Physics in October 2009: AIP awards, the Great World Wide Star Count and sidewalk astronomy

AIP President’s blog, Australian Institute of Physics

Welcome to my monthly newsletter to those with an interest in physics around Australia.

I will present the Bragg Gold Medal for Excellence in Physics and the AIP Award for Outstanding Service to Physics in Australia to Christian Rosberg and Hans Bachor, respectively, in Canberra on 29 October.

NSW is planning two major events in November: the Physics in Industry Day on 19 November, which this year showcases medical physics; and a big day on 24 November with postgraduate awards, the AGM, a guest lecture by the AIP’s Marc Duldig and the annual dinner.

And the International Year of Astronomy is still going strong with public lectures, the Great World Wide Star Count, sidewalk astronomy, photographic exhibitions, film and theatre.

Details of these events below.

Nominations for the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer close this month, and nominations open for the Kavli Prizes. One is awarded in each of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience, and the recipient receives $US1 million.

I am also calling for expressions of interest for a new editor for the AIP journal, Australian Physics. Details below.

Also, in the Jobs and Scholarships section we have information on PhD scholarships in Quantitative Marine Science as well as a number of opportunities in the Bureau of Meteorology.

The bulletin has grown over the last few years. This issue is over 5,000 words. Over the next few weeks we’ll be thinking about the best ways to develop it – perhaps, for example, by splitting it into two bulletins, one on events, another with other news, or by making better use of weblinks. I’d welcome your thoughts on how useful you find the bulletin.

Please also encourage others to subscribe to the bulletin. It is freely available to members and non-members. Non-members can subscribe via the AIP website. I’d also encourage you to pass it on to non-members who are interested in physics.

If you want to contact me regarding AIP or other physics matters please email

If you have trouble reading the bulletin in this format, it’s also online at You can also read it and rss it on my blog at and now on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Please note that replies to this email go to Niall Byrne, Science in Public, who sends out the bulletin on my behalf and handles corrections, updates and bounces. If you have news or other information for the bulletin please email Niall by the 23rd of each month.

Kind regards,

Brian James,

AIP President

In this bulletin:

AIP events across the country
Editor for Australian Physics – expressions of interest invited
2009 Laby medal awarded to Dilani Kahawala
The 60 Second Science Challenge – Australian Science Video Competition
International Year of Astronomy
Science prizes
AIP Victorian Branch Education activities
Physics activities across the country – general
Physics activities across the country – seminars
Jobs and Scholarships
Physics conferences
Submission deadlines for the bulletin and journal

AIP events across the country

Australian Capital Territory

ACT: Wednesday 14 October, 6pm (refreshments from 5.30pm), ACT AIP

TITLE: The astronomy of Aboriginal Australians

SPEAKER: Ray Norris, Australian Telescope National Facility


Ray will discuss the astronomical component of ancient Aboriginal cultures. Many of their stories and ceremonies are linked with celestial cycles, which also provide tools for navigation, calendars and life.

Sources for research in this new field include the thriving Aboriginal cultures in Australia’s top end, and artefacts from the Aboriginal people of South East Australia.

More info on the ACT AIP website.

ACT: Thursday 29 October, 6pm (refreshments from 5.30pm), AIP

TITLE: Presentation of the Bragg Gold Medal for Excellence in Physics and the AIP Award for Outstanding Service to Physics in Australia.

Brian James, AIP President, will present the Bragg Gold Medal for Excellence in Physics to Christian Rosberg, formerly a student in the Non-Linear Physics Centre at the Australian National University.

And Brian will present the AIP Award for Outstanding Service to Physics in Australia to Hans Bachor, Director of the Australian Centre for Quantum-Atom Optics and former ACT Branch Chairman.

SPEAKER: The award ceremony will include presentations by both prize winners.


More info on the ACT AIP website.

