Be a Conf Presenter. VicPhysics No 6, T3, 2018

Dear Colleagues

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.  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.

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

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Be a Conf. Presenter – AstroLight Festival – More Resources

We invite teachers to consider presenting a workshop for their colleagues at next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference. We have much to share.

This newsletter also has information on a wealth of resources as well as news about the impressive Astrolight Festival at Scienceworks this Saturday night.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 13th September 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. Be a Conference Presenter
  2. Resources from the Perimeter Institute
  3. Internet Resources for Physics Teaching
  4. Events for Students and the General Public
  5. Events for Teachers

6. Physics News from the Web
a)  Emmy Noether’s revolutionary theorem explained from kindergarten to PhD
b) Nanoparticles set spinning record
c)  What is time? The comic strip

1.  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.

  • 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.

2.  Resources from the Perimeter Institute
The Perimeter Institute has released three extra packages of curriculum materials, the titles are:

  • Evidence for Climate Change (1000MB of material on carbon dioxide, climate modelling, forcing factors,
  • Wave Model Applications (648 MB of material on sound, earthquake and gravitational waves including interference and resonance)
  • A Deeper Understanding of Energy (575 MB of material on nuclear transformations, ionising radiation, mass energy equivalence, formation of elements and dark energy)

They are pitched at Years 10 to 11.  They are available free and each includes i) a 70 – 85 page teaching program covering how to use the material, several pages of teaching strategies and learning issues, ii) 5 – 7 different activities, each with information on teaching tips, equipment, extension, misconceptions, iii) a video, iv) a student design challenge and v) assessment criteria and rubrics.

They can be downloaded from here. There are 18 topics in all from upper primary to senior secondary. Senior topics include: Black Holes, The Mystery of Dark Matter, The Challenge of Quantum Reality, Beyond the Atom: Remodelling Particle Physics, Everyday Einstein: GPS and Relativity, The Process of Science, Revolutions in Science and The Expanding Universe.

3. Internet Resources for Physics Teaching
The journal “The Physics Teacher’ produced by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) features a column of new internet resources.  These are some from recent editions.

  • Videos of teacher demonstrations: Two academics at Weber University in the US have produced a set of videor covering about 200 physics concepts.  The videos are designed to support online learning. They cover Mechanics, Waves, Thermal Physics, Light, Electromagnetism and Modern Physics. They average about 5 minutes in duration.
  • Seeing the world in UV and IR.  There are two sites on UV: Veritasium (11 min),  Physics Girl (12 min) and one for IR: Michelle Thaller from NASA  (7 min).
  • Physics Apps by Canadian teacher, Matt Craig.  Matt has produced 30 apps for senior physics covering Waves, Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Relativity and Modern physics.  He also has a set for middle science on Electrostatics, Light and Astronomy.  They are downloadable jar files and you need to install the Java Development Kit to run them, but information is provided on how to do that. His explanatory notes about the electroscope simulator published in the Ontario Physics Teachers Newsletter can be accessed here.
  • Physics Videos.  This website, ‘The Universe and More’, is nominally about physics games, but the main benefit is the extensive list of videos under ‘Resources’, they are mainly action sequences that illustrate phenomena and principles.  They cover several aspects of mechanics, as well as Light, Waves, Electromagnetism, Quantum physics and Relativity.
  • Kirchoff’s Revenge.  An Adventure Game.  “Kirchhoff is annoyed because nobody appreciates his circuit laws! You get transported to his secret lair and won’t be able to get out until you show appreciation!”   There are eight levels and it is available in both Mac and Windows versions.

4.    Events for Students and the General Public
a)   Saturday, 8th September: Astrolight Festival, 6pm – 10:30pm, Scienceworks
Enjoy a special evening of talks and performances for all ages, Planetarium and Lightning Room shows, plus an array of hands-on optics activities and stargazing (weather permitting).

This year Scienceworks is rocketing into space with speakers talking about human spaceflight, the Australian Space Agency, and where Australia is headed in this accelerating industry.  International Space Station Flight Controller Andrea Boyd and former astronaut trainer Dr Gail Iles will discuss the future of human spaceflight and what it’s like to hang out in zero gravity.

Later in the evening, Andrea will be joined by Dr Naomi Mathers to talk all things space industry including the burgeoning Australian Space Agency, satellite technologies, and other applications of space science.

The program includes 12 talks in two venues across the evening and 20 activities in 10 venues.

Cost: $12 – $25
Venue: Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood
Bookings and program details: Click here.  Those booking go in the draw for a Celestron telescope valued at $855.

b) Sunday, 9th September: Open Day at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 10am – 2pm, Parkville
This Open Day is for students interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine.  Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information.  University course providers will also be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Venue: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre within the VCCC building at 305 Grattan St Melbourne

c)   Friday, 14th September: It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference,  Melbourne Girls’ College
This conference is designed by students and teachers for students and teachers.

The intent of the ‘It Takes a Spark’ conference is to bring together Girls and their Teachers to connect with inspiring female industry role models, share their current school based activities and projects using an authentic sharing and experiential model, create networks of teachers and student teams, and solve social justice design challenges.

The participation of the students is as important as teachers as the intent is to ignite, empower and nurture both students and teachers to be leaders of STEAM and Entrepreneurship within their schools.

Teachers will have both formal and informal opportunities to speak to other teachers who have enacted programs and activities in their schools and get their questions answered. The workshops and social justice design challenges are all hands-on so students and teachers will experience first-hand what it is like to be part of great STEAM and entrepreneurial learning.  This will spark new ideas about curriculum and pedagogy.

The event is for:

  •  those who are already (or aspire to be) technology leaders in their school,
  •  those who have little experience and those who have a lot,
  • Curriculum Coordinators– who wish to discuss how to create trans-disciplinary units that are powerfully engaging,
  • Principals and Deputy Principals – to witness what is possible by embedding the Technologies Curriculum in their school.

Cost: Teacher: $235 (early bird $195 by 24th August), Student : $33 , Includes lunch.

Check here for the details of program, speakers and the workshops for teachers and for students.

d)  Mission Discovery: Seeking mentors for a holiday program to design experiments for International Space Station.

The International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET) in association with Latitude Group Travel and Melbourne University is running an event for secondary students from 24th to 28th September.

They are seeking senior undergrads, grads, PhD students and current teachers to be mentors to the students who, in teams of 6, will design an experiment to be done in space.  The judges will pick one winning team whose experiment will go on the International Space Station.

If you wish to be a mentor, please contact Felicity Irwin at Latitude Group Travel.

For more details about the event and student registrations, click here.  The cost for the five days including lunch for an individual student is $771 + GST, there is a discount for a booking of more than 20 students. Teachers are encouraged to attend with their students at no cost.

e)   25th September, Black holes and merging neutron stars: frontiers in gravitational-wave astronomy6:30pm, Monash University, Clayton Campus.
The September lecture in this series will be on Black holes and merging neutron stars: frontiers in gravitational-wave astronomyand will be given by Dr Eric Thrane from the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of Dr Thrane.
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 lectures in the series are:

  • Tuesday, 30th October – Neutron Stars – Prof Alexander Heger
  • Tuesday, 27th November – TBA – Assoc Prof Meera Parish

f)  26th Sept – 5th October: 3D Astro Tours, Swinburne University
The 50-minute session is a journey starting in the solar system and then on to explore a Universe. AstroTours feature 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:

Please use the links next to each date to book your seats. Email suelester@swin.edu.au with further queries.  NB: Please note that sessions will be cancelled with less than 12 attendees.

Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, AR104 .  Click here for map.

Bookings are essential and can also be made via email to Elizabeth Thackray

Payment: Cost is $10 per person which can be paid at the door by cash or cheque.  If paying 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.  *Please advise if you require space for a wheelchair.

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.  They apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.  For safety reasons, no prams/strollers, etc. are allowed in the theatre.

g) Friday, 5th October: Women in Physics Night, 6:30pm – 8pm, University of Melbourne
The annual “Women in Physics Night” is an outreach program organised by the undergraduate Physics Students’ Society of The University of Melbourne.  The aim of this event was to motivate and encourage those who are interested in physical sciences to pursue further studies in the relevant field via interaction and open discussions with a diverse range of panellists from different physics backgrounds.  The event is open to all.

Panellists include: Prof Nicole Bell (Melb Uni), Dr Gail Iles (RMIT), Dr Catherine de Burgh-Day (Aust Bur of Met) and Stephanie Bernard (Melb Uni)

Purpose of the evening:
• Career opportunities in physics,
• What is it like to be a women in physics?,
• Panellists of different backgrounds talking about their personal experiences,
• Potential problems you may face as a woman in physics and how to overcome them.

Venue: Laby Theatre, University of Melbourne
Cost: Free and there is no need to book.  Check the Vicphysics calender for more details.

5.     Events for Teachers
a)         It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference, 14th September, Melbourne Girls’ College
See item 3b above

b) Lab Techs Workshop, Tuesday 18th September, Camberwell Grammar School
The all day program includes:

  • Learning new skills: i) Using and repairing multimeters, ii) Setting up a CRO for demonstrations, iii) Using a Ruhmkorff coil for high voltage demonstrations. (do two of the three, each runs for 30 mins)
  • The Van de Graaff Generator: Their care and feeding with Harvey Edwards from Principles and Practice.The frustration and hate of maintaining a VDG is fairly universal among Labies. Either you can seek help from a professional councellor or join in this workshop that will give you all the hints on how to service and maintain them with a minimum of hair pulling and swearing.  1 hour)
  • Good data in a digital world with Doug Bail from Ciderhouse. Hints, tips, tricks and techniques that help you, teachers and students make the most of the digital data acquisition available to schools.  The workshop will include some experiments, chat through tips, maintenance, calibration and analyse some data to help you support the use of this equipment.  The session will use PASCO gear but is intended for support of all equipment and particular notes will be made of options available from other suppliers. (1 hour)
  • Safe handling of ionising radiation and storage of radioactive sources (45 mins)
  • Laboratory management hints and lab tour (45 mins)
  • What is that old equipment in the back cupboard and is it of any use? (30 mins)

Cost: $60. Lunch is provided. A copy of the LTAV’s Physics Reference Manual is available at a discounted price of $20.
More details here  To book: go to Trybooking . Bookings close on Monday, 10th September.

c) Tuesday, 25th September, STEM Talks, 1pm and 4pm, Monash University, Clayton Campus
Showcasing STEM innovation – Addressing real life challenges in a changing world

The Faculty of Education at Monash University has invited a group of scientists, engineers and technologists to share their collective insights into some of the big questions that challenge them in their everyday quest for innovative solutions.

Each speaker’s story will showcase how diverse approaches to solving problems can be, and will demonstrate that engaging in STEM is seldom formulaic or routine, but is definitely exciting, creative and highly rewarding.  Join them to hear their stories.

There are two one hour sessions, one at 1pm and the other at 4pm, in the Learning and Teaching Building on the Clayton campus.  There are four speakers at the 1pm session and three other speakers at the 4pm session. Each session can be booked separately.  Information on the speakers and bookings are located here.  There is no cost.  The event will be filmed as a live event and made available online.

6.   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)  Emmy Noether’s revolutionary theorem explained from kindergarten to PhD
One hundred years ago, on July 23, 1918, Emmy Noether published a paper that would change science.

She was 36 at the time, working as an unpaid “assistant” under a male colleague because the University of Göttingen did not allow women to become professors. The paper, titled Invariante Variationsprobleme, contained a theorem that launched abstract algebra and linked two fundamental concepts in physics: symmetry and conservation laws.

Her insight was so profound that physicists are still unpacking its implications.  Here’s an all-ages guided tour through this groundbreaking idea.  The article also includes links to videos of talks for the various audiences.

b)  Nanoparticles set spinning record
If a jet engine spins faster than about 1000 Hz, the forces on its outer edge may rip it apart. But two research teams – one in Switzerland, the other in the US and China – have independently made nanoparticles rotate at over a billion Hertz, making them the fastest rotations ever produced.

Such ultrafast nanorotors could be useful for testing material properties, as well as verifying theories of frictional damping on the nanoscale. The dumbbell-shaped nanoparticles of the US-Chinese group can also form ultrasensitive torsion balances – the force sensors used to measure gravity in the 18th century. They could therefore potentially detect quantum effects in gravitation and other tiny force effects.

b)  What is Time? The Comic strip
A comic strip that takes a wry look at the physics and metaphysics of time by siblings, Eugenia Viti (the cartoonist) and Ivan Viti (the physicist).

Physics B’fast video update – Space holiday program

Two short items:

  1. Girls in Physics Breakfast Video Update
  2. Mission Discovery: Seeking mentors for a holiday program to design experiments for International Space Station

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

1.  Girls in Physics Breakfast Video Update
The last newsletter had two links to this video, one was to Monash University, which has now deleted the video and the other was to the live streaming company, which started with 30 minutes of the title before the talk actually began.  These 30 minutes have now been deleted and the video of the talk is now available on vimeo here.  Details about the talk are on our website. Vicphysics apologises for this inconvenience.

2.  Mission Discovery: Seeking mentors for a holiday program to design experiments for International Space Station.
The International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET) in association with Latitude Group Travel and Melbourne University is running an event for secondary students from 24th to 28th September.

They are seeking senior undergrads, grads, PhD students and current teachers to be mentors to the students who, in teams of 6, will design an experiment to be done in space.  The judges will pick one winning team whose experiment will go on the International Space Station.

If you wish to be a mentor, please contact Felicity Irwin at Latitude Group Travel.

For more details about the event and student registrations, click here.  The cost for the five days including lunch for an individual student is $771 + GST, there is a discount for a booking of more than 20 students. Teachers are encouraged to attend with their students at no cost.

Extra Revision paper – Girls’ Breakfast video

The current course has now been assessed twice, once in November 2017 and now with the VCE’s Northern Hemisphere program in May 2018.  This second paper will be a useful revision resource.  Detailed solutions are on the Vicphysics website.

Last Tuesday at the Girls in Physics Breakfast, 150 young women from schools, univerities and industry heard Dr Ceri Brenner talk about using the most powerful laser in the world as a tool for research in fusion and astrophysics and innovation in medical and industrial applications.  You can catch the video of her talk on our website.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 13th September 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. Video of Girls in Physics Breakfast Presentation
  2. Extra Revision Paper: The VCE Northern Hemisphere Physics Exam paper and Solutions
  3. Events for Students and the General Public
  4. Events for Teachers

5. Physics News from the Web
a) Time examined and time experienced
b)  How to build a super magnet
c)  The riddle of ultra high energy cosmic rays
d)  Review of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story: Actor and inventor

1. Video of Girls in Physics Breakfast Presentation
The presentation at the Breakfast by Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP’s Women in Physics lecturer for 2018 was recorded.
The video can be accessed from here and here. Other information is available on our website .

Dr Brenner’s topic is Pressing FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world.  Dr Ceri Brenner is a physicist at UK Research and Innovation. She spoke about how such power can be produced and how it can be used in fusion and astrophysics research as well as medical and industrial applications.

2.  Extra Revision Paper: The VCE Northern Hemisphere Physics Exam paper and Solutions
The Physics exam for the Northern Hemisphere uses the same curriculum.  So the exam that was held on Thursday, 31st May will be useful for students preparing for their physics exam in November.  The paper can be downloaded here.  Papers for other subjects can be downloaded fromhere.
Detailed solutions have been prepared with a suggested marking scheme as well as extra questions based on the stem of some of the questions.  The solutions are on our website along with those of earlier physics papers.

3.    Events for Students and the General Public
a)    Tuesday, 28th August: Tying electrons into knots,  6:30pmMonash University, Clayton Campus.
The August lecture in this series will be on Tying electrons into knots and will be given by Professor Michael Fuhrer from the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of Prof Fuhrer.
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 lectures in the series are:

  • Tuesday, 25th September – Black holes and merging neutron stars: frontiers in gravitational-wave astronomy – Dr Eric Thrane
  • Tuesday, 30th October – Neutron Stars – Prof Alexander Heger
  • Tuesday, 27th November – TBA – Assoc Prof Meera Parish

b) Tuesday, 4th September, Medical Radiations Open Night, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Moorabbin Hospital
This Open night is for students interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine.  Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information.  This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Clinic 1B, Moorabbin Hospital, 823 – 865 Centre Rd, Bentleigh East
To book: Email here by 29th August to assist with tour co-ordination.

c) Sunday, 9th September: Open Day at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 10am – 2pm, Parkville
This Open day is for students interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine.  Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information.  University course providers will also be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Venue: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre within the VCCC building at 305 Grattan St Melbourne

d)   Friday, 14th September: It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference,  Melbourne Girls’ College
This conference is designed by students and teachers for students and teachers.

The intent of the ‘It Takes a Spark’ conference is to bring together Girls and their Teachers to connect with inspiring female industry role models, share their current school based activities and projects using an authentic sharing and experiential model, create networks of teachers and student teams, and solve social justice design challenges.

The participation of the students is as important as teachers as the intent is to ignite, empower and nurture both students and teachers to be leaders of STEAM and Entrepreneurship within their schools.

Teachers will have both formal and informal opportunities to speak to other teachers who have enacted programs and activities in their schools and get their questions answered. The workshops and social justice design challenges are all hands-on so students and teachers will experience first-hand what it is like to be part of great STEAM and entrepreneurial learning.  This will spark new ideas about curriculum and pedagogy.

The event is for:

  •  those who are already (or aspire to be) technology leaders in their school,
  •  those who have little experience and those who have a lot,
  • Curriculum Coordinators– who wish to discuss how to create trans-disciplinary units that are powerfully engaging,
  • Principals and Deputy Principals – to witness what is possible by embedding the Technologies Curriculum in their school.

Cost: Teacher: $235 (early bird $195 by 24th August), Student : $33 , Includes lunch.

Check here for the details of program, speakers and the workshops for teachers and for students.

e)  Saturday, 15th September: What’s Next: Prof Kip Thorne on Gravitational waves, etc, 7:30pm, Palais Theatre, St Kilda

Let’s talk Gavitational Waves, Black Holes, Wormholes, Dark Matter and Time Travel.

See American Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Prof Kip Thorne, Astrophysicist Prof Alan Duffy and co-host of the Infinite Monkey Cage, British comedian Robin Ince.  Professor Kip Thorne will lead a panel discussion, delving into how scientific advances will change how we live our lives and how the world we live in will change forever.

Ticket prices range from $97 to $178.  To book, click here.

4.     Events for Teachers
a)         It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference, 14th September, Melbourne Girls’ College
See item 3d above

b) Lab Techs Workshop, Tuesday 18th September, Camberwell Grammar School
The all day program includes:

  • Learning new skills: i) Using and repairing multimeters, ii) Setting up a CRO for demonstrations, iii) Using a Ruhmkorff coil for high voltage demonstrations. (do two of the three, each runs for 30 mins)
  • The Van de Graaff Generator: Their care and feeding with Harvey Edwards from Principles and Practice.The frustration and hate of maintaining a VDG is fairly universal among Labies. Either you can seek help from a professional councellor or join in this workshop that will give you all the hints on how to service and maintain them with a minimum of hair pulling and swearing.  1 hour)
  • Good data in a digital world with Doug Bail from Ciderhouse. Hints, tips, tricks and techniques that help you, teachers and students make the most of the digital data acquisition available to schools.  The workshop will include some experiments, chat through tips, maintenance, calibration and analyse some data to help you support the use of this equipment.  The session will use PASCO gear but is intended for support of all equipment and particular notes will be made of options available from other suppliers. (1 hour)
  • Safe handling of ionising radiation and storage of radioactive sources (45 mins)
  • Laboratory management hints and lab tour (45 mins)
  • What is that old equipment in the back cupboard and is it of any use? (30 mins)

Cost: $60. Lunch is provided. A copy of the LTAV’s Physics Reference Manual is available at a discounted price of $20.
More details here  To book: go to Trybooking . Bookings close on Monday, 10th September.

5.   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)  Time examined and Time experienced
How we perceive and experience time is fundamental to our lives but we don’t fully understand what is a complex phenomenon. Sidney Perkowitz looks at how scientists and philosophers alike are seeking to grasp this mysterious and ever-present concept

“Time is nature’s way to keep everything from happening all at once.”

Though the meaning behind this quote could be taken literally, it reads like a joke. Thought to be originally written by the science-fiction author Ray Cummings in 1919, the phrase was used by American theoretical physicist John Wheeler in his chapter of the 1990 book Complexity, Entropy and the Physics of Information.

But Wheeler, who had a way with words, also knew how to be serious about time, and in 1986 he wrote, “Of all obstacles to a thoroughly penetrating account of existence, none looms up more dismayingly than ‘time’…To uncover the deep and hidden connection between time and existence…is a task for the future.”

The shift in tone from treating time as a joke to something deeper is a sign that we do not understand it, though, like fish in the sea, we are immersed in it. Even while expressing our ignorance about time, Wheeler himself had no choice but to self-referentially allude to one of its mysterious aspects – the future. And though he could not explain time, he reminded us that it has human as well as physical meaning when he wrote in that same chapter from 1990: “Heaven did not hand down the word ‘time’. Man invented it…or as Einstein put it, ‘Time and space are modes by which we think, and not conditions in which we live.’ ”
b)   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.

In December 2017 improvements in low-temperature-superconductor (LTS) magnet technology, together with advances in high-temperature superconducting (HTS) materials, produced another change in magnet development. The successful demonstration of a 32 T all-superconducting magnet by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) in Florida, US, was a significant milestone in the field. The new super-magnet is expected to become available to users in 2019, and its high, stable field will help scientists break new ground in studies of nuclear magnetic resonance, electron magnetic resonance, molecular solids and quantum oscillation studies of complex metals, among other areas. In the longer term, the wider availability of such strong magnetic fields is also expected to enhance our understanding of superconductors and nanomaterials, leading to new nano-devices and applications.
c) The riddle of ultra high energy cosmic rays
Ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays are the most energetic and rarest of particles in the universe – and also one of the most enigmatic. Benjamin Skuse reveals how cosmic-ray mysteries are continuing to test our understanding of high-energy physics

Far, far away, something – somewhere – is creating particles with crazy amounts of energy. Whatever they are or wherever they’re from, these particles can be anything between 1018 eV and 1020 eV. Given that the top particle energy at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is about 1013 eV, some of these particles are a million times more energetic than anything we can fashion at the most powerful particle accelerator on the planet. Quite simply, they’re the most energetic particles ever seen in nature.
d)  Review of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story: Actor and inventor
Immigrant, actor, producer, inventor, war-time fundraiser, feminist and a woman vastly ahead of her time – that’s Hedy Lamarr. A certified Hollywood movie star often dubbed “the most beautiful woman in the world”, and a bona fide ingenious engineer with a patent under her glitzy belt, Lamarr was a constant contradiction. To anyone discovering her today, it would seem as though Lamarr was misjudged, dismissed and valued only for her beauty. Lamarr’s inspiring and unconventional life – a heady (if you will excuse the pun) mix of sex, science, fame and misfortune – is perfectly brought together in the biographical documentary film Bombshell: the Hedy Lamarr Story.

VicPhys Newsletter Term 3 No 3 Livestream of B’fast talk – Competitions – Med Phys Open Days

Some highlights:

  • The Girls in Physics Breakfast on Tuesday, 21st August is fully booked and Vicphysics has arranged for the talk by Dr Ceri Brenner to be streamed live.  Her talk will begin at8:20am and finish about 9:25am.
  • There has been a tremendous response to the Physics Extravaganza that will be on at Swinburne University on this Friday, 17th August.  Bookings are likely to close prior to the event.
  • Vicphysics runs a few competitions for students.  They include photo and video competitions as well as one for the poster for Unit 2 Area of Study ‘Practical Investigations’.
  • There are now two venues offering ‘Open Days’ on Medical Physics, although one is at night, a day one at Peter Mac and an evening one at Moorabbin Hospital.
  • Peter Cheung from Nagle College in Bairnsdale is offering a workshop on Special Relativity at his school on the afternoon of Monday, 27th August.

There are also a large range of events for students in the coming weeks.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 13th Septemberat 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. Live stream of the talk at the Girls in Physics Breakfast, 8:20am, Tuesday, 21st August
  2. Physics Competitions for Students
  3. Workshop of Special Relativity, 3:30pm, Monday 27th August, Bairnsdale
  4. Physics Days at Luna Park for 2019
  5. Events for Students and the General Public
  6. Events for Teachers

7. Physics News from the Web
a) The physics of baking good pizza
b)  The dark energy deniers
c)  Did dark matter have a chilling effect on the early universe?

1. Live Stream of the talk at the Girls in Physics Breakfast, 8:20am, Tuesday, 21st August
The Breakfast is fully booked and Vicphysics is live streaming the talk by Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP’s Women in Physics lecturer for 2018.  The talk will start at 8:20am and finish at 9:25am.
The video link and more details are available on our website and the video can also be accessed from here and here. Questions for the speaker can be through events@vicphysics.org  The video file will be available after the event.

Dr Brenner’s topic is Pressing FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world.  Dr Ceri Brenner is a physicist at UK Research and Innovation. She is using the most powerful lasers in the world to develop innovative imaging technology for medical, nuclear and aerospace inspection. She has a unique role that spans research, innovation and business development and is driving the translation of laser-driven accelerator research into industrial applications that impact our society.

This event is sponsored by ANSTO, Vicphysics Teachers’ Network, the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies (FLEET), and supported by Federal Government’s Inspiring Australia – Inspiring Science Program.

2. Physics Competitions for Students
Vicphysics runs the following competitions for secondary students.  Each competition has book voucher prizes:
a) Photo Competition: The contest is open to students in Victorian schools. Entrants must submit their photos by email attachment. In addition entrants must print out, complete, sign, and mail the Contest Rules and Entry Agreement available at this webpage.  Entries are due by the first Friday of Term 4.
b) Video Competition: The contest is open to students in Victorian schools. The subject of teh video must relate to an aspect of the VCE Physics Curriculum. The video may not be longer than three minutes in length. In addition entrants must print out, complete, sign, and mail the Contest Rules and Entry Agreement available at this webpage. Entries are due by the first Friday of Term 4.
c) Practical Investigation Poster Competition: For Year 11 students.  There is a maximum of ten prizes, the entry of each prize winner must satisfy the list of criteria on this webpage.  Entries must be submitted as a one page pdf.  The posters must be sent as an email attachment by the teacher to Vicphysics by the second Friday of Term 4.  Successful entries with judges’ comments are also on the webpage.

3.  Workshop on Special Relativity, 3:30pm, 27th August, Bairnsdale. 
Peter Cheung from Nagle College will be running a workshop on the Lorentz Transformation and Minkowski diagram.
The time:         Monday, 27th August 2018,  3:30 to 5:00 pm.
Venue:             Nagle College, Bairnsdale
To book, please contact the school on Phone: 5152 6122

4.  Physics Days at Luna Park in 2019
The dates for 2019 are Tuesday, 5th March to Friday, 8th March.  The bookings are not open yet, but you can now begin the administrivia of getting permission.  Extra rides are being planned by Luna Park.  More details later in the year.

5.    Events for Students and the General Public
a) Monday, 13th August: Would you Survive on Mars?, 7:00pm Monash University

Venue: G09 lecture room, 9 Rainforest Walk, Monash University
Bookings and Map: Free. Click here.
Mars is our favourite planet and the only other planet in the Solar system where humans will live one day. But stories that are often told about Mars, mostly by popular sci-fi movies, paint a hostile world. These stories focus on challenges of survival in a harsh environment (“The Martian”, “Red planet”), fear of invasion by Martians (“The War of the Worlds”, “Life”), origin of life and human species (“Mission to Mars”), an environmental and ethical impact of humanity on another planet (“Total recall”), and whether it’s ethical to even raise humans on Mars (“The Space between Us”).
This is an interactive talk that would challenge your knowledge about real Mars and test your skills of survival on another planet while discussing fun science from sci-fi movies.  After the talk, there is a chance to observe Mars and other delights of the night sky, weather permitting.
The event is organised by FLEET, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies.
Their free massive open online course “How to survive on Mars – the Science Behind the Human Exploration of Mars” opened on 6th August – all welcome!

b)  Tuesday, 14th August: Carbon, Clean Energy, Climate Change and how Chemistry is the solution, 5:30pm, University of Melbourne
To celebrate National Science Week RACI are hold a FREE Public Lectureship on: If the world has to go ‘carbon neutral’ what exactly will this look like and how are we going to achieve this?
The link and solution between carbon emissions, climate change and a future of clean energy is through chemistry; from removing our dependence on fossil fuels that powers our modern society, the physical chemistry behind carbon dioxide that is causing climate change, to the ability to develop cheap clean alternative energy sources.
This conversation will focus on how we produce and use energy, altering how the large industries that drive our economy operate, to the manufacture of common products that we take for granted in everyday lives.

Dr Colin Scholes from The University of Melbourne; will explore how our energy sector, mineral and chemical processing industries, transportation and even how we grow food will be transformed as we adapt to clean energy, future fuels and ‘zero-footprint’ products as we use chemistry to remove carbon from the equation.

This event is supported by The Royal Society of Victoria and The University of Melbourne Therapeutic Technologies Hallmark.
When: Tuesday 14 August 2018
Time: 5.30pm – 7pm
Where: ESJ King Theatre, University of Melbourne, Grattan St, Parkville.
Cost: FREE
Please Click Here to Register.

c)  Thursday, 16th AugustSeven Mysteries of Modern Physics: from dark matter to oscillating neutrinos1:45pm, Kardinia International School, Geelong
Dr Catalina Curceanu, the AIP Women in Physics lecturer from 2016, will be in Melbourne in mid August and she has agreed to speak in Geelong to complement the regional spread of physics talks happening in August.

Her topic is Seven Mysteries of Modern Physics: from dark matter to oscillating neutrinos and she will talk about: Is there anything left to do for the next generations of researchers in fundamental physics?

We shall answer this provocative question by discussing seven major unsolved mysteries of Modern Physics, just to show to the “next generation” that there are many important things to be done in science, in physics in particular. We will discuss items ranging from dark matter and energy, to the interior of black hole and the intimate structure of a neutron star, and explore the Schrodinger cat paradox, to end with something we know exists, but do not know how large it is: neutrino masses, and with something else we do not even know exists: one or more parallel Universes. This is the best moment to study science!

Dr Curceanu leads a research team performing nuclear and fundamental physics experiments on the DAPHNE collider at Frascati and at the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso in Italy.

Time: 1:45pm
Venue: Kardinia International College, 29 – 31 Kardinia Drive, Bell Post Hill.
To Book: Please email Vicphysics with student numbers and their Year level(s)

d) Thursday, 16th August: Three Years of Winter: The (Scientific) Story behind Shelley’s Frankenstein, 7:00pm Monash University

Venue: G09 lecture room, 9 Rainforest Walk, Monash University
Bookings and Map: Free Click here.
”It was a dark and stormy night…” …hold on a minute, let’s ditch this cliched horror story! It was actually a hot and tropical April in 1815, prior to the terror that would engulf the inhabitants of Sumbawa, Indonesia. In this gothic tale that weaves art and science, Monash University’s Dr James Driscoll will focus on the geological and climatic catastrophe that created the conditions for the writing of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, three years later and half a world away. We’ll also explore the science of catastrophic volcanic eruptions and comment on the present volcanic hazards of Victoria.

e)  Physics Extravaganza, Friday evening, 17th August at Swinburne University.
Two public Lectures, an Art exhibition, refreshments at interval and Telescope viewing are on offer.
The program is:

  • 4:30pm. Igniting stars with super intense lasers with Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2018. Dr Brenner is a laser physicist from the UK Research and Innovation and will be speaking as part of her national tour.   See details below.
  • 5:30pm. Deeper Darker Brighter: An Art exhibition with refreshments provided.
  • 6:30pm. State of the Universe VIII – the people’s edition with Dr Rebecca Allen, Swinburne University.  See details below.
  • 7:30pm Telescope viewing. Weather permitting.

Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Rd) Map.
Refreshments will be provided in the hour between the two talks.
Cost: Free
For more details and a flyer, click here 
To book, click here.  Note: You will need to tick which sessions you want to attend.  This will assist with the catering and while the venue is large, the Swinburne lectures are popular.

Igniting stars with super intense lasers with Dr Ceri Brenner
Time4.30pm to 5.30pm
Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2018, will speak on ‘Igniting stars with super intense lasers’. She says of her talk ‘When we press FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world, we deliver a packet of light that is a thousand billion billion times more intense than sunlight. We can use this extreme power to recreate the conditions at the centre of Sun and in the process release vast amounts of energy in a clean and safe way. Harnessing this power for electricity generation is an inspiring story. It combines pure and applied physics and requires engineering to handle the most extreme conditions in our solar system!

State of the Universe VIII – the people’s edition with Dr Rebecca Allen, Swinburne University.
Time6.30pm to 7.30pm
Whether it is depending on the stars in the sky to navigate a ship’s journey or developing technology that enables the successful landing of a rover on a distant planet, space has always been part of who we are. In this special edition of State of the Universe, Dr Rebecca Allen will discuss some of the contemporary men and women who have advanced the studies of and journeys into the Cosmos, and where we are today.

f)    Sunday, 19th August: Inspiring Illumination, Creative Curiosity, 2:30pm, Art Gallery of Ballarat
Time2.30pm to 3.30pm
Venue: Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard St Nth, Ballarat.
As part of the National Science Week program on Art and Science, Dr Ceri Brenner speaks on Lasers and Art.  Lasers are a beautiful and powerful tool. They’re fascinating to observe and inspiring to study. In describing scientists and artists, artist Alistair McClymont remarks: “both ultimately search for truth and both see beauty in that truth”. Dr Ceri Brenner reveals the beauty behind her work with the most powerful lasers in the world, how she is inspired by the world-changing applications that she and her team work on and the extreme technology she gets to work with.
Bookings: The lecture is free, but booking is essential.  Please click here.

g)    Monday, 20th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, 9:30am, La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus
La Trobe University is organising a Science Day featuring activities and talks.  The program includes Robot Rule workshops (1 hour) at  9:30am11:00am and 2:00pm, a Lasertag workshop (2 hour) at 9:30am  and a lecture at 12:30pm by Dr Ceri Brenner from the UK, the AIP Women in Physics lecturer for 2018 will speak on her work with lasers.

For more details of the day or to book teh workshops, please contact Rachel Meredith . Schools wishing to book the lecture, please use this form.  All workshops are offered at no charge to schools.

h)    Tuesday, 28th August: Tying electrons into knots,  6:30pmMonash University, Clayton Campus.
The August lecture in this series will be on Tying electrons into knots and will be given by Professor Michael Fuhrer from the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of Prof Fuhrer.
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 lectures in the series are:

  • Tuesday, 25th September – Black holes and merging neutron stars: frontiers in gravitational-wave astronomy – Dr Eric Thrane
  • Tuesday, 30th October – Neutron Stars – Prof Alexander Heger
  • Tuesday, 27th November – TBA – Assoc Prof Meera Parish

i) Tuesday, 4th September, Medical Radiations Open Night, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Moorabbin Hospital
This Open night is for students interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine.  Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information.  This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Clinic 1B, Moorabbin Hospital, 823 – 865 Centre Rd, Bentleigh East
To book: Email here by 29th August to assist with tour co-ordination.

j) Sunday, 9th September: Open Day at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 10am – 2pm, Parkville
This Open day is for students interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine.  Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information.  University course providers will also be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time10:00am to 2:00pm
Venue: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre within the VCCC building at 305 Grattan St Melbourne

k)   Friday, 14th September: It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference,  Melbourne Girls’ College
This conference is designed by students and teachers for students and teachers.

The intent of the ‘It Takes a Spark’ conference is to bring together Girls and their Teachers to connect with inspiring female industry role models, share their current school based activities and projects using an authentic sharing and experiential model, create networks of teachers and student teams, and solve social justice design challenges.

The participation of the students is as important as teachers as the intent is to ignite, empower and nurture both students and teachers to be leaders of STEAM and Entrepreneurship within their schools.

Teachers will have both formal and informal opportunities to speak to other teachers who have enacted programs and activities in their schools and get their questions answered. The workshops and social justice design challenges are all hands-on so students and teachers will experience first-hand what it is like to be part of great STEAM and entrepreneurial learning.  This will spark new ideas about curriculum and pedagogy.

The event is for:

  •  those who are already (or aspire to be) technology leaders in their school,
  •  those who have little experience and those who have a lot,
  • Curriculum Coordinators– who wish to discuss how to create trans-disciplinary units that are powerfully engaging,
  • Principals and Deputy Principals – to witness what is possible by embedding the Technologies Curriculum in their school.

Cost: Teacher: $235 (early bird $195 by 24th August), Student : $33 , Includes lunch.

Check here for the details of program, speakers and the workshops for teachers and for students.

l)  Saturday, 15th September: What’s Next: Prof Kip Thorne on Gravitational waves, etc, 7:30pm, Palais Theatre, St Kilda

Let’s talk Gavitational Waves, Black Holes, Wormholes, Dark Matter and Time Travel.

See American Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Prof Kip Thorne, Astrophysicist Prof Alan Duffy and co-host of the Infinite Monkey Cage, British comedian Robin Ince.  Professor Kip Thorne will lead a panel discussion, delving into how scientific advances will change how we live our lives and how the world we live in will change forever.

Ticket prices range from $97 to $178.  To book, click here.

6.     Events for Teachers
a)         It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference, 14th SeptemberMelbourne Girls’ College
See item 5k above

b) Lab Techs Workshop, Tuesday 18th September, Camberwell Grammar School
The all day program includes:

  • Learning new skills: i) Using and repairing multimeters, ii) Setting up a CRO for demonstrations, iii) Using a Ruhmkorff coil for high voltage demonstrations. (do two of the three, each runs for 30 mins)
  • The Van de Graaff Generator: Their care and feeding with Harvey Edwards from Principles and Practice.The frustration and hate of maintaining a VDG is fairly universal among Labies. Either you can seek help from a professional councellor or join in this workshop that will give you all the hints on how to service and maintain them with a minimum of hair pulling and swearing.  1 hour)
  • Good data in a digital world with Doug Bail from Ciderhouse. Hints, tips, tricks and techniques that help you, teachers and students make the most of the digital data acquisition available to schools.  The workshop will include some experiments, chat through tips, maintenance, calibration and analyse some data to help you support the use of this equipment.  The session will use PASCO gear but is intended for support of all equipment and particular notes will be made of options available from other suppliers. (1 hour)
  • Safe handling of ionising radiation and storage of radioactive sources (45 mins)
  • Laboratory management hints and lab tour (45 mins)
  • What is that old equipment in the back cupboard and is it of any use? (30 mins)

Cost: $60. Lunch is provided. A copy of the LTAV’s Physics Reference Manual is available at a discounted price of $20.
More details here  To book: go to Trybooking . Bookings close on Monday, 10th September.

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) The physics of baking good pizza
Physical principles are involved in almost any aspect of cooking. Here we analyze the specific process of baking pizzas, deriving in simple terms the baking times for two different situations: For a brick oven in a pizzeria and a modern metallic oven at home.  Our study is based on basic thermodynamic principles relevant to the cooking process and is accessible to undergraduate students. We start with a historical overview of the development and art of pizza baking, illustrate the underlying physics by some simple common examples, and then apply them in detail to the example of baking pizza.

A research article by Andrey Varlamov, Andreas Glatz, Sergio Grasso.

b) The dark energy deniers
The discovery that the universe is expanding with increasing speed may have bagged a Nobel prize, but some cosmologists are still not sure if dark energy is the explanation for it. Keith Cooper looks at the arguments for and against this mysterious phenomenon

It was the most profound discovery in cosmology since the detection of the faint radio hiss from the cosmic microwave background (CMB). In 1998 two teams of researchers, locked in a fierce rivalry to be the first to measure the expansion rate of the universe, independently announced that they had arrived at the same startling conclusion: the expansion of the universe is not slowing down as expected, but is speeding up. The discovery led to the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics being awarded to the two team leaders – Brian Schmidt of the High-Z Supernova Search Team and Saul Perlmutterof the Supernova Cosmology Project – as well as Schmidt’s teammate, Adam Riess, who was the first to plot the data and realize that the universe is not behaving as it should.

c)  Did dark matter have a chilling effect on the early universe?
New research lends further support to the idea that a detection of surprisingly strong absorption by primordial hydrogen gas, reported earlier this year, could be evidence of dark matter. The new results, described in three papers in Physical Review Letters, are theoretical and do not settle the issue. Indeed, one group is sceptical of the dark-matter interpretation. But the work heightens interest in ongoing observations of the “cosmic dawn”, with new results from radio telescopes expected within the next year.

According to cosmologists, the hydrogen gas that existed in the very early universe was in thermal equilibrium with the cosmic microwave background (CMB), which meant that the gas would not have been visible either through absorption of the microwave photons or through emission. But at the start of the cosmic dawn about 100 million years after the Big Bang, ultraviolet light from the first stars would have excited the hydrogen atoms and shifted the distribution of electrons within the lower and upper levels of the hyperfine transition. As such, the hydrogen would have started to absorb much more radiation at the transition wavelength (21 cm), which would be seen today as a dip at longer, re-shifted wavelengths in the CMB spectrum.

Website: New look – Lab Techs Workshop – B’fast Update

The webpages for the Units 2 and 4 Areas of Study on the Vicphysics website have been re-designed to give easier access to the large amount of material that we have accumulated over the years.  We welcome your feedback on the new design.

We are repeating last year’s popular Lab Techs Workshop on Tuesday, 17th September, but this year the program gives more time to each serving, rather than offering a smorgasbord of many smaller items.

Bookings are coming in for the Girls in Physics Breakfast.  The first Synchrotron Tour group is now full, there are still spaces in the other tour groups.

The Physics Extravaganza at Swinburne University on Friday 17th August is now even bigger.  In between the two lectures at 4:30pm and 6:30pm, there will be an Art Exhibition looking at Science through Art, refreshments will be available.  After the last talk there will also be Telescope viewing (weather permitting).

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 9th August 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. New look to Vicphysics Website
  2. Lab Techs Workshop, Tuesday, 18th September, Camberwell Grammar School
  3. Quantum Biology: A good reference
  4. Events for Students and the General Public
  5. Events for Teachers

6. Physics News from the Web
a) Rooted in Physics: Plant roots and Electric Fields
b) Super Window uses krypton to reduce energy costs
c) The Physics of Soccer – Magnus effect

 

1.  New look to Vicphysics Website
Many of the webpages for the various Areas of Study now have so many resources listed it is difficult to know where to start. To provide some structure, the webpages for the Units 2 and 4 Areas of Study now have a table at the top with the content sections down the side and the types of resources, e.g. Texts, Activities, Assessment, Useful Weblinks, across the top.  Each cell in the table has either ‘Yes’ or ‘None’  The ‘Yes’ is an active link to the resources of that type for that section.

Example for Unit 4: How can waves explain the behaviour of light?

Topic Texts Activities Assessment Useful weblinks
Types of Waves Yes Yes Aspects of Sound Yes
Doppler effect None Yes None Yes
Refraction and Dispersion Yes Yes None Yes
Resonance None Yes None Yes
Diffraction and Interference None Yes None Yes
Light as a Wave None None Aspects of Light Yes
Polarisation None None None Yes

We welcome your feedback on this design, before we update the other webpages.  Please check them out at Unit 4 Light and wavesUnit 4 Light and matter and Unit 2 Motion.  Unit 1 Thermal Physics has an earlier method of organising the content.

2.  Lab Techs Workshop, Tuesday 18th September, Camberwell Grammar School
The all day program includes:

  • Learning new skills: i) Using and repairing multimeters, ii) Setting up a CRO for demonstrations, iii) Using a Ruhmkorff coil for high voltage demonstrations. (do two of the three, each runs for 30 mins)
  • The Van de Graaff Generator: Their care and feeding with Harvey Edwards from Principles and Practice.The frustration and hate of maintaining a VDG is fairly universal among Labies. Either you can seek help from a professional councellor or join in this workshop that will give you all the hints on how to service and maintain them with a minimum of hair pulling and swearing.  1 hour)
  • Good data in a digital world with Doug Bail from Ciderhouse. Hints, tips, tricks and techniques that help you, teachers and students make the most of the digital data acquisition available to schools.  The workshop will include some experiments, chat through tips, maintenance, calibration and analyse some data to help you support the use of this equipment.  The session will use PASCO gear but is intended for support of all equipment and particular notes will be made of options available from other suppliers. (1 hour)
  • Safe handling of ionising radiation and storage of radioactive sources (45 mins)
  • Laboratory management hints and lab tour (45 mins)
  • What is that old equipment in the back cupboard and is it of any use? (30 mins)

Cost: $60. Lunch is provided. A copy of the LTAV’s Physics Reference Manual is available at a discounted price of $20.
More details here  To book: go to Trybooking . Bookings close on Monday, 10th September.

3.  Quantum Biology: A good reference
The July lecture in Physics this Friday is on Quantum Mechanics and Biology, see item 5a below.
Steve Draper recommends as a really good book on the subject:  ‘Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology’ by the Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden.  It is available from Booktopia for AU$20, or as an eBook for AU$15.
Other Resources:

  •  A TED talk by Jim Al-Khalili: ‘How quantum Biology might explain life’s biggest questions
  •   Quantum Aspects of Life A 468 page pdf book by Derek Abbott, Paul C. W. Davies and Arun Pati
  •  Last week’s newsletter had an item in the Physics on the Physics on the Web section ‘ Is photosynthesis quantum-ish?

4.    Events for Students and the General Public
a)   Tuesday, 31st July: Discovery of the first Baby Planet.  6:30pm Monash University, Clayton campus
The next lecture in this series will be on the Discovery of the first Baby Planet and will be given by Assoc Professor Daniel Price, Senior lecturer in the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of A/Prof Price.

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 lectures in the series are:

  • Tuesday, 28th August – Tying electrons into knots – Prof Michael Fuhrer
  • Tuesday, 25th September – Black holes and merging neutron stars: frontiers in gravitational-wave astronomy – Dr Eric Thrane
  • Tuesday, 30th October – Neutron Stars – Prof Alexander Heger
  • Tuesday, 27th November – TBA – Assoc Prof Meera Parish

b)  Tuesday, 14th August: Carbon, Clean Energy, Climate Change and how Chemistry is the solution, 5:30pm, University of Melbourne
To celebrate National Science Week RACI are hold a FREE Public Lectureship on: If the world has to go ‘carbon neutral’ what exactly will this look like and how are we going to achieve this?
The link and solution between carbon emissions, climate change and a future of clean energy is through chemistry; from removing our dependence on fossil fuels that powers our modern society, the physical chemistry behind carbon dioxide that is causing climate change, to the ability to develop cheap clean alternative energy sources.
This conversation will focus on how we produce and use energy, altering how the large industries that drive our economy operate, to the manufacture of common products that we take for granted in everyday lives.

Dr Colin Scholes from The University of Melbourne; will explore how our energy sector, mineral and chemical processing industries, transportation and even how we grow food will be transformed as we adapt to clean energy, future fuels and ‘zero-footprint’ products as we use chemistry to remove carbon from the equation.

This event is supported by The Royal Society of Victoria and The University of Melbourne Therapeutic Technologies Hallmark.
When: Tuesday 14 August 2018
Time: 5.30pm – 7pm
Where: ESJ King Theatre, University of Melbourne, Grattan St, Parkville.
Cost: FREE
Please Click Here to Register.

c)  Thursday, 16th AugustSeven Mysteries of Modern Physics: from dark matter to oscillating neutrinos1:45pm, Kardinia International School, Geelong
Dr Catalina Curceanu, the AIP Women in Physics lecturer from 2016, will be in Melbourne in mid August and she has agreed to speak in Geelong to complement the regional spread of physics talks happening in August.

Her topic is Seven Mysteries of Modern Physics: from dark matter to oscillating neutrinos and she will talk about: Is there anything left to do for the next generations of researchers in fundamental physics?

We shall answer this provocative question by discussing seven major unsolved mysteries of Modern Physics, just to show to the “next generation” that there are many important things to be done in science, in physics in particular. We will discuss items ranging from dark matter and energy, to the interior of black hole and the intimate structure of a neutron star, and explore the Schrodinger cat paradox, to end with something we know exists, but do not know how large it is: neutrino masses, and with something else we do not even know exists: one or more parallel Universes. This is the best moment to study science!

Dr Curceanu leads a research team performing nuclear and fundamental physics experiments on the DAPHNE collider at Frascati and at the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso in Italy.

Time: 1:45pm
Venue: Kardinia International College, 29 – 31 Kardinia Drive, Bell Post Hill.
To Book: Please email Vicphysics with student numbers and their Year level(s)

c)   Friday, 18th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, 4:30pm, Swinburne University
Time4.30pm to 5.30pm *
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC building, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Rd)Map
Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2018, will speak on ‘Igniting stars with super intense lasers’. She says of her talk ‘When we press FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world, we deliver a packet of light that is a thousand billion billion times more intense than sunlight. We can use this extreme power to recreate the conditions at the centre of Sun and in the process release vast amounts of energy in a clean and safe way. Harnessing this power for electricity generation is an inspiring story. It combines pure and applied physics and requires engineering to handle the most extreme conditions in our solar system!

*After the talk there will be an Art Exhbition combined with refreshments.  The Exhibtion ‘Deeper Darker Brighter’ Art conveys the wonder of science through art. Pamela Bain and Carolyn Lewens explore the universe with Swinburne University Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing resulting in an odyssey of aesthetic and sensory experiences.  The refreshments will be provided by the AIP Victorian Branch and participants can stay on for the talk by Dr Rebecca Allen which starts at 6:30pm, see details below.
Bookings: The lecture and refreshments are free and booking will be required, but the details are yet to be finalised.

d)    Friday, 18th August: State of the Universe VIII, 6:30pm, Swinburne University
Speaker: Dr Rebecca Allen from Swinburne University
Topic: State of the Universe VIII – the people’s edition 
Whether it is depending on the stars in the sky to navigate a ship’s journey or developing technology that enables the successful landing of a rover on a distant planet, space has always been part of who we are. In this special edition of State of the Universe, Dr Rebecca Allen will discuss some of the contemporary men and women who have advanced the studies of and journeys into the Cosmos, and where we are today.
Time6.30pm to 7.30pm
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC building, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Rd)Map
To register click here .
There will also be telescope viewing afterwards 7:30 – 8:30pm, (weather permitting).

e)    Sunday, 19th August: Inspiring Illumination, Creative Curiosity, 2:30pm, Art Gallery of Ballarat
Time2.30pm to 3.30pm
Venue: Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard St Nth, Ballarat.
As part of the National Science Week program on Art and Science, Dr Ceri Brenner speaks on Lasers and Art.  Lasers are a beautiful and powerful tool. They’re fascinating to observe and inspiring to study. In describing scientists and artists, artist Alistair McClymont remarks: “both ultimately search for truth and both see beauty in that truth”. Dr Ceri Brenner reveals the beauty behind her work with the most powerful lasers in the world, how she is inspired by the world-changing applications that she and her team work on and the extreme technology she gets to work with.
Bookings: The lecture is free, but booking is essential.  Please click here.

f)    Monday, 20th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, 9:30am, La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus
La Trobe University is organising a Science Day featuring activities and talks.  The program includes Robot Rule workshops (1 hour) at  9:30am11:00am and 2:00pm, a Lasertag workshop (2 hour) at 9:30am  and a lecture at 12:30pm by Dr Ceri Brenner from the UK, the AIP Women in Physics lecturer for 2018 will speak on her work with lasers.

For more details of the day or to book teh workshops, please contact Rachel Meredith . Schools wishing to book the lecture, please use this form.  All workshops are offered at no charge to schools.

g) Tuesday, 21st AugustGirls in Physics Breakfast – Monash University, Clayton Campus    
The last breakfast for the year will be held on Tuesday, 21st August at Monash University.  The speaker will be Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP’s Women in Physics lecturer for 2018.  Dr Brenner will be speaking as part of a national tour in August.

The breakfast is for students in Years 10 to 12.  At the breakfast the students will share a table with two or three young women in the early stages of a career in science or engineering.  The students have a chance to ask questions about their careers and what study at university is like.  Students will be seated with students from other schools.

As student at last year’s event said: ‘I was talking to a guest at my table and her career sounded so amazing.  Then I realised that in 8 years that could be me.  I got so excited.

Dr Brenner’s topic is Pressing FIRE on the most powerful laser in the worldDr Ceri Brenner is a physicist at UK Research and Innovation. She is using the most powerful lasers in the world to develop innovative imaging technology for medical, nuclear and aerospace inspection. She has a unique role that spans research, innovation and business development and is driving the translation of laser-driven accelerator research into industrial applications that impact our society.

Times: The Breakfast will start at 7:30am and finish about 9:30am.
Program: After the breakfast for those opting to stay on, there are two additional activities :

  • A 90 min tour of the Australian Synchrotron, a walk away in Blackburn Rd.  There is a maximum group size for the Synchrotron Tours with tours starting 10:0010:3011:00 and 11:30, so a specific time needs to be selected when booking. Note: The 10:00am tour is fully booked
  • A set of three activities on Careers in STEM  each of which lasts for 30 minutes. The activities are: i) People Like Me Quiz and Job Roles Analysis, ii) Panel of Guests and Case Studies analysis and iii) Video on ‘Keeping Doors Open’ and Activities with Careers posters. The students booked in the first tour group will head off straight after the breakfast. They can do the first activity at the Synchrotron after the tour. For students in the other tour groups, the activities will be done at Monash, with the second tour group doing first activity before it heads off for the Synchrotron and so on for the other tour groups.

Please check the website for information about the tours and the activities. Please note: The person making the booking will need information about which tour time the school prefers as well as details about the students and teachers attending.

The Cost per student is $15 with teachers free.  There is no extra cost for the additional optional activities.

Max number of students per school.  To enable more schools to participate, there is an initial maximum of six (6) students per school.

Bookings is through Trybooking.  The person making the booking will need to know their preferred Synchrotron Tour and the names and any dietary requirements of the students and teachers coming to the event.  Please note: Trybooking transactions require a credit card.

Check our website for further details and flyers to promote the event in your school.  They contain:

  • the address of the venue,
  • a biography of the speaker and
  • the abstract of her talk.

This event is sponsored by ANSTO, Vicphysics Teachers’ Network, the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies (FLEET), and supported by Federal Government’s Inspiring Australia – Inspiring Science Program.

h)    Tuesday, 28th August: Tying electrons into knots,  6:30pmMonashUniversity, Clayton Campus.
The August lecture in this series will be on Tying electrons into knots and will be given by Professor Michael Fuhrer from the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of Prof Fuhrer. See details of the venue, check under a) above.

i) Sunday, 9th September: Open Day at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 10am – 2pm, Parkville
This Open day is for studenst interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medecine.  Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information.  University course providers will also be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time10:00am to 2:00pm
Venue: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre within the VCCC building at 305 Grattan St Melbourne

j)   Friday, 14th September: It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference,  Melbourne Girls’ College
This conference is designed by students and teachers for students and teachers.

The intent of the ‘It Takes a Spark’ conference is to bring together Girls and their Teachers to connect with inspiring female industry role models, share their current school based activities and projects using an authentic sharing and experiential model, create networks of teachers and student teams, and solve social justice design challenges.

The participation of the students is as important as teachers as the intent is to ignite, empower and nurture both students and teachers to be leaders of STEAM and Entrepreneurship within their schools.

Teachers will have both formal and informal opportunities to speak to other teachers who have enacted programs and activities in their schools and get their questions answered. The workshops and social justice design challenges are all hands-on so students and teachers will experience first-hand what it is like to be part of great STEAM and entrepreneurial learning.  This will spark new ideas about curriculum and pedagogy.

The event is for:

  •  those who are already (or aspire to be) technology leaders in their school,
  •  those who have little experience and those who have a lot,
  • Curriculum Coordinators– who wish to discuss how to create trans-disciplinary units that are powerfully engaging,
  • Principals and Deputy Principals – to witness what is possible by embedding the Technologies Curriculum in their school.

Cost: Teacher: $235 (early bird $195 by 24th August), Student : $33 , Includes lunch.

Check here for the details of program, speakers and the workshops for teachers and for students.

k)  Saturday, 15th September: What’s Next: Prof Kip Thorne on Gravitational waves, etc, 7:30pm, Palais Theatre, St Kilda

Let’s talk Gavitational Waves, Black Holes, Wormholes, Dark Matter and Time Travel.

See American Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Prof Kip Thorne, Astrophysicist Prof Alan Duffy and co-host of the Infinite Monkey Cage, British comedian Robin Ince.  Professor Kip Thorne will lead a panel discussion, delving into how scientific advances will change how we live our lives and how the world we live in will change forever.

Ticket prices range from $97 to $178.  To book, click here.

5.     Events for Teachers
a)    July Lectures in Physics, 6:30pm, Fridays in July, University of Melbourne
Venue:.  Basement Theatre B117, Melbourne School of Design, Masson Road.  Check here for details and map.
27th July: Quantum Mechanics and Biology: What are the Prospects?
Speaker: Dr David Simpson
Abstract: The rise of quantum technology brings with it exciting new opportunities in computation and communication. Now biology is set to benefit from this revolution. This lecture looks at how quantum technology and biology are coming together to provide new insights into how birds navigate and how living organisms assemble incredibly complex structures. In addressing these questions, we will explore where this technological revolution can take us in the coming decades.

b)         It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference, 14th SeptemberMelbourne Girls’ College
See item 2e above

6.   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) Rooted in Physics: Plant roots and Electric Fields
Roots are fundamental to a plant’s survival, but some of their behaviour at a cellular level remains a mystery to scientists. How can electric fields affect root growth and regeneration?

Roots are complex branched systems whose topology and structure determine the entire physiology of the plants above them. The tip of each branched root has distinct regions where different cell activities take place. At the very end there is the “meristem” where cell divisions occur. Moving up the root, an “elongation zone” comes next where the cells stop dividing and instead elongate. It is followed by a “differentiation zone” where the cells stop elongating and start differentiating.  The direction and rate of root tip growth are influenced by the signals they perceive from the environment, and the organization of the internal tissue within each root tip plays a big role in this root-soil interaction.

b) Super Window uses krypton to reduce energy costs
The(Berkeley Lab) has joined forces with window companies to resurrect its “thin triple” super window design, first patented in 1991.   new collaboration aims to commercialise the super window, which is at least twice as insulating as 98% of the windows for sale today – potentially halving the estimated $20 billion in heating energy lost every year by windows in the US.

The new design is an evolution of the common double-glazed window. It has two layers of 3 mm thick glass that sandwich a third layer of very thin glass that is less than 1 mm thick. A standard low-emissivity coating that helps to block long-wave infrared rays is applied to the thin central glass. Finally, argon that would usually fill the double-glazed window cavity to reduce heat transfer is replaced by krypton, which has superior insulating properties.

c) The Physics of Soccer – Magnus effect
Roberto Carlos last year took a free kick. The ball was placed about 30 m from his opponents’ goal and slightly to the right. Carlos hit the ball so far to the right that it initially cleared the wall of defenders by at least a metre and made a ball-boy, who stood metres from the goal, duck his head. Then, almost magically, the ball curved to the left and entered the top right-hand corner of the goal – to the amazement of players, the goalkeeper and the media alike. Apparently, Carlos practised this kick all the time on the training ground. He intuitively knew how to curve the ball by hitting it at a particular velocity and with a particular spin. He probably did not, however, know the physics behind it all.

VicPhys News No. 1 Term 3

Girls in Physics Breakfast – Citizen Science – STEM Resources – Physics Lectures

Bookings are now open for the final Girls in Physics Breakfast for 2018.  It will be at Monash University on Tuesday 21st August.  Students from Years 10 to 12 share a table with two or three young women in various stages of a career in physics or engineering.  The speaker will be the AIP’s Women in Physics Lecturer for 2018, Dr Ceri Brenner from the UK.  Students also have the opportunity to go on a tour of the Australian Synchrotron and engage in various activities on Careers in STEM.

Dr Brenner is also speaking on the Friday before at Swinburne University as part of a Physics Extravaganza with two talks in the one night with refreshments available in the hour between.

There are also regional talks.  Dr Brenner will also speak in Ballarat on the Sunday and in Bendigo on the Monday, while the 2016 WIP Lecturer, Dr Catalina Curceanu from Italy, will be speaking in Geelong on the Thursday before.

For teachers, the July Lectures in Physics continue and there is information on two websites of resources, one on Citizen Science projects and the other on STEM Resources.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be at 5pm on Thursday, 19th July 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. Girls in Physics Breakfast, 21st August, Monash University, Clayton Campus
  2. Citizen Science: Activities for Students
  3. STEM Resources from Vivify
  4. Events for Students and the General Public
    • Tuesday 31st July: Discovery of the first Baby Planet, 6:30pm, MonashUniversity, Clayton
    • Tuesday, 14th August: Carbon, Clean Energy, Climate Change and how Chemistry is the Solution, 5:30pm, University of Melbourne
    • Thursday, 16th August1:45pm, Kardinia International College, Geelong
    • Friday, 18th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, 4:30pm, Swinburne University
    • Friday, 18th August: State of the Universe, 6:30pm, Swinburne University
    • Sunday, 19th August: Inspiring Illumination, Creative Curiosity, 2:30pm, Art Gallery of Ballarat
    • Monday, 20th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, La Trobe Unversity, Bendigo Campus
    • Tuesday, 28th August: Tying Electrons in knots, 6:30pm, Monash University Clayton
    • Friday, 14th September: It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference, Melbourne Girls’ College
    • Sunday, 9th September: Open Day at Peter MacCallum Cancer Clinic,10am – 2pm, Parkville
    • Saturday, 15th September, What’s Next! Kip Thorne on Gravitational Waves, etc, 7:30pm, Palais Theatre
  5. Events for Teachers

4. Physics News from the Web
a)    Is photosynthesis quantum-ish?
b)    A flower’s nano-powers
c)    Inspiring through games

1.  Girls in Physics Breakfast – Tuesday, 21st August, Monash University, Clayton Campus     
The last breakfast for the year will be held on Tuesday, 21st August at Monash University.  The speaker will be Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP’s Women in Physics lecturer for 2018.  Dr Brenner will be speaking as part of a national tour in August.

The breakfast is for students in Years 10 to 12.  At the breakfast the students will share a table with two or three young women in the early stages of a career in science or engineering.  The students have a chance to ask questions about their careers and what study at university is like.  Students will be seated with students from other schools.

As student at last year’s event said: ‘I was talking to a guest at my table and her career sounded so amazing.  Then I realised that in 8 years that could be me.  I got so excited.

Dr Brenner’s topic is Pressing FIRE on the most powerful laser in the worldDr Ceri Brenner is a physicist at UK Research and Innovation. She is using the most powerful lasers in the world to develop innovative imaging technology for medical, nuclear and aerospace inspection. She has a unique role that spans research, innovation and business development and is driving the translation of laser-driven accelerator research into industrial applications that impact our society.

Times: The Breakfast will start at 7:30am and finish about 9:30am.
Program: After the breakfast for those opting to stay on, there are two additional activities :

  • A 90 min tour of the Australian Synchrotron, a walk away in Blackburn Rd.  There is a maximum group size for the Synchrotron Tours with tours starting 10:0010:3011:00 and 11:30, so a specific time needs to be selected when booking.
  • A set of three activities on Careers in STEM  each of which lasts for 30 minutes. The activities are: i) People Like Me Quiz and Job Roles Analysis, ii) Panel of Guests and Case Studies analysis and iii) Video on ‘Keeping Doors Open’ and Activities with Careers posters. The students booked in the first tour group will head off straight after the breakfast. They can do the first activity at the Synchrotron after the tour. For students in the other tour groups, the activities will be done at Monash, with the second tour group doing first activity before it heads off for the Synchrotron and so on for the other tour groups.

Please check the website for information about the tours and the activities. Please note: The person making the booking will need information about which tour time the school prefers as well as details about the students and teachers attending.

The Cost per student is $15 with teachers free.  There is no extra cost for the additional optional activities.

Max number of students per school.  To enable more schools to participate, there is an initial maximum of six (6) students per school.

Bookings is through Trybooking.  The person making the booking will need to know their preferred Synchrotron Tour and the names and any dietary requirements of the students and teachers coming to the event.  Please note: Trybooking transactions require a credit card.

Check our website for further details and flyers to promote the event in your school.  They contain:

  • the address of the venue,
  • a biography of the speaker and
  • the abstract of her talk.

This event is sponsored by ANSTO, Vicphysics Teachers’ Network, the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies (FLEET), and supported by Federal Government’s Inspiring Australia – Inspiring Science Program.

2. Citizen Science: Activities for Students
SciStarter is a website of projects that your students can get involved in. It could be a useful source of enrichment activities.  You are able to enter your location, e.g. ‘Victoria, Australia’, select your area of interest, e.g.’Physics’ and information on 42 projects is displayed from making magnetic measurements using a smart phone to analysing astronomical photos.  You can also narrow the search by specifying indoors, outdoors, online, uses a smartphone, etc and also specifying the age range. More specific search terms include: Astronomy, Climate, Computers and Sound.  Each project description provides very detailed information.

3.  STEM Resources from Vivify
Vivify produces a large range of engineering based activities for primary and middle school.  They are based in the US.  The prices are very reasonable, US$6 for a 52 page booklet on a lunar lander challenge.  The product descriptions are quite detailed.

2.    Events for Students and the General Public
a)   Tuesday, 31st July: Discovery of the first Baby Planet.  6:30pm Monash University, Clayton campus
The next lecture in this series will be on the Discovery of the first Baby Planet and will be given by Assoc Professor Daniel Price, Senior lecturer in the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of A/Prof Price.

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 lectures in the series are:

  • Tuesday, 28th August – Tying electrons into knots – Prof Michael Fuhrer
  • Tuesday, 25th September – Black holes and merging neutron stars: frontiers in gravitational-wave astronomy – Dr Eric Thrane
  • Tuesday, 30th October – Neutron Stars – Prof Alexander Heger
  • Tuesday, 27th November – TBA – Assoc Prof Meera Parish

b)  Tuesday, 14th August: Carbon, Clean Energy, Climate Change and how Chemistry is the solution, 5:30pm, University of Melbourne
To celebrate National Science Week RACI are hold a FREE Public Lectureship on: If the world has to go ‘carbon neutral’ what exactly will this look like and how are we going to achieve this?
The link and solution between carbon emissions, climate change and a future of clean energy is through chemistry; from removing our dependence on fossil fuels that powers our modern society, the physical chemistry behind carbon dioxide that is causing climate change, to the ability to develop cheap clean alternative energy sources.
This conversation will focus on how we produce and use energy, altering how the large industries that drive our economy operate, to the manufacture of common products that we take for granted in everyday lives.

Dr Colin Scholes from The University of Melbourne; will explore how our energy sector, mineral and chemical processing industries, transportation and even how we grow food will be transformed as we adapt to clean energy, future fuels and ‘zero-footprint’ products as we use chemistry to remove carbon from the equation.

This event is supported by The Royal Society of Victoria and The University of Melbourne Therapeutic Technologies Hallmark.
When: Tuesday 14 August 2018
Time: 5.30pm – 7pm
Where: ESJ King Theatre, University of Melbourne, Grattan St, Parkville.
Cost: FREE
Please Click Here to Register.

c)  Thursday, 16th AugustSeven Mysteries of Modern Physics: from dark matter to oscillating neutrinos1:45pm, Kardinia International School, Geelong
Dr Catalina Curceanu, the AIP Women in Physics lecturer from 2016, will be in Melbourne in mid August and she has agreed to speak in Geelong to complement the regional spread of physics talks happening in August.

Her topic is Seven Mysteries of Modern Physics: from dark matter to oscillating neutrinos and she will talk about: Is there anything left to do for the next generations of researchers in fundamental physics?

We shall answer this provocative question by discussing seven major unsolved mysteries of Modern Physics, just to show to the “next generation” that there are many important things to be done in science, in physics in particular. We will discuss items ranging from dark matter and energy, to the interior of black hole and the intimate structure of a neutron star, and explore the Schrodinger cat paradox, to end with something we know exists, but do not know how large it is: neutrino masses, and with something else we do not even know exists: one or more parallel Universes. This is the best moment to study science!

Dr Curceanu leads a research team performing nuclear and fundamental physics experiments on the DAPHNE collider at Frascati and at the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso in Italy.

Time: 1:45pm
Venue: Kardinia International College, 29 – 31 Kardinia Drive, Bell Post Hill.
To Book: Please email Vicphysics with student numbers and their Year level(s)

c)   Friday, 18th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, 4:30pm, Swinburne University
Time4.30pm to 5.30pm *
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC building, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Rd)Map
Dr Ceri Brenner, the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2018, will speak on ‘Igniting stars with super intense lasers’. She says of her talk ‘When we press FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world, we deliver a packet of light that is a thousand billion billion times more intense than sunlight. We can use this extreme power to recreate the conditions at the centre of Sun and in the process release vast amounts of energy in a clean and safe way. Harnessing this power for electricity generation is an inspiring story. It combines pure and applied physics and requires engineering to handle the most extreme conditions in our solar system!

*After the talk refreshments will be provided by the AIP Victorian Branch and participants can stay on for the talk by Dr Rebecca Allen which starts at 6:30pm, see details below.
Bookings: The lecture and refreshments are free and booking will be required, but the details are yet to be finalised.

d)    Friday, 18th August: State of the Universe, 6:30pm, Swinburne University
Speaker: Dr Rebecca Allen from Swinburne University
Time6.30pm to 7.30pm
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC building, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Rd) Map
To register and further details click here.

e)    Sunday, 19th August: Inspiring Illumination, Creative Curiosity, 2:30pm, Art Gallery of Ballarat
Time2.30pm to 3.30pm
Venue: Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard St Nth, Ballarat.
As part of the National Science Week program on Art and Science, Dr Ceri Brenner speaks on Lasers and Art.  Lasers are a beautiful and powerful tool. They’re fascinating to observe and inspiring to study. In describing scientists and artists, artist Alistair McClymont remarks: “both ultimately search for truth and both see beauty in that truth”. Dr Ceri Brenner reveals the beauty behind her work with the most powerful lasers in the world, how she is inspired by the world-changing applications that she and her team work on and the extreme technology she gets to work with.
Bookings: The lecture is free, but booking is essential.  Please click here.

f)    Monday, 20th August: Igniting stars with super intense lasers, 10:00am, La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus
La Trobe University is organising a Science Day featuring activities and talks.  The program starts at 10:00am.  Dr Ceri Brenner from the UK, the AIP Women in Physics lecturer for 2018 will speak on her work with lasers.
For more details of the day, please contact Rachel Meredith .

g)    Tuesday, 28th August: Tying electrons into knots,  6:30pmMonashUniversity, Clayton Campus.
The August lecture in this series will be on Tying electrons into knots and will be given by Professor Michael Fuhrer from the school of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University.  Check here for a personal profile of Prof Fuhrer. See details of the venue, check under a) above.

h) Sunday, 9th September: Open Day at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 10am – 2pm, Parkville
This Open day is for studenst interested in careers in the Medical Radiations professions of Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medecine.  Staff will conduct tours of these departments and provide career and professional information.  University course providers will also be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to see the latest in high-tech modern medicine. Parents and teachers are most welcome.
Time10:00am to 2:00pm
Venue: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre within the VCCC building at 305 Grattan St Melbourne
Website:
h)   Friday, 14th September: It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference,  Melbourne Girls’ College
This conference is designed by students and teachers for students and teachers.

The intent of the ‘It Takes a Spark’ conference is to bring together Girls and their Teachers to connect with inspiring female industry role models, share their current school based activities and projects using an authentic sharing and experiential model, create networks of teachers and student teams, and solve social justice design challenges.

The participation of the students is as important as teachers as the intent is to ignite, empower and nurture both students and teachers to be leaders of STEAM and Entrepreneurship within their schools.

Teachers will have both formal and informal opportunities to speak to other teachers who have enacted programs and activities in their schools and get their questions answered. The workshops and social justice design challenges are all hands-on so students and teachers will experience first-hand what it is like to be part of great STEAM and entrepreneurial learning.  This will spark new ideas about curriculum and pedagogy.

The event is for:

  •  those who are already (or aspire to be) technology leaders in their school,
  •  those who have little experience and those who have a lot,
  • Curriculum Coordinators– who wish to discuss how to create trans-disciplinary units that are powerfully engaging,
  • Principals and Deputy Principals – to witness what is possible by embedding the Technologies Curriculum in their school.

Cost: Teacher: $235 (early bird $195 by 24th August), Student : $33 , Includes lunch.

Check here for the details of program, speakers and the workshops for teachers and for students.

i)  Saturday, 15th September: What’s Next: Prof Kip Thorne on Gravitational waves, etc, 7:30pm, Palais Theatre, St Kilda

Let’s talk Gavitational Waves, Black Holes, Wormholes, Dark Matter and Time Travel.

See American Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Prof Kip Thorne, Astrophysicist Prof Alan Duffy and co-host of the Infinite Monkey Cage, British comedian Robin Ince.  Professor Kip Thorne will lead a panel discussion, delving into how scientific advances will change how we live our lives and how the world we live in will change forever.

Ticket prices range from $97 to $178.  To book, click here.

3.     Events for Teachers
a)    July Lectures in Physics, 6:30pm, Fridays in July, University of Melbourne
Venue:.  Basement Theatre B117, Melbourne School of Design, Masson Road.  Check here for details and map.
20th July:     The Rise of Cosmology and Particle Physics: Is our Present Understanding of the Universe about to be Replaced?
Speaker: Assoc Prof Nicole Bell
Abstract: Over the past 50 years explanations for the origin and evolution of the universe have provided us with new insights into particle physics and the fundamental building blocks of nature. But an understanding of the matter-antimatter asymmetry and the nature of dark matter remain elusive. The next 50 years promises an even deeper convergence of particle physics and cosmology to answer the big questions that will need new physics beyond the Standard Model.

27th July: Quantum Mechanics and Biology: What are the Prospects?
Speaker: Dr David Simpson
Abstract: The rise of quantum technology brings with it exciting new opportunities in computation and communication. Now biology is set to benefit from this revolution. This lecture looks at how quantum technology and biology are coming together to provide new insights into how birds navigate and how living organisms assemble incredibly complex structures. In addressing these questions, we will explore where this technological revolution can take us in the coming decades.

b)         It Takes a Spark!, Spark EDU Conference, 14th SeptemberMelbourne Girls’ College
See item 2e above

4.   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)    Is photosynthesis quantum-ish?
Is there something inherently quantum about the highly efficient natural process that is photosynthesis, or are researchers barking up the wrong tree? Philip Ball investigates the debate.

The quirks of quantum physics are something you might expect to find under exotic conditions in a laboratory, but not in a meadow. Yet in recent years, a blossoming idea called quantum biology proposes that life’s molecular mechanisms deploy some of those notoriously counterintuitive behaviours.

Ten years ago, researchers reported evidence that photosynthesis – the process by which green plants and some bacteria turn sunlight into chemical energy – gains light-harvesting efficiency by exploiting the phenomenon of “quantum coherence”. This involves the superpositions of electronic quantum states, which seem able to explore many energy-transmitting pathways at once. If so, quantum mechanics is assisting the fundamental energetic process that drives all life on the surface of the Earth.

b)    A flower’s nano-powers
When it comes to shapes and colours, flowers are one of nature’s most praised objects – but there is more to them than meets the eye. Tobias Wenzel and Silvia Vignolini reveal an ingenious strategy flowers use to become coloured and attract pollinators.

Have you ever wondered why some butterflies and fruits can shine with a metallic, iridescent blue and beetles can decorate themselves with golden shells – but there is no paint that lets you depict these dynamic colours directly? Well, it all comes down to how those organisms create the colour.

Paints and pigments simply absorb part of the visible light spectrum and reflect the rest to create the colour we see – white if they reflect all the visible light, black if no reflection occurs, and other colours when only part of the spectrum is reflected. The special vibrant colours of the butterflies and beetles, in contrast, are obtained thanks to transparent materials that have nanoscale structures. As these features are similar in size to the wavelength of light, they can interact with it to create what are known as “structural colours”

c)    Inspiring through games
Hannah Renshall argues that tabletop games can be a powerful tool to get more people interested in physics.
Ask any scientist why they do science and they often say it’s because of a deep passion to learn and understand nature. Ask a scientist why they do outreach and usually the response is to inspire more young people into science. After all, what better way to inspire someone than by sharing your ­passion and knowledge?

But sometimes there can be disadvantages to scientist-led outreach. While scientists are very knowledgeable, they may not have the necessary skills to engage with some audiences. It can then be hard for them to simplify their work to a level that is inspiring, rather than perplexing. Those drawbacks can sadly be amplified for audiences that are most under-represented in science – such as those from low socio-economic backgrounds or those that live in geographically remote areas. These audiences may switch off when meeting a scientist, whom they assume cannot be related to as “someone like me” – instead assigning a stereotypical caricature.