Posted on behalf of Rob Robinson, President of the Australian Institute of Physics.
It’s time to start packing your bags for the 2014 AIP Congress, which opens in Canberra on Sunday 7 December.
If you can’t come, you can follow us on Twitter at @aipc2014 or #aipc2014, or see our visiting speakers at public lectures and forums, including Nobel laureate Steven Chu’s televised address to the National Press Club (see the event listing below). There’s also still time to register.
The program includes some speakers and posters to close off the International Year of Crystallography, and many, many others fitting the theme of the coming International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. And our Art of Physics theme has been taken up by both speakers and exhibitors.
With so many good presentations, I advise you to plan in advance which talks to attend. A good way of doing this is by using the AIP 2014 mobile apps for phones and tablets—see below for links to download them.
One of the great privileges for me at the Congress is the chance to celebrate the achievements of our AIP medal and award winners. One of these is Les Kirkup, whose contributions to hands-on physics education have won him the 2014 AIP Education Medal. You can read about Les below.
And Yuri Kivshar will receive the biannual Harrie Massey Medal for his work in the exciting new field of nonlinear optics and metamaterials, which you can also read about below.
Congratulations again to Brian Schmidt and his colleagues, this time for receiving a share of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe and its implications for dark energy. Brian has said he’ll donate part of his prize to promote gender diversity in science.
Other prizes announced recently included the honorific awards from the Australian Academy of Science. We list below all the physicists, geophysicists and mathematicians studying physics-related problems who received awards.
These winners include Michelle Simmons from UNSW, who will also be taking up the post of editor-in-chief of npj Quantum Information, a new, open-access journal and the first Australian-based Nature Partner Journal.
New prize opportunities we’re featuring this month are the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Young Scientist Prizes in laser physics and photonics. These prizes will be awarded in June next year in Germany—see below for how to apply.
Speaking of Germany, a recent visitor to our shores was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, named by Forbes magazine as the most powerful woman in world. This surely makes her the most powerful physicist in the world as well.
I was fortunate to be invited to attend a reception with her in Sydney, where she spoke about importance of science and technology, particularly for Australia–Germany relations, and how she’ll lobby for a free-trade agreement. Closer ties between the two countries will hopefully lead to greater opportunities for us in physics.
On a more personal note, I’m sad to report the unexpected death of my friend and AIP member George Collins. George contributed greatly to ANSTO and other organisations over the years, and has recently been an inspiring leader of research at Swinburne University in Victoria.
This is my final newsletter for 2014, and I wish everyone a happy and safe summer break, as well as a successful, inventive and prosperous New Year (of Light). And I look forward to seeing many of you in Canberra! [click to continue…]