New South Wales

NSW: AIP NSW branch meetings, held in conjunction with the University of Sydney

The NSW branch holds meetings in the Slade Theatre, School of Physics, University of Sydney, from 6.30pm. Refreshments are available from 6pm and entrance to all events is free. More info at the NSW AIP website or contact Frederick Osman on

Date Speaker Title
27 October Iver Cairns, University of Sydney Space science in Australia: the next 10 years
24 November
See below for event details
Marc Duldig, Australian Antarctic Division Particle astronomy – the second window

NSW: Thursday 19 November, Physics in Industry Day 2009, NSW AIP

TITLE: NSW Medical Physics Showcase

VENUE: CSIRO, Lindfield facility, Sydney

Healthcare in Australia and around the world is too expensive. It is horrendously labour intensive and access is far from equitable. While new technology has improved health, it has done nothing to reduce overall cost — quite the opposite — healthcare expenditure is rising alarmingly as a percentage of GDP.

Effective new medical products and therapies tend to be expensive and drive up demand. If our future health systems are going to keep us healthy at a reasonable cost, then we must find new delivery models.

Speakers from research, industry and government will provide their perspectives on this challenge, as well as industry trends, new developments in the lab/clinic, and some local commercial successes, at this Australian Institute of Physics event.

More info at or contact Scott Martin on or follow it on Facebook.

NSW: Tuesday 24 November, Postgraduate Awards Day, AGM, guest speaker and annual dinner, NSW AIP

VENUE: Lecture Room 1, The Darlington Centre, University of Sydney, followed by dinner at Buon Gusto

2009 Postgraduate Awards

These awards have been created to encourage excellence in postgraduate work. Each New South Wales University is invited to nominate one student to compete for the $500 prize and Postgraduate medal.

Students are asked to make a 20 minute presentation on their postgraduate research in physics. The students will be judged on the scientific quality, clarity and their presentation skills.

The Awards are sponsored by the Australian Institute of Physics and the Astronomical Society of Australia as part of the International Year of Astronomy, CSIRO and Campus Review.

Nominations close on Friday 16 October. The application form is here.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM will be held at 6–6.30pm.

Guest lecture

TIME: 6.35pm

TITLE: Particle astronomy – the second window

SPEAKER: Marc Duldig, Australian Antarctic Division

Marc will discuss cosmic rays, particles travelling almost at the speed of light that bring information about their sources and where they have been in their travels to Earth. Cosmic rays are used for practical purposes, such as sample dating and climate change research, and give us information about the sun. Also, they are still interacting with the big bang!

Annual dinner

TIME: 8–10pm

VENUE: Buon Gusto, 368 Abercrombie St, Chippendale

To attend the dinner, book by Friday 13 November.

More info and payment form (for the dinner) is here.


QLD: Tools of science series, The Physics Museum, Qld AIP and School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland

Tools of science talks are held on Tuesdays in Room 222, Parnell Building, St Lucia campus, University of Queensland, at 6-7pm. The lecture, illustrated where possible with items from the Physics Museum collection, will be followed by a discussion period where participants will be encouraged to show items they have brought along. Light refreshments will be provided courtesy of the School of Mathematics and Physics. The Physics Museum will be open from 5.30pm.

More info at the Tools of Science website or contact Norman Heckenberg on (07) 3365 3369 or

Date Speaker Title
20 October Kim Hajek Science and literature in the late nineteenth-century France

QLD: International Year of Astronomy events, Qld AIP and the School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland

For more info contact Lynelle Ross (07) 3346 9935 or at

Date Talk
12 November Brian Boyle, Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, will explain the Square Kilometre Array, the world’s largest proposed radio telescope, and Australia’s involvement in this ambitious project.

South Australia

SA: Wednesday 25 November, 9.30am-2.30pm, SA AIP – event booked out

TITLE: IYA09 AstroFest

VENUE: Flinders University

The Astronomy Festival (IYA09 AstroFest) is for year 9 students. This event consists of a lecture (The Milky Way in a Different Light) given by astrophysicist Dr Gavin Rowell from the University of Adelaide, followed by a number of interesting astronomy-related activities including Q&A sessions with several university students, a discussion on an astronomy/space-related topic (such as new missions to the Moon, Mars, how to see black holes) and telescope viewing of the Sun and planets (weather permitting).

More info at the SA AIP website.


TAS: Thursday 8 October, 8pm, Tas AIP and the Astronomical Society of Australia

TITLE: Galileo’s invention of the astronomical telescope and his remarkable discoveries: moons, stars and a new planet

SPEAKER: David Jamieson, University of Melbourne

VENUE: Physics Lecture Theatre 1, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay

David looks at Galileo’s technological breakthrough with the invention of his astronomical telescope and investigates the avalanche of new discoveries and knowledge that it produced. Some of these discoveries are well known, like the discovery of Jupiter’s moons and the lunar landscape. But he also noted the position of Neptune, and may have known that it was a planet, 234 years before its official discovery!

More info on the Tas AIP website.

TAS: Tuesday 20 October, 8pm, Tas AIP and the Astronomical Society of Australia

TITLE: Is there more than one universe?

SPEAKER: Charley Lineweaver, Australian National University

VENUE: Physics Lecture Theatre 1, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

Charley will explain why the crazy idea that our Universe may be embedded in a larger hierarchy of parallel universes called the Multiverse actually makes sense.

CharleyDear Adrian, will also give presentations to several Tasmanian high schools on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 October, under the auspices of the Tas AIP branch. More info from Elizabeth Chelkowska


VIC: Thursday 15 October, 6.30pm, Vic AIP

TITLE: Nobel Prize lecture – topic TBA


VENUE: Hercus Theatre, School of Physics, University of Melbourne

Western Australia

WA: International Year of Astronomy public lecture series

The Astronomical Society of Australia has chosen speakers to communicate the excitement of astronomy to the general public in Perth, as part of the International Year of Astronomy. The public lectures are at 6pm, at venues shown below.

For more info go to the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Western Australia, website or call (08) 6488 1340 or email

Date Speaker Title Venue
14 October Marc Duldig, Australian Antarctic Division Particle astronomy – the second window Bankwest Theatre, Building 200, Curtin University of Technology, Bentley
4 November Paulo de Souza, Tasmanian ICT Centre, CSIRO From Mars to Earth: a journey fostered by science, technology and fascination Social Sciences Lecture Theatre, UWA

The lecture series is hosted by the Astronomical Society of Australia, with the AIP, University of Western Australia, Scitech, Curtin University of Technology Institute of Theoretical Physics and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

Editor for Australian Physics – expressions of interest invited

John Daicopoulos will be leaving the position of Editor of Australian Physics, the AIP journal, in 2010. Accordingly we are seeking a new Editor to take up the position in early 2010 to allow for some overlap.

The Editor is expected to:

  • provide editing services for Australian Physics (6 issues per year)
  • in consultation with the editor-in-chief, seek material for publication
  • liaise with advertisers
  • prepare layout for the printer using appropriate software (knowledge of currently used ‘Indesign’ is desirable but not essential)
  • check printers proofs.

Remuneration for this part-time activity is by means of an honorarium, the amount of which is subject to negotiation. Expressions of interest, including a CV should be sent to:

Editor-in-Chief, Marc Duldig, at by 30 September 2009.

2009 Laby medal awarded to Dilani Kahawala

Congratulations to Dilani Kahawala from Monash University, who received the 2009 Thomas H. Laby medal for the most outstanding Honours physics thesis in Victoria at last Thursday’s Vic AIP branch meeting.

The 60 Second Science Challenge – Australian Science Video Competition

Students in all Australian schools are invited to conduct an experiment or test a scientific theory, film it, edit it down to 60 seconds and enter it into the 2009 Science Video Competition.

There’s $8,000 in prizes. Register by 30 September and upload your video by 30 October.

More information at the 60 Second Science website.

International Year of Astronomy

I have listed a number of public lectures (above) that come under the IYA banner, but there is a lot more happening. Don’t forget to check out the IYA website for activities in your state.

Highlights of upcoming activities include:

  • Open day at Siding Spring Observatory, Coonabarabran on 25 October 2009.
    Siding Spring Observatory opens its telescopes to the public for a free exclusive peak behind the scenes. You are invited to meet the astronomers and learn how they explore the Universe at Australia’s largest astronomy research facility. A free bus leaves the Exploratory Centre (Siding Spring Visitor Centre) every 15 minutes, taking you to the observatories.
  • Look! Up In The Sky! – a showcase of short astronomy films at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, from 7 to 18 October. The Powerhouse also has children’s shows on astronomy over the school holidays.
  • The Great World Wide Star Count – join thousands of other students, families and citizen scientists from around the world counting stars from 9 to 23 October.
  • Galilean nights on 23 and 24 October, with astronomy events at: Coonabarabran, Mt Stromlo, NSW; Runaway Bay Library, Gold Coast, Qld (on 22 October); Gingin Observatory, WA (on 24 October).
  • The David Malin Awards – an annual exhibition of works by amateur astrophotographers. Touring locations here.
  • Light Years: Photographs and Space at the National Gallery of Victoria International in Melbourne.
  • Astronomy in a nutshell exhibition at Monash Science Centre, Clayton, Victoria.
  • Online, do have a look at the Ilgarijiri project (, a collaboration of the Yamaji Arts indigenous arts cooperative in Geraldton, WA, and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth.
    • Transit Theatre’s production of Copernicus, a new work about the astronomer Nicholas Copernicus that incorporates mime and animation, will run to 4 October at the Melbourne Planetarium as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
    • The Re-Trial of Galileo will be held by the School of History and Philosophy at the University of New South Wales on Monday 26 October.

Science prizes

Please consider if you know people who would be appropriate candidates for the following science prizes.

2010 Kavli Prizes in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience

The biennial Kavli Prizes, one each in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience, recognise scientists for their outstanding research achievements. The international prizes are a partnership between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and the Kavli Foundation.

Each Prize consists of US$1 million, a medal and a scroll. Nominations are open until 15 December and more info can be obtained from

AIP Women in Physics Lecturer

The AIP Women in Physics Lecturer, a woman who has made a significant contribution to physics, will give a series of lectures to a non-specialist audience to interest students in studying physics.

Nominations are now open for Australian and international nominees, and close on 15 October 2009. For criteria and a nomination form, please visit

AIP Victorian Branch Education activities

Vic AIP Education Committee

The Victorian AIP Education Committee usually meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 5-7pm. All teachers are welcome to attend.

VENUE: Camberwell High School

If you would like to attend, contact the Chair, Sue Grant, at

Teacher Action on Climate Change, Thursday 5 November, 12–4.30pm

Victorian teachers are invited to participate in an initiative to raise public awareness of climate change.  The AIP Education Committee has developed a presentation package for you to use. David Karoly, University of Melbourne, will brief participants on the latest climate change science.

The Vic AIP Education Committee will cover your teacher replacement cost and assist rural teachers with travel. It will be held in an inner city location.

Contact the AIP at to get involved.

Australian Student Mineral Venture (ASMV 2101), 9-20 January 2010

The ASMV is a 12 day tour of Victoria and Tasmania visiting mine sites, mineral processing plants, geological locations, research laboratories and university facilities. For students in Years 10-12 (particularly 10 and 11).

More info on the University of Ballarat website.

Excursions to the Australian Synchrotron for Unit 4 VCE Physics classes

The Australian Synchrotron is offering school excursions daily until Friday 2 October.  The excursion is only available for Unit 4 VCE Physics students.  The 2½ hour excursion includes a tour of the Synchrotron and an opportunity to do a range of practical activities for the Detailed Study “The Synchrotron and its applications” and the Area of Study “Interactions of light and matter”. These include:

  • Bragg diffraction with microwaves
  • laser diffraction from a CD and a DVD
  • photoelectric effect
  • spectroscopy and energy level analysis.

Each day there will be morning and afternoon sessions starting at 9am and 1pm respectively. The current availability of sessions is on the AIP website at

Bookings can be made with Melodie Aitken, Tours coordinator, by email to with “Excursion booking” in the subject.  Please include the following:

  • School’s Name
  • Teacher’s Name
  • School’s phone number
  • Teacher’s mobile phone number (if available)
  • Number of students
  • Date
  • Session Time

Melbourne University Physics Day: A Focus on the VCE Physics Study-Design – “FAQs”

Friday 13 November 2009 from 9am to 3.30pm, Laby Theatre, School of Physics

Cost: $99 (incl. GST) – Lunch, writing materials and notes provided

During this year VCAA has issued a series of FAQs and answers designed to clarify the Study Designs for Einstein’s Relativity and The Synchrotron. Specialists will examine some of these in detail. All the speakers have been selected to provide professional guidance and insight relevant to the VCE study design. You will also have the opportunity to inspect areas of physics research in this School, with the expectation that you might encourage some of your students to see physics as an exciting profession.

For more details and the registration form go to

Medical Physics In-Service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Saturday 5 December

The program will feature a one hour talk on:

  • the physics aspects of the effect of radiation on the human body and of the medical technology at Peter Mac
  • how the technology is used in diagnosis and treatment
  • information on the training and career paths associated with medical physics

The second hour will be an extensive tour of the facilities at Peter Mac.

Teachers can register by sending their name, school and phone/fax/email details to the Australian Institute of Physics (Victorian Branch) Education Committee at or PO Box 304, Glen Waverley, VIC 3150

VCE Physics Days at Luna Park: Dates for 2010

The VCE Physics Days next year are Tuesday 2, Wednesday 3, and Thursday 4 March.  Reservations can be made now with an indication of approximate numbers as well as a tentative date, which can be changed once 2010 timetables are known. To make a reservation contact Luna Park by phone on (03) 9525 5033. Our website, has details of the worksheets and arrangements for each of the days.

Entries open for 2009 AIP Physics Video Contest

Students in Victorian schools can submit a video demonstrating physics concepts. Teachers may also submit a video in a separate category.

Entries close on 30 October.

For more information go to the events page at Vicphysics.

Call for presenters: 2010 Physics Teachers Conference, Victoria

Next year’s conference will be on Friday 5 February at Monash University.  If you would like to:

  • present a session
  • suggest a topic for a session
  • nominate a presenter from a previous conference

please contact the Vic AIP Education Committee by email at with “2010 Physics Teachers Conference” as the subject.

Physics activities across the country – general


VIC: Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University, public lectures

The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing holds regular free public lectures on the Hawthorn campus (AR Building, Room 104) at 6.30pm. Bookings are essential. More info here or contact Carolyn Cliff at or phone (03) 9214 5569.

Date Speaker Title Room
21 October Duncan Forbes, Swinburne University The Universe as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope AGSE207
18 November Karl Glazebrook, Swinburne University The origin of galaxies AGSE207

Western Australia

WA: Gingin Observatory, Gingin

Gingin Observatory runs a variety of public events, many suitable for families, as well as regular stargazing tours. More info is available at the Observatory website or by contacting Carol Redford or Donna Vanzetti on (08) 9575 7740 or Contact Carol or Donna to book into events.

Date Time Event
1 October 6–8.30pm Tiwest Night Stalk 2009 and stargazing
4 October 6.30-8.30pm Space Games and Stargazing – see Jupiter and the Moon
11 October 7-9.30pm Zadko stargazing night – the Zadko is the largest telescope available for public access in the Southern Hemisphere
10-18 October Space Trail 2009
This self-drive trail showcases what’s on offer in the world of astronomy in and around Perth. 9 days of activities feature night sky stargazing, solar observing, guided tours, special talks and the wonder of WA’s natural astronomical phenomenon! More info here.
14 October &
25 November
7-9.30pm Seniors’ Stargazing nights, in the lead up to Seniors Week 2009
17 October 7-9.30pm Journey to Jupiter with Peter Birch. Part of the Space Trail.
18 October BBQ dinner and stargazing at the Observatory; be collected and dropped off in Perth by Funseeker Tours so you can experience the stars without night time country driving. Book with Funseeker Tours on (08) 9440 1770
24 October Dinner from 5pm
Stargazing 7-9.30pm
During Celebrate WA Week 2009, dine on local produce at the Gravity Discovery Centre’s Stargazers’ Café, followed by stargazing
25 October 7-9.30pm Free Lotterywest Stargazing Night

WA: Astrofest 2009, Saturday 28 November, 2-10.30pm, Astronomy WA

Astrofest is a huge, free astronomy festival for the general public, featuring portable planetariums, astrophotography exhibitions, talks, stalls, displays, activities, rocketry, solar observing, night sky observing and telescope demonstrations.

The venue is to be advised. More info at AstronomyWA.

WA: LotteryWest-Scitech Big ‘Scope viewing nights, Astronomy WA

Hosted by astronomer Peter Birch, the Big ‘Scope viewing nights provide advice on getting involved in astronomy and viewing from home. View stars and planets with high quality telescopes and discuss what you can see.

Date Title Venue
23 October Galilean nights in the Perth CBD Forrest Place
27 October Big ‘Scopes at ECU Joondalup Edith Cowan University, Joondalup
7 November Darlington Arts Festival Darlington Oval
19 November Big ‘Scopes at Dwellingup Town Centenary TBA
23 November Big ‘Scopes at Northam Northam Senior High School
4 December Joondalup Concert Event Joondalup CBD

More info at AstronomyWA.

Physics activities across the country – seminars

Check the institution websites for any late changes

New South Wales

NSW: School of Physics, University of NSW

The School of Physics holds regular colloquia on Tuesdays at 4-5pm in the School of Physics Common Room, Room 64, Old Main Building, University of NSW. More info here or contact Peter Reece on

Date Speaker Title
6 October Michael Tober, University of Western Australia Precision oscillator, clocks and interferometers with applications in space, industry and fundamental physics
27 October H. Hoe Tan, Australian National University Growth of III-V nanowires and quantum dots for optoelectronic applications
10 November Michael Murphy, Swinburne University of Technology Precision spectroscopy in astrophysics

NSW: School of Physics, University of Sydney

The School of Physics holds regular colloquia on Mondays at 3.15pm (refreshments from 3pm) in the Slade Lecture Theatre, School of Physics A28, University of Sydney. More info here or contact Bruce Yabsley (02) 9351 5970 or

Date Speaker Title
28 September Maitreyee Roy, National Measurement Institute Seeing under the surface: 3D optical imaging via interferometry
12 October Tony Gherghetta, University of Melbourne Understanding the origin of mass at the Large Hadron Collider
19 October Reza Hashemi-Nezhad, University of Sydney TBA
26 October Alan Mark, University of Queensland TBA

NSW: Australian Telescope National Facility

The Australian Telescope National Facility holds regular colloquia on Wednesdays at 3.30pm (coffee at 3.15pm) in the ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre. More info here or contact Patrick Weltevrede

Date Speaker Title
30 September Dhruba Saikia, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, India TBA
8 October
(note: Thursday)
Roopesh Ojha, US Naval Observatory TBA
14 October Peter Tuthill, University of Sydney ELT: the Emperor’s Large Telescope?


VIC: Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University

The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing holds regular colloquia, usually on Thursdays at 11.30am, in the Swinburne Virtual Reality Theatre (AR Building, Room 104). More info here or George Hau on

Date Speaker Title
1 October Daniel Bayliss, Australian National University Searching for southern transiting planets
8 October Adam Deller, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, USA Milliarcsecond resolution radio “surveys” to shed light on galactic evolution
15 October Dhruba Saikia, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, India TBