This lecture will describe the use of optical forces to manipulate and study systems ranging from atoms in Bose-Einstein condensates – the coldest matter in the universe – to cells, viruses and biomolecules.

Speaker: My research interests are in the physics and application of ultracold atomic gases and the application of optical techniques to address problems in biophysics and biotechnology. A common thread in my research is the use of lasers and, in particular, the optical forces that can be generated by light. Current studies with ultracold atomic gases include superfluidity in the presence of disorder and/or reduced dimensionality, quantum turbulence, and the physics of two-dimensional electron gases simulated by atoms in an optical lattice. Current experiments in biophysics include the development of techniques for isolating and studying single biomolecules, the behaviour of biomolecules in confined geometries and directed self-assembly of nanoscale objects from biomembranes.
Venue: Room EN103, Engineering (EN) Building, Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus
To book

b) 2019 Physics Teachers’ Conference, 15th 16th February, La Trobe University
Register now to get your workshop preferences.  A school purchase order can be used to accompany the registration form.
The Friday program includes two addresses:

  • Opening Address: Precision Cosmology with the next generation of Telescopes with Dr Laura Wolz from the University of Melbourne
  • Pre Lunch Address: Responding to short answer questions with Andrew Hansen, the Chief Assessor.

There are also three sessions of workshops with 16 workshops on offer in each.

The Saturday program has two Excursion tasters on offer to the Synchrotron and VSSEC as well as a two hour Medical Physics In-Service at Peter Mac.

The cost $188 for an individual STAV member, $305 for a STAV School subscriber, $330 for a non STAV member and $78 for a retired teacher.  Registration includes morning tea and lunch.  Program details, registration forms and online booking are available here. Check Vicphysics website as well.

b)  9th – 13th December, AIP Congress: Teaching Nexus – Evolving Physics Education in our Schools, Perth

This year the AIP Congress includes a two day program for teachers on Tuesday and Wednesday.  There are two keynote talks on ‘Science as a Human Endeavour: What does this mean and how can we use it to connect students to the physics’ and ‘How to strengthen physics by making it inclusive’ plus three workshops. The registration fee for the two days is $290. For registration details clickhere. For more details about the program for teachers click here.

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

a) Try the Physics World Dark Matter Flow Chart: What kind do you prefer?
Dark matter is the name given to the mysterious stuff that makes up some 27% of the universe. This flowchart, composed by former Physics World feature editor Louise Mayor, guides you through the many options for what it could be. It’s just for fun, but the flowchart will help guide you through the maze of possible options for this stuff, be it familiar stuff like massive compact halo objects (MaCHOs) or non-baryonic matter like neutrinos, WIMPS, gravitions, sterile neutrinos or maybe even axions or something to do with supersymmetry. Or perhaps you’d just rather modify our theories of gravity instead. (You can Click to enlarge the image or open in a new tab and zoom in for the full detail.)

b) Beyond the Lithium-Ion Battery
The batteries we depend on for our mobile phones and computers are based on a technology that is more than a quarter-century old. Rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries were first introduced in 1991, and their appearance heralded a revolution in consumer electronics. From then on, we could pack enough energy in a small volume to start engineering a whole panoply of portable electronic devices – devices that have given us much more flexibility and comfort in our lives and jobs.

In recent years, Li-ion batteries have also become a staple solution in efforts to solve the interlinked conundrums of climate change and renewable energy. Increasingly, they are being used to power electric vehicles and as the principal components of home-based devices that store energy generated from renewable sources, helping to balance an increasingly diverse and smart electrical grid. The technology has improved too: over the past two and a half decades, battery experts have succeeded in making Li-ion batteries 5–10% more efficient each year, just by further optimizing the existing architecture.

c) A wave of Discovery: Gravtational Waves
James Hough outlines the last 30 years of gravitational-wave astronomy, from building prototype detectors to making a revolutionary discovery.

“Gravitational waves, yet to be convincingly detected, promise to open a new astronomical window.” Those are the words I wrote for Physics World in early 1989. Today, with six detections of gravitational waves confirmed over the past three years, I am delighted to see how many of the predictions I made in that article have come to fruition.

Almost exactly a century after they were predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity, the first detection of gravitational waves – produced via the collision and subsequent merger of two black holes – was made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory(LIGO) detectors in the US, on 14 September 2015. Since then, four more black hole coalescences have been reported. Although the initial observation took all of us completely by surprise, it was a much-awaited discovery. These observations provide the first direct proof that black holes exist; that they can be in binary orbits; and that there is a family of black holes of tens of solar masses, which were not thought to exist.

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Physics Conf: Registration open. VicPhys News 6/T4/18

Registrations have now opened for the 2019 Physics Teachers’ Conference on 15th and 16th February at La Trobe University.
There are also more physics jobs advertised on our website.
The last newsletter had details about our new website and the extension of VCAA’s Physics Review Survey.  If you missed that email, these items are repeated here.

Vicphysics Meetings: The November exam will be the focus for the whole meeting on Thursday, 22nd November.  The purpose of the meeting is to prepare our review of the paper, which is forwarded to VCAA. This meeting will be at Swinburne Secondary College, Burwood Rd, Hawthorn from 5pm to 7pm.  If you would like to attend, please contact Vicphysics  There is no parking In Burwood Rd at that time.  There is parking a short distance away behind the Hawthorn Arts Centre, enter off Kent St.

The Vicphysics Executive Team
Frances Sidari (Pres), Bronwyn Quint (Vice-Pres), Barbara McKinnon (Sec), Terry Tan (Treas) and Dan O’Keeffe (Coord)

Table of Contents

  1. 2019 Physics Teachers’ Conference, 15th, 16th February, La Trobe University
  2. Our website has been re-designed.  Check it out
  3. Physics Review: Questionnaire: Closing date 30th Nov
  4. Latest Job Ads
  5. Events for Students and the General Public
  6. Events for Teachers

7. Physics News from the Web
a)   Ignition pending: Fusion
b) Triumphs and frustrations: The Standard Model
c) Late summer Arctic sea ice could disappear by 2040

1. 2019 Physics Teachers’ Conference, 15th 16th February, La Trobe University
Registration is now open for next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference.  The Friday program includes two addresses:

  • Opening Address: Precision Cosmology with the next generation of Telescopes with Dr Laura Wolz from the University of Melbourne
  • Pre Lunch Address: Responding to short answer questions with Andrew Hansen, the Chief Assessor.

There are also three sessions of workshops with 16 workshops on offer in each.

The Saturday program has two Excursion tasters on offer to the Synchrotron and VSSEC as well as a two hour Medical Physics In-Service at Peter Mac.

The cost $188 for an individual STAV member, $305 for a STAV School subscriber, $330 for a non STAV member and $78 for a retired teacher.  Registration includes morning tea and lunch.  Program details, registration forms and online booking are available here.

2. Our Website has been redesigned.  Check it out
There are a number of new features on the Vicphysics website.

  • The menu has been re-configured to make it easier for you to access different webpages,
  • Commonly accessed webpages have their own icon on the home page,
  • Events and latest News can be found in the footer,
  • The home page is more visually attractive and
  • A new webpage on ‘Sharing ideas’ has been set up for you to upload your own material to make it available to others, or pass on a good website. It is under ‘Teachers’.

3.  Physics Review: Questionnaire: Closing date: 30th Nov
Units 1 & 2 are accredited until December 2020, so these units are scheduled for a review in 2019.  VCAA is conducting a questionnaire to assist with this review process.  The questionnaire covers Units 1 to 4 as well as the Advice to Teachers.
The questionnaire can be accessed and completed here from the VCAA website.  The questionnaire can be completed at a later stage once commenced. To recommence the questionnaire, you use the [NEXT] button located in the bottom right hand corner to save entered information and then use the same computer and web browser on which the questionnaire was commenced as a copy of your responses will have been saved.
The Survey has been extended, the closing date is  now 30th November, 2018.
To assist you with preparing your responses to the questions on the questionnaire, a copy of the questions can be downloaded from here on the Vicphysics website.
In addition to this questionnaire, VCAA anticipates that teacher focus groups will be held to gather more information. Notification of focus groups will be via their Notice to Schools in addition to the Expression of Interest at the end of this questionnaire.

4. Latest Job Ads

As schools lodge information about a vacancy, they will be placed here on our website.
Current list includes: Monivae College, Hamilton.  The list of government schools seeking physics teachers has also been updated with 12 additional schools.

5.    Events for Students and the General Public

a)  23rd November, Breakthrough: The detection of gravitational waves from a neutron star merger, 6:30pm, Swinburne University.
Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Tara Murphy, Sydney Institute of Astronomy, University of Sydney
Abstract: On August 17th 2017 the LIGO-Virgo interferometer detected gravitational waves from a neutron star merger in a galaxy 130 million light years away. This was a breakthrough for physics and astronomy. What followed was a frenzy of activity as astronomers around the world worked to detect electromagnetic radiation with conventional telescopes. After this unprecedented effort the event was detected in gamma-rays, x-rays, visible light and radio waves. I will discuss this incredible scientific result and its implications, including: predictions made by Einstein; the production of gold and other heavy elements; and our understanding of black hole formation. I will also give a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective of how it happened, and discuss the changes in the way we do science in this era of big astronomy.
To Book: click here.

b) 27th November, Quantum reality: Cats, photons and breaking the banking system, 6:30pm, Monash University
Dr Felix Pollock is from the school of Physics and Astronomy.  He works on open quantum systems theory and quantum information theory. His main interests are in characterising and probing quantum dynamics with memory and developing tools to better simulate and control such processes.

Abstract: Our understanding of quantum mechanics underpins modern science and technology; without it, there would be no chemistry,  or modern computing. Experimentally, it has been verified, to extraordinary accuracy, as our best description of how things really behave. However, when looked at closely, quantum physics forces us to make some pretty radical changes to how we view reality. In this talk, I’ll walk you through some of the weirder aspects of existence at the smallest scales. Together we’ll see why certain cats may or may not be simultaneously dead and alive (depending on who you ask), how light can upset Einstein, and how next-generation quantum technologies could lead to the collapse of the banking system (luckily, they might also give us a means to fix it).

Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Theatre S3, 16 Rainforest Walk, Monash University

For information about the public lectures at Monash University,including parking and maps, clickhere.

c) Physics Days at Luna Park: Tuesday, 6th March to Friday, 9th March, 2019
Next year there will be two extra rides on offer one of which is the Road Runner located next to the Spider.  Up to 9 people sit in a car as it twists, turns and sways while moving backwards and forwards through a curved dip. It will be useful for data logging and also simple calculation of g forces from using a stop watch and estimating distances.  The other ride will be a new ride, which is yet to be announced.
Bookings are now open for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park.  You can make a booking for a particular day at this year and change your day once your timetable for 2019 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.

6.     Events for Teachers

 

a)  9th – 13th December, AIP Congress: Teaching Nexus – Evolving Physics Education in our Schools, Perth
This year the AIP Congress includes a two day program for teachers on Tuesday and Wednesday.  There are two keynote talks on ‘Science as a Human Endeavour: What does this mean and how can we use it to connect students to the physics’ and ‘How to strengthen physics by making it inclusive’ plus three workshops. The registration fee for the two days is $290. For registration details clickhere. For more details about the program for teachers click here.

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

a) Ignition pending: Fusion
Reproducing the energy of stars here on Earth could revolutionize how we fuel our lives. But why does fusion energy always seem to be 30 years away?
b) Triumphs and frustrations: The Standard Model
Particle physics has flourished over the past 30 years but, there are still few signs of any cracks in the Standard Model
c) Late summer Arctic sea ice could disappear by 2040
In just two decades the Arctic Ocean is likely to be ice-free during August and September, and by 2060 the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free throughout the summer months, according to a new systematic review.“This will have far-reaching implications, well beyond the Arctic,” says Julienne Stroeve of University College London, UK. “The impact of this sea-ice loss on climate at lower latitudes and sea-level rise will be profound.” But the findings also indicate that Arctic sea-ice could be stabilised if we prevent global warming from overshooting 1.5 °C.
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Vicphysics Website upgraded – Physics Survey extended. VicPhys News 5/T4/18

The Vicphysics website has been upgraded.  It is now easier to find resources and there are extra features.
The deadline for the survey as part of the VCE Physics Review has been extended to 30th November.
There is also information on a website for 3D real time tracking of satellites.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 15th Novemberat Melbourne Girls’ College.  The second half of the meeting will be on the Physics Review Survey. All teachers are welcome to attend this or any other meeting.  If you would like to attend, please contact Vicphysics

The November exam will be the focus for the whole meeting on Thursday, 22nd November.  The purpose of the meeting is to prepare our review of the paper, which is forwarded to VCAA. This meeting will be at Swinburne Secondary College, Burwood Rd, Hawthorn from 5pm to 7pm.  If you would like to attend, please contact Vicphysics  There is no parking In Burwood Rd at that time.  There is parking a short distance away behind the Hawthorn Arts Centre, enter off Kent St.

The Vicphysics Executive Team
Frances Sidari (Pres), Bronwyn Quint (Vice-Pres), Barbara McKinnon (Sec), Terry Tan (Treas) and Dan O’Keeffe (Coord)

Table of Contents

  1. Our website has been re-designed.  Check it out
  2. Physics Review: Questionnaire: Closing date 30th Nov
  3. Viewing Satellite orbits in real time
  4. Latest Job Ads
  5. Events for Students and the General Public
  6. Events for Teachers

7. Physics News from the Web
a)  Wave concentrator could help capture renewable energy from the sea
b)  Ingenious Inventions: Review of Audrey, the Inventor
c)  Cool polymer paint saves on air conditioning
d) The fluid mechanics of bubbly drinks

1. Our Website has been redesigned.  Check it out
There are a number of new features on the Vicphysics website.

  • The menu has been re-configured to make it easier for you to access different webpages,
  • Commonly accessed webpages have their own icon on the home page,
  • Events and latest News can be found in the footer,
  • The home page is more visually attractive and
  • A new webpage on ‘Sharing ideas’ has been set up for you to upload your own material to make it available to others, or pass on a good website. It is under ‘Teachers’.

2. Physics Review: Questionnaire: Closing date: 30th Nov
Units 1 & 2 are accredited until December 2020, so these units are scheduled for a review in 2019.  VCAA is conducting a questionnaire to assist with this review process.  The questionnaire covers Units 1 to 4 as well as the Advice to Teachers.
The questionnaire can be accessed and completed here from the VCAA website.  The questionnaire can be completed at a later stage once commenced. To recommence the questionnaire, you use the [NEXT] button located in the bottom right hand corner to save entered information and then use the same computer and web browser on which the questionnaire was commenced as a copy of your responses will have been saved.
The Survey has been extended, the closing date is  now 30th November, 2018.
To assist you with preparing your responses to the questions on the questionnaire, a copy of the questions can be downloaded from here on the Vicphysics website.
In addition to this questionnaire, VCAA anticipates that teacher focus groups will be held to gather more information. Notification of focus groups will be via their Notice to Schools in addition to the Expression of Interest at the end of this questionnaire.

3. Viewing Satellite Orbits in Real Time
NASA’s J Track 3D Satellite Tracking program was a very useful tool for showing the various types of satellites orbits.  Students could use the displayed data for different satellites to calculate different gravitational parameters of their orbits.  However the program is no longer available.
A worthy successor is Stuffin Space .  It has all the features of J Track 3D.  You can zoom in and out, tilt the view to any angle for a polar or equatorial view, click on a satellite to see its orbit.  To see the ring of geostationary satellites is a learning experience in itself.  The data displayed for a satellite includes: Name, Type, Apogee (km), Perigee (km), Inclination, Altitude (km), Velocity (km/s) and Period (min).  There are many satellites in circular orbits at different heights as well as many with eccentric orbits. The data can be used in a number of ways:
a) Circular orbits: confirm the relationship between speed, radius and period, calculate and graph the accelerations of satellites at different altitudes and plot radius cubed against period squared for different satellites,
b) Eccentric orbits: record the velocity and altitude over time and graph speed squared against altitude for a particular satellite.  The Stuffin Space website does not include the mass of the satellite, but Gunter’s Space Page has a lot of satellite information including their masses, if you want to calculate KE.

4. Latest Job Ads

As schools lodge information about a vacancy, they will be placed here on our website.  Applications for the listed independent schools have closed. The list of government schools has been updated.

5.    Events for Students and the General Public

a)  23rd November, Breakthrough: The detection of gravitational waves from a neutron star merger, 6:30pm, Swinburne University.
Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Tara Murphy, Sydney Institute of Astronomy, University of Sydney
Abstract: On August 17th 2017 the LIGO-Virgo interferometer detected gravitational waves from a neutron star merger in a galaxy 130 million light years away. This was a breakthrough for physics and astronomy. What followed was a frenzy of activity as astronomers around the world worked to detect electromagnetic radiation with conventional telescopes. After this unprecedented effort the event was detected in gamma-rays, x-rays, visible light and radio waves. I will discuss this incredible scientific result and its implications, including: predictions made by Einstein; the production of gold and other heavy elements; and our understanding of black hole formation. I will also give a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective of how it happened, and discuss the changes in the way we do science in this era of big astronomy.
To Book: click here.

b) 27th November, Quantum reality: Cats, photons and breaking the banking system, 6:30pm, Monash University
Dr Felix Pollock is from the school of Physics and Astronomy.  He works on open quantum systems theory and quantum information theory. His main interests are in characterising and probing quantum dynamics with memory and developing tools to better simulate and control such processes.

Abstract: Our understanding of quantum mechanics underpins modern science and technology; without it, there would be no chemistry,  or modern computing. Experimentally, it has been verified, to extraordinary accuracy, as our best description of how things really behave. However, when looked at closely, quantum physics forces us to make some pretty radical changes to how we view reality. In this talk, I’ll walk you through some of the weirder aspects of existence at the smallest scales. Together we’ll see why certain cats may or may not be simultaneously dead and alive (depending on who you ask), how light can upset Einstein, and how next-generation quantum technologies could lead to the collapse of the banking system (luckily, they might also give us a means to fix it).

Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Theatre S3, 16 Rainforest Walk, Monash University

For information about the public lectures at Monash University,including parking and maps, clickhere.

c) Physics Days at Luna Park: Tuesday, 6th March to Friday, 9th March, 2019
Next year there will be two extra rides on offer one of which is the Road Runner located next to the Spider.  Up to 9 people sit in a car as it twists, turns and sways while moving backwards and forwards through a curved dip. It will be useful for data logging and also simple calculation of g forces from using a stop watch and estimating distances.  The other ride will be a new ride, which is yet to be announced.
Bookings are now open for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park.  You can make a booking for a particular day at this year and change your day once your timetable for 2019 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.

6.     Events for Teachers
a)   15th November, Earthrise: Looking back at the Planet, 7pm – 8:30pm, Royal Society of Victoria, Melbourne

What’s in a picture?

Almost 50 years ago on Christmas Eve, 1968, US astronaut William Anders took a photo aboard the Apollo 8 mission that became known as ‘Earthrise.’ This ground-breaking image transformed our view of our unique planet, and the place of our home in the cosmos.
Taking this photograph was one of the most profound events in the history of human culture, for at this moment we truly saw ourselves from a distance for the first time; and the Earth in its surrounding, dark emptiness not only seemed infinitely beautiful, but also extraordinarily fragile. This wonderful image crystallised and cemented the sense of our planet’s isolation and vulnerability. It is linked to the start of the environmental movement and to many significant concepts developed and popularised over the last 50 years such as Spaceship Earth, Limits to Growth, Small is Beautiful, Sustainability and Gaia.

Join an interdisciplinary panel to reflect on “Earthrise” and the progress – or otherwise – we have made as an Earth-bound species in the intervening half century.
Panellists include:
Dr Colleen Boyle, Artist and Art Historian with RMIT’s School of Design
Dr Jenny Gray, CEO of Zoos Victoria and the President of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Prof Rachel Webster, Head of Astrophysics at the University of Melbourne’s School of Physics
Dr Lynette Bettio, Senior Climatologist with the Bureau of Meteorology
Alicia Sometimes, broadcaster, poet and writer, will be the MC

Venue: Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe St, Melbourne
To book click here
Cost: $5.86 to $27.50

Also check out ‘Rocket Men’ by Harvard lawyer and space-nut Robert Kurson.  Recommended by Paul Cuthbert:  “What the crew and NASA did was just so amazing that by the end of the book I think this mission is actually a bigger achievement than the 1st Moon landing. Just so many things had to go right for them to return safely (so many things I’d just never realised were so incredibly dangerous about such a voyage). And it was a very hurriedly plan mission with much powerful opposition.
They were the first humans to ever fly a Saturn V (and that was after nothing but problems with the remotely controlled tests prior), the first humans to leave Earth and be captured by the gravitational field of another body and of course they took that iconic photo of Earth (and prompted Anders to say “we went all the way to the moon to discover Earth”).

Finally the crew in 1968 of Borman (40), Lovell (40) and Anders (34 years old) are now 90, 90 and 84 respectively, are all still alive, well and in all probability will remain so this xmas eve for the 50thanniversary.”

Also check this Youtube video of three astronauts at the book launch earlier this year.

Scienceworks has a new Exhibition, Museum of the Moon, opening on 1st December that includesa seven metre diameter spherical sculpture featuring large scale NASA imagery of the lunar surface.  At a scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the sculpture represents five kilometres of the moon’s surface. It is included with Museum entry.  Also the Earthlight: Spacewalk activity finishes on 14th December.

b)   17th November, Science Says! 2018, 3:30 — 5pm, Royal Society of Victoria, Melbourne

Brilliant scientists, gifted comedians and talented communicators use their wits and wittiness to uncover the top scientific discoveries of 2018 – and a few of the odder ones, too!

It’s an evening in the style of the great panel shows – think mixing Mock the WeekSpicks and Specks, and just a dash of QI.
Venue: Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe St, Melbourne
To book click here.
Cost: $10

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c)  9th – 13th December, AIP Congress: Teaching Nexus – Evolving Physics Education in our Schools, Perth
This year the AIP Congress includes a two day program for teachers on Tuesday and Wednesday.  There are two keynote talks on ‘Science as a Human Endeavour: What does this mean and how can we use it to connect students to the physics’ and ‘How to strengthen physics by making it inclusive’ plus three workshops. The registration fee for the two days is $290. For registration details clickhere. For more details about the program for teachers click here.

7.   Physics from the Web
Items selected from the bulletins of the Institute of Physics (UK).
Each item below includes the introductory paragraphs and a web link to the rest of the article.
a) Wave concentrator could help capture renewable energy from the sea
A new device that can triple the amplitude of a water wave by concentrating it into a small, shallow space has been unveiled by researchers in China and the US.  As well as concentrating waves incident on the device, it does not reflect a significant amount of wave energy back into open water. As a result, the team believes that their prototype could soon be scaled-up to tap into the enormous potential for power generation provided by the oceans.
b) Ingenious Inventions: Review of Audrey, the inventor
The short, quirky book tells the story of Audrey who lives with her father and her pet “Happy Cat” and decides to become an inventor. Inquisitive and adventurous Audrey dreams up and creates a number of devices – from an egg collector to a strawberry jam dispenser to a “cat washer” – in the hopes of being helpful. Alas, her builds soon fall apart or, worse, cause chaos. Our young heroine is despondent, convinced that she is the “world’s worst inventor”. Thankfully, daddy steps in with words of encouragement and advice, suggesting that she learn from her mistakes and try again. This time around, Audrey carefully plans her project and repeatedly tests her invention before unleashing it on the household with huge success.

c) Cool polymer paint saves on air conditioning.
Air conditioning accounts for 10% of global energy consumption. Now researchers at Columbia University and Argonne National Laboratory in the US have produced a polymer “paint” capable of cooling surfaces to around 6 °C below ambient temperatures without using any energy at all. Used in combination with conventional air conditioning, it could allow significant reductions in the time these units are switched on, as well as providing some cooling relief in areas where air conditioning is not so widely available.

The approach uses a solution process at room temperature to produce a film of a polymer with nanometre- and micrometre-sized air voids trapped inside. “There are a lot of examples of substances that are white from air voids – like snow for example,” says Nanfang Yu associate professor in Applied Physics at Columbia University in the US. “Snow is white because there are a lot of air bubbles inside, otherwise you have ice which is transparent – it’s as simple as that. We are just pushing this to the extreme by this chemical process.”

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d) The fluid mechanics of bubbly drinks

In most cases, the bubbles in a drink are the result of carbonation. The amount of carbon dioxide gas that dissolves in the liquid is proportional to pressure. And if the pressure is suddenly reduced, such as when a bottle of beer is opened, the gas quickly comes out of solution and forms bubbles that rise to the surface, only to burst after a brief instant or to aggregate into a frothy head of foam.
That’s just the start of what happens to carbonated drinks opened to air; many processes occur before the first refreshing sip. In this article we discuss the bubbles’ birth, motion, stability, and fascinating connections to a range of other phenomena that lie beyond the need for refreshment.
Perhaps the first question worth asking is, Why do we like bubbly drinks? A scientific answer has proven elusive. Carbonation, it turns out, triggers the same pain receptors in the deep brain that are activated by tasting spicy food.1 Curiously, when carbonated water is fed to other animals, such as mice, dogs, and horses, the animals refuse to drink it. But humans appear to enjoy the mildly irritating effects. Water, CO2, and saliva enzymes react to produce small amounts of carbonic acid, the substance thought to be behind the tingly sensation. The bubbles themselves are known to alter a drink’s perceived flavor, at least in the case of soda: The smaller the bubbles, the faster they dissolve to produce carbonic acid.

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More Physics positions: Gov’t, Cath, Indep – Seeking advice on Livestreaming. Vicphys News 4/T4/18

Dear All,

  1. More Physics Teacher Positions: Government, Catholic and Independent
  2. Seeking advice on Live Streaming

1. More Physics Teacher Positions: Government, Catholic and Independent
Some schools are seeking physics teachers for next year and hoping to finalise their staffing next week. So if you are looking for a position, now is the time to act.  Listed below are the private schools who have lodged ads with Vicphysics as well as the Government schools seeking physics teachers as found on the Department of Education and Training website.

Our website now provides a Job Ads webpage. As schools lodge information about a vacancy, it will be placed here on our website.  So far the vacancies on our website are:

  • Sacre Coeur, Glen Iris
  • Camberwell Grammar School, Canterbury
  • Mentone Grammar School

Schools can enter the details about a vacancy online here on our website.  There is a charge of $100 for a two months listing on our website and in this newsletter.

Government school positions are listed on this Government website .  A search for ‘physics’ gave the following  9 positions.  On that website you can click on a position to obtain more details.

  • Coburg High School
  • Werribee Secondary College
  • Camberwell High School
  • John Monash Science School
  • Seymour College
  • The Grange P – 12 College, Hoppers Crossing
  • Camperdown College
  • Noble Park Secondary College
  • Bayside P – 12 College, Williamstown

2.  Seeking advice on Live Streaming
This year Vicphysics has streamed live two events, and hopes to continue with this next year, but it is an expensive exercise.  So we are considering buying our own equipment.  However there is a large range of equipment options and costs. We have limited funds, but we are likely to use the equipment in a range of settings from lecture theatres with switches to a powerpoint and multiple radio microphones to a small room with a person speaking straight to camera. So it is difficult to decide which path we should take.
If any teachers have some experience with live streaming and can advise us on equipment choice, it would be very much appreciated. Please contact us at Vicphysics.

The Vicphysics Executive Team
Frances Sidari (Pres), Bronwyn Quint (Vice-Pres), Barbara McKinnon (Sec), Terry Tan (Treas) and Dan O’Keeffe (Coord)

 

New: Physics Exhibition at Museum, Quantum to Cosmos from PI & more Job Ads. VicPhys News 3/T4/18

The Melbourne Museum is launching a new permanent exhibition called ‘Road to Zero’. It is relevant to Years 9 and 10 physics and other aspects of the Curriculum.  It addresses driver safety and factors related to stopping distances.

The Perimeter Institute has produced a worthy successor to the famous ‘Power of 10′ video.  It is called Quantum to Cosmos, it has active links which make it an effective learning tool as well as a great experience on the scale of the universe.

Among other items, there is another physics position advertised on our website and also a reminder about the questionnaire for the Review of the VCE Physics Study Design. A talk next Tuesday at Monash University on the implications of the Australian Space Agency for STEM Education looks promising.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 15th November at Melbourne Girls’ College.  All teachers are welcome to attend this or any other meeting.  If you would like to attend, please contact Vicphysics There will also be a meeting on Thursday, 22nd November to review the VCE Physics Exam to which teachers are also welcome and again at the same location.

The Vicphysics Executive Team
Frances Sidari (Pres), Bronwyn Quint (Vice-Pres), Barbara McKinnon (Sec), Terry Tan (Treas) and Dan O’Keeffe (Coord)

Table of Contents

  1. New Physics Exhibition at Melbourne Museum: Road to Zero
  2. Physics Review: Questionnaire: Closing date 2nd Nov
  3. Quantum to Cosmos: A Journey through the Universe.  A PI resource
  4. Measuring the Earth’s Gravity Field: Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. Prof Kurt Lambeck
  5. Latest Physics Job Ads: Sacre Coeur
  6. Events for Students and the General Public
  7. Events for Teachers

8. Physics News from the Web
a) Indoor record for magnetic field strength is smashed by physicists in Japan
b) How long does the photoelectric effect take?
c) Lithium-oxygen batteries borach 100% coulombic efficiency

1. New Physics Exhibition at Melbourne Museum: Road to Zero
Road to Zero is a road safety education complex set up at Melbourne Museum.  It was developed by the TAC in partnership with Melbourne Museum.  It is part of the Victorian Government’s Towards Zero vision, which aims for zero road deaths and serious injuries.  Road to Zero aims to reduce road trauma in pre-learner drivers by building knowledge and awareness that will empower young road users to make safer decisions.  The program is designed for Years 9, 10 and VCAL students.

Road to Zero is delivered in two parts, with a total duration of two hours.  The two parts are: i) an immersive and exploratory exhibition showcasing the latest in multi-sensory interactive technologies, and ii) curriculum-linked programs in the purpose-built Learning Studio.

There are resources for schools to use either before or after the visit.

The students are in the Learning Studio for 75 minutes and do one of two programs:

  • Road to Zero Physics Challenge: A virtual reality physics experiment lets students explore the impacts of speed and friction on stopping distances. Students are then required to apply their learning to a real-world problem by designing a safe road system.
  • Getting the Message: Students reflect and respond to the Road to Zero exhibition content through the creation of a collaborative community health campaign. In small groups, students use a range of information sources to research 14-17 year old road user groups (e.g. pedestrians or cyclists). They use their findings to develop a YouTube campaign with a compelling call to action, reinforcing positive road usage amongst their target audience.

The students are also in the Experience Space for 45 minutes. It allows them to explore a range of interactive exhibits at their own pace.  A Zerocard enables students to interact with the exhibits and record their experiences.  As students discover the principles of Towards Zero, they’re encouraged to consider a future free of death and serious injury on our roads, and how we might achieve this.
Details about the program are here.  There is no program fee for Road to Zero for participating student groups.  Low SFOE school communities may qualify for transportation assistance for their excursion to Road to Zero. Further details, including eligibility, are available on application.

2. Physics Review Questionnaire: Closing Date: 2nd Nov
Units 1 & 2 are accredited until December 2020, so these units are scheduled for a review in 2019.  VCAA is conducting a questionnaire to assist with this review process.  The questionnaire covers Units 1 to 4 as well as the Advice to Teachers.
The questionnaire can be accessed and completed here from the VCAA website.  The questionnaire can be completed at a later stage once commenced. To recommence the questionnaire, you use the [NEXT] button located in the bottom right hand corner to save entered information and then use the same computer and web browser on which the questionnaire was commenced as a copy of your responses will have been saved.
The closing date is 2nd November, 2018.
To assist you with preparing your responses to the questions on the questionnaire, a copy of the questions can be downloaded from here on the Vicphysics website.
In addition to this questionnaire, VCAA anticipates that teacher focus groups will be held to gather more information. Notification of focus groups will be via their Notice to Schools in addition to the Expression of Interest at the end of this questionnaire.

3. Quantum to Cosmos: A Journey through the Universe.  A PI resource
The Perimeter Institute (PI) has produced another fantastic resource. Quantum to Cosmos follows in the steps of that famous video ‘Powers of 10‘ Using the same concept of changing your view by a factor of 10 at each stage, Quantum to Cosmos starts at the human scale and goes out to the edge of the known universe and also goes down beyond the atom to quarks and the Planck length. At each stage there are images of objects for that scale, each of which can be clicked for a better view and a description.
The resource can be accessed here.  There is also a quiz you can take as well.

PI are also presenting a Live stream of a lecture by Jocelyn Bell Burnell on Thursday, 25th October at 7pm Ontario time, which is about 10am Melbourne time on Friday 26th October, but please check this local time.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, winner of the 2018 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, is an accomplished scientist and champion for women in physics. As a graduate student in 1967, she co-discovered pulsars, a breakthrough widely considered one of the most important scientific advances of the 20th century. When the discovery of pulsars was recognised with the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics, the award went to her graduate advisor. Undaunted, she persevered and became one of the most prominent researchers in her field and an advocate for women and other under-represented groups in physics.

She plans to use the $3 million Breakthrough Prize to fund women and other under-represented groups pursuing physics to bring greater diversity to the field.

In a special Perimeter public lecture, Dame Bell Burnell will take the audience on a journey into the realm of pulsars, and share stories from her personal journey of scientific discovery.

4.  Measuring the Earth’s Gravity Field: Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. Prof Kurt Lambeck
The earth’s gravity field is much more complex than had been previously understood. The earth ‘breathes’ as Prof Lambeck says, but on a very long time scale.  The earth is still relaxing from the stresses of the last ice age.  The variations in the gravity field over time and space impact on the effectiveness of GPS and even on driverless cars. So the reserach has immedisate relevance as well as historical interest. Prof Lambeck is the pre-eminent researcher in this field.

Click here for a short video by Prof Lambeck. Click here for a short article.  The article has a link toAuScope. AuScope is partnership between the CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, 11 universities and several government agencies.  It also runs the Geophysical Educational Laboratory with two programs for schools: Australian Seismometers in Schools (AuSIS) program and GPS in Schools (AuGPS) program.  Schools can join these programs and can also access data collected by participating schools.

5. Latest Job Ads

As schools lodge information about a vacancy, it will be placed here on our website.  So far the vacancies are:
  • Sacre Coeur, Glen Iris

Schools can enter the details about a vacancy online here on our website.  The is a charge of $100 for a two months listing on our website and in this newsletter.

6.    Events for Students and the General Public
a) 30th October, From space back to Earth: Implications of the formation of the Australian Space Agency on STEM Education, 6:30pm, Monash University, Clayton Campus.
The October lecture in this series will be on From space back to Earth: implications of formation of the Australian Space Agency on STEM education and will be given by Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway from the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of Dr Lazendic-Galloway.
A demonstration, practical activity or laboratory tour will precede each lecture, beginning at 6.30pm, with the lecture starting at 7pm.
The venue is Lecture Theatre S3, 16 Rainforest Walk, which is on the West side of the Clayton campus. (see map). Parking is available free after 5pm in N1 (check the map).

These lectures are appropriate for teachers or VCE students.  Information about the series is available here .
The next lecture in the series is:

b)  23rd November, Breakthrough: The detection of gravitational waves from a neutron star merger, 6:30pm, Swinburne University.
Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Tara Murphy, Sydney Institute of Astronomy, University of Sydney
Abstract: On August 17th 2017 the LIGO-Virgo interferometer detected gravitational waves from a neutron star merger in a galaxy 130 million light years away. This was a breakthrough for physics and astronomy. What followed was a
frenzy of activity as astronomers around the world worked to detect electromagnetic radiation with conventional telescopes. After this unprecedented effort the event was detected in gamma-rays, x-rays, visible light and radio waves. I will discuss this incredible scientific result and its implications, including: predictions made by Einstein; the production of gold and other heavy elements; and our understanding of black hole formation. I will also give a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective of how it happened, and discuss the changes in the way we do science in this era of big astronomy.
To Book: click here.

c) Physics Days at Luna Park: Tuesday, 6th March to Friday, 9th March, 2019
Next year there will be two extra rides on offer one of which is the Road Runner located next to the Spider.  Up to 9 people sit in a car as it twists, turns and sways while moving backwards and forwards through a curved dip. It will be useful for data logging and also simple calculation of g forces from using a stop watch and estimating distances.  The other ride will be a new ride, which is yet to be announced.
Bookings are now open for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park.  You can make a booking for a particular day at this year and change your day once your timetable for 2019 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.

7.     Events for Teachers
a)   15th November, Earthrise: Looking back at the Planet, 7pm – 8:30pm, Royal Society of Victoria, Melbourne

What’s in a picture?

Almost 50 years ago on Christmas Eve, 1968, US astronaut William Anders took a photo aboard the Apollo 8 mission that became known as ‘Earthrise.’ This ground-breaking image transformed our view of our unique planet, and the place of our home in the cosmos.
Taking this photograph was one of the most profound events in the history of human culture, for at this moment we truly saw ourselves from a distance for the first time; and the Earth in its surrounding, dark emptiness not only seemed infinitely beautiful, but also extraordinarily fragile. This wonderful image crystallised and cemented the sense of our planet’s isolation and vulnerability. It is linked to the start of the environmental movement and to many significant concepts developed and popularised over the last 50 years such as Spaceship Earth, Limits to Growth, Small is Beautiful, Sustainability and Gaia.

Join an interdisciplinary panel to reflect on “Earthrise” and the progress – or otherwise – we have made as an Earth-bound species in the intervening half century.
Panellists include:
Dr Colleen Boyle, Artist and Art Historian with RMIT’s School of Design
Dr Jenny Gray, CEO of Zoos Victoria and the President of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Prof Rachel Webster, Head of Astrophysics at the University of Melbourne’s School of Physics
Dr Lynette Bettio, Senior Climatologist with the Bureau of Meteorology
Alicia Sometimes, broadcaster, poet and writer, will be the MC

Venue: Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe St, Melbourne
To book click here
Cost: $5.86 to $27.50

Also check out ‘Rocket Men’ by Harvard lawyer and space-nut Robert Kurson.  Recommended by Paul Cuthbert:  “What the crew and NASA did was just so amazing that by the end of the book I think this mission is actually a bigger achievement than the 1st Moon landing. Just so many things had to go right for them to return safely (so many things I’d just never realised were so incredibly dangerous about such a voyage). And it was a very hurriedly plan mission with much powerful opposition.
They were the first humans to ever fly a Saturn V (and that was after nothing but problems with the remotely controlled tests prior), the first humans to leave Earth and be captured by the gravitational field of another body and of course they took that iconic photo of Earth (and prompted Anders to say “we went all the way to the moon to discover Earth”).
Finally the crew in 1968 of Borman (40), Lovell (40) and Anders (34 years old) are now 90, 90 and 84 respectively, are all still alive, well and in all probability will remain so this xmas eve for the 50thanniversary.”

b)   17th November, Science Says! 2018, 3:30 — 5pm, Royal Society of Victoria, Melbourne

Brilliant scientists, gifted comedians and talented communicators use their wits and wittiness to uncover the top scientific discoveries of 2018 – and a few of the odder ones, too!

It’s an evening in the style of the great panel shows – think mixing Mock the WeekSpicks and Specks, and just a dash of QI.
Venue: Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe St, Melbourne
To book click here.
Cost: $10

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c)  9th – 13th December, AIP Congress: Teaching Nexus – Evolving Physics Education in our Schools, Perth
This year the AIP Congress includes a two day program for teachers on Tuesday and Wednesday.  There are two keynote talks on ‘Science as a Human Endeavour: What does this mean and how can we use it to connect students to the physics’ and ‘How to strengthen physics by making it inclusive’ plus three workshops. The registration fee for the two days is $290. For registration details clickhere. For more details about the program for teachers click here.

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

Indoor record for magnetic field strength is smashed by physicists in Japan
Researchers in Japan have created a long-lasting magnetic field with a strength of 1200 T, which is the strongest controllable field ever produced indoors. In comparison, Earth’s magnetic field is a mere 50 μT and the superconducting magnets on CERN’s Large Hadron Collider deliver about 8 T.

How long does the photoelectric effect take?

Just 45 quintillionth of a second (45 attoseconds) is all it takes for a photon to liberate an electron from the surface of a metal. That is the conclusion of Joachim Burgdörfer from the Technical University of Vienna and colleagues, who have done a clever sequence of experiments to make the most precise measurement ever of the duration of photoelectric emission. Their technique promises to provide new information about how electrons behave in materials and could lead to improvements to photoelectric technologies, such as solar cells and optoelectronic telecoms components.

Lithium-oxygen batteries broach 100% coulombic efficiency
If you’re reading this with a rechargeable battery powered appliance, the chances are it’s a lithium-ion battery based on intercalation chemistry. But with increasing demands for higher energy density power banks the search is on for alternatives.

“Intercalation of a cation into a structure (along with the accompanying stored electron) doesn’t change the framework very much.  Charging and discharging is like driving a car in and out of a parking garage, where the framework remains intact,” explains Linda Nazar, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo in Canada. “But if you try to drive too many cars in you get irreversible changes to the structure.” In addition to this fundamental limitation to the energy storage capacity this poses, lithium ion batteries use metals such as cobalt, whose cost is increasing and where sustainable mining is problematic.

The push towards alternatives to the intercalation chemistry of lithium-ion batteries has led to increased interest in lithium-oxygen batteries, which charge and discharge by converting lithium and oxygen into a metal oxide and back again. However parasitic side reactions have plagued efforts to maximize the efficiency and reversibility of this reaction for several years.

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Physics Review Q’naire – VCAA Solutions to NH paper. VicPhys News 2/T4/18

  1. VCAA begins the VCE Physics Course Review with a Questionnaire
  2. VCAA provides solutions to the NH Physics Exam
  3. Want to be a presenter at the Physics Teachers’ Conference?

VCAA begins the VCE Physics Course Review with a Questionnaire
Units 1 & 2 are accredited until December 2020, so these units are scheduled for a review in 2019.  VCAA is conducting a questionnaire to assist with this review process.  The questionnaire covers Units 1 to 4 as well as the advice to teachers.
The questionnaire can be accessed and completed here from the VCAA website.  The questionnaire can be completed at a later stage once commenced. To recommence the questionnaire, you use the [NEXT] button located in the bottom right hand corner to save entered information and then use the same computer and web browser on which the questionnaire was commenced as a copy of your responses will have been saved.

The closing date is 2nd November, 2018.

To assist you with preparing your responses to the questions on the questionnaire, a copy of the questions can be downloaded from here on the Vicphysics website.

In addition to this questionnaire, VCAA anticipates that teacher focus groups will be held to gather more information. Notification of focus groups will be via their Notice to Schools in addition to the Expression of Interest at the end of this questionnaire.

VCAA provides solutions to the NH Physics Exam
Usually the Chief Assessor’s reports on VCE exams provide for each question a short solution, a comment and the statistics of the responses.  However for the Northern Hemisphere (NH) papers held at the mid year, the reports on the VCAA website provide only the short solution to each question.  There is no marking scheme and no commentary or statistics. They are available here on the VCAA website and also on our Vicphysics website along with our more detailed solutions.

Students can now access different sets of solutions to compare, which will be useful for the explanation questions.

Want to be a presenter at the Physics Teachers’ Conference?
There is still time to register a workshop for next year’s conference.  Registration closes this Friday, 19th Octber.
We invite you to consider presenting a workshop for your colleagues at next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference. We all have much to share. The conference will be on Friday, 15th February at La Trobe University.

A distinctive feature of the Physics Teachers’ Conference over the years has been the large number of teachers who offer workshops about what they do.  These workshops are not only beneficial for other teachers, but they also significantly enhance the curriculum vitae of the presenters and their own personal skills.

With the new course bedding down, the conference is an ideal forum for you to share your ideas on teaching the new content and the different ways of assessing.

If you would like to offer a workshop, please register the workshop on the STAV website, here

  • The presenter and only one co-presenter are free of charge for the session they are presenting.
  • All such presenters are able to register “free of charge” for other sessions at this conference.
  • All subsequent co-presenters are charged $75 each and need to register to attend sessions.
  • Presenters are not paid any fee nor is CRT covered.

The Vicphysics Executive Team
Frances Sidari (Pres), Bronwyn Quint (Vice-Pres), Barbara McKinnon (Sec), Terry Tan (Treas) and Dan O’Keeffe (Coord)

Physics Teacher positions, Nobel Prize, More resources. Vicphys News 1/T4/18

Vicphysics Teachers’ Network is often contacted by schools who are having difficulty finding a physics teacher to be a LSL replacement, to fill an ongoing position or just to cover an extended sick leave. So we have decided to set up a webpage for such short and long term physics teaching vacancies.  The first position is now on our website.

The 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics was announced last week. It was awarded for innovation on using lasers.  Resources for various audiences are listed below.

We also invite teachers to consider presenting a workshop for their colleagues at next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference. We have much to share. There is also information on new resources and a reminder that entries for our competitions are due.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 11th October at Melbourne Girls’ College.  All teachers are welcome to attend this or any other meeting.  If you would like to attend, please contact Vicphysics

The Vicphysics Executive Team
Frances Sidari (Pres), Bronwyn Quint (Vice-Pres), Barbara McKinnon (Sec), Terry Tan (Treas) and Dan O’Keeffe (Coord)

Table of Contents

  1. Seeking a Physics Teacher?  Seeking a job?
  2. 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics for innovations in laser physics
  3. Be a Conference Presenter
  4. Entries for our Physics Competitions are due.
  5. Another Poster from the Perimeter Institute: All Known Physics in one equation
  6. Physics Problem sheets: 80 pages from a retired teacher
  7. Background readings from the Institute of Physics – Many are free to download
  8. Events for Students and the General Public
  9. Events for Teachers

10. Physics News from the Web
a)  New evidence for cyclic universe claimed by Roger Penrose and colleagues
b)  Fierce and Unpredictable: How Wildfires became Infernos
c)  How to build a super-magnet

1. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
Vicphysics Teachers’ Network is often contacted by schools who are having difficulty finding a physics teacher to be a LSL replacement, to fill an ongoing position or just to cover an extended sick leave.

So we have decided to make our website and this email newsletter available to schools to cover such short and long term physics teaching vacancies.

The cost is $100 for two months’ display.  The payment is to be by EFT to the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network account at Bank Australia with BSB 313 140 and account number 12146397.  The customer reference should be the school name.  A receipt will be issued and an invoice can be provided.  Schools must enter the details about the vacancy online here on our website.

As schools lodge information about a vacancy, it will be placed here on our website.  So far the vacancies are:

  • Star of the Sea College, Brighton

2.  2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for innovations in laser physics
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Donna Strickland, George Mourou and Arthur Ashkin.
There are several resources explaining their work for various audiences:
Popular version by the Nobel Committee (7 pages)
Scientific version by the Nobel Committee ( 18 pages)
Forbes magazine: Optical TweezersUltra Intense, Ultra short(two very well written articles).
The Nobel Committee now also produces lesson material on each of the prizes.  Click here for the physics material.
The speaker at the Monash Girls in Physics Breakfast, Dr Ceri Brenner, spoke on the different ways she uses these laser pulses in her research.  Check the video of her talk on our webpage.

3. Be a Conference Presenter: Physics Teachers’ Conference, Friday, 15th February
A distinctive feature of the Physics Teachers’ Conference over the years has been the large number of teachers who offer workshops about what they do.  These workshops are not only beneficial for other teachers, but they also significantly enhance the curriculum vitae of the presenters and their own personal skills.

With the new course bedding down, the conference is an ideal forum for you to share your ideas on teaching new content and different ways of assessing.

If you would like to offer a workshop, please register the workshop on the STAV website, here.  Theclosing date for registrations is Friday, 12th October.

  • The presenter and only one co-presenter are free of charge for the session they are presenting.
  • All such presenters are able to register “free of charge” for other sessions at this conference.
  • All subsequent co-presenters are charged $75 each and need to register to attend sessions.
  • Presenters are not paid any fee nor is CRT covered.

4.  Entries for our Physics Competitions are due.
Entries for the Vicphysics Photo and Video contests are due this Friday, 12th October.  Click the links for details.
Entries for the Practical Investigation Poster Competition are due next Friday, 19th October. Click the link for details.

5.  Another Poster from the Perimeter Institute: All known physics in one equation
A newsletter in late Term 3 reported on three extra packages of curriculum materials from the Perimeter Institute.  They have now released a new poster which displays ‘all known physics’ in one equation annotated with the name of the physicist against each term, including Schrodinger, Feynmann, Euler, Planck, Einstein, Newton, Maxwell, Yang, Mills, Dirac, Kobayashi, Maskawa, Yukawa, Higgs and Lagrange.  The poster can be downloaded as a high resolution pdf for free fromhere.

6.  Physics Problem sheets80 pages from a retired teacher
Geoff Phillips has retired from teaching but would like to make available to teachers his collection of Physics problem sheets.  There are about 80 sheets for Year 11 and 12 Physics.  Although written for the previous Study Design, most are still appropriate to the current course.  The problem sheets are all original material written by Geoff, so his copyright should be acknowledged when they are being photocopied or printed.  They also come with answers and detailed solutions.

If you wish to obtain the sheets, you can email Geoff  to request the download link.

7. Background readings from the Institute of Physics – Many free to download
The Institute of Physics commissions booklets on a range of physics topics, most can be purchased through Amazon. The following engaging titles from Particle Physics to the Physics of DNA are free to download from here:

  • What’s next for Particle Physics? by Martin White
  • Philosphy of Physics by Robert P Crease
  • Energy Storage Systems by David Elliott
  • From Particle Physics to Medical Applications by Manjit Dosanjh
  • Quantum Simulation by Chad Orzel
  • Multimessenger Astronomy by Imre Bartos and Marek Kowalski
  • Space Weather by Mike Hapgood
  • Proton Beam Therapy by Harald Paganetti
  • Complex Light by Jeff Secor, Robert Alfano and Solyman Ashrafi
  • Adaptive Optics in Biology by Carl J Kempf
  • How to build a Quantum Computer by Barry C Sanders
  • Nanoelectronics by Jessamyn A Fairfield
  • Antihydrogen Beams by Yasunori Yamazaki, Michael Doser and Patrice Pérez
  • Carbon Capture and Storage by Owain Tucker
  • Nuclear Waste Management by Claire Corkhill and Neil Hyatt
  • Tetraquarks and Pentaquarks by Greig Cowan and Tim Gershon
  • The Physics of DNA and Chromosomes by Davide Marenduzzo
  • Redefining the Kilogram and other SI Units by Stephan Schlamminger

8.    Events for Students and the General Public
a) 30th October, Neutron stars, 6:30pm, Monash University, Clayton Campus.
The October lecture in this series will be on Neutron stars and will be given by Prof Alexander Heger from the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of Prof Heger.
A demonstration, practical activity or laboratory tour will precede each lecture, beginning at 6.30pm, with the lecture starting at 7pm.
The venue is Lecture Theatre S3, 16 Rainforest Walk, which is on the West side of the Clayton campus. (see map). Parking is available free after 5pm in N1 (check the map).

These lectures are appropriate for teachers or VCE students.  Information about the series is available here .
The next lecture in the series is:

  • Tuesday, 27th November – TBA – Assoc Prof Meera Parish

b) Physics Days at Luna Park: Tuesday, 6th March to Friday, 9th March, 2019
Next year there will be two extra rides on offer one of which is the Road Runner located next to the Spider.  Up to 9 people sit in a car as it twists, turns and sways while moving backwards and forwards through a curved dip. It will be useful for data logging and also simple calculation of g forces from using a stop watch and estimating distances.  The other ride will be a new ride, which is yet to be announced.
Bookings are now open for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park.  You can make a booking for a particular day at this year and change your day once your timetable for 2019 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,

9.     Events for Teachers
a)  11 October 2018Keeping under 1.5°C:  Are we doing enough to avoid dangerous climate change?,
6:00 pm to 7:45pm, University of Melbourne
Have we missed the opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change?  Australia has already experienced over 1 degree of warming with an increase in extreme heat events and severe bushfire weather.  What actions need to be taken to get on track to avoid a greater than 1.5°C future?  If we don’t act, what could our future climate look like?

To coincide with the launch of the IPCC Special Report Global Warming of 1.5°C,  as well as the 10 year anniversary of the Garnaut Climate Change Review 2008 (updated in 2011), the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and the University of Melbourne Climate-Energy College present a panel of experts to discuss the implications of this important report for Australia and the World.

Panelists:

  • Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the Global Change Institute (GCI) and Professor of Marine Science, The University of Queensland (Co-Author of the IPCC Special Report Global Warming of 1.5°C)
  • Prof Ross Garnaut AC, Professorial Fellow in Economics at the University of Melbourne, Chair of the Energy Transition Hub and President of SIMEC ZEN Energy
  • Prof Robyn Eckersley, Head of Political Science, School of Social and Political Sciences, plus Climate and Energy College, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Senior Research Associate and ARC Future Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW

Venue: Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre, Arts West – West Wing : Building 148B, University of Melbourne
Cost: Free, To register click here .

b)  Wednesday 17 October, Mission: Gravity – Bringing Virtual Universe to the Secondary Classroom, Scienceworks
OzGrav (ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery) and Scienceworks are joining forces to offer a unique professional development day .  Join them for an insight into the free OzGrav incursion Program ‘Mission: Gravity’ This is a program that incorporates experimental design and scientific process with virtual data to answer the question: Where do black holes come from? 

Also included: ‘Beyond Perception’ exhibition viewing, the Planetarium show ‘Black Holes’ supplementary curriculum materials and an opportunity to invite the OzGrav team to your school to share ‘Mission: Gravity’ free of charge with your students.

This free professional learning day is exclusive to MV Teachers subscribers. You can join MV Teachers today for access to this and other exclusive teacher events – it’s free!  This is a rare opportunity and places are limited. Note that this event is not catered and you will need to provide your own refreshments.
Cost: Free for MV Teachers
Suitable for: Year 7–10 STEM teachers, and Year 11 and 12 Physics teachers
Time: 8.30am–3.30pm
Location: Scienceworks, 2 Booker Street, Spotswood, VIC 3015

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

New evidence for cyclic universe claimed by Roger Penrose and colleagues

Unexpected hot spots in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) could have been produced by black holes evaporating before the Big Bang. So says a trio of scientists led by mathematical physicist Roger Penrose in a paper presenting new evidence that our universe is just one stage in a potentially infinite cycle of cosmic extinction and rebirth. Other researchers, however, remain sceptical that the microwave background really does contain signs from a previous “aeon”.

According to standard cosmology, the universe underwent a very brief but exceptionally intense expansion just after the Big Bang. This period of “inflation” would have ironed out any irregularities in the structure of the early universe, leading to the very uniform cosmos that we observe around us.

However, Penrose, based at the University of Oxford , has developed a rival theory known as “conformal cyclic cosmology“ (CCC) which posits that the universe became uniform before, rather than after, the Big Bang. The idea is that the universe cycles from one aeon to the next, each time starting out infinitely small and ultra-smooth before expanding and generating clumps of matter. That matter eventually gets sucked up by supermassive black holes, which over the very long term disappear by continuously emitting Hawking radiation. This process restores uniformity and sets the stage for the next Big Bang.

Fierce and Unpredictable: How Wildfires Became Infernos

An article from the New York Times.  MISSOULA, Mont. — In a large metal warehouse, Mark Finney opens a tall, clear glass tower and pours alcohol into a tray at the bottom and lights it. When he closes the door, an open vent at the bottom sucks in air and suddenly fire spirals upward, a narrow column of flame 12 feet tall.

In the wild, these fire whirls are unpredictable and dangerous. An exceptionally powerful whirl in late July during California’s unrelenting Carr Fire whipped winds up to 143 miles per hour, roaring and spinning for 90 minutes and scooping up ash, debris and flames. It uprooted trees, stripped the bark off them, and downed power lines. The whirl, sometimes nicknamed a “firenado,” was so large it was picked up on Doppler radar.

How to build a super-magnet

Super-strong magnets are a relatively recent phenomenon. Before the 19th century, the only magnets available were naturally occurring rocks made from a mineral called magnetite. This began to change after 1819, when the Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted discovered that electric currents in metallic wires create magnetic fields, but the real leap in magnet strength did not come until nearly a century later, with the discovery of superconductivity. Superconductors conduct electricity with perfect efficiency, which is a huge advantage for making strong magnets: today’s most powerful commercially available superconducting magnets can produce a stable field of up to 23 T, which is more than 2000 times stronger than the magnet on your fridge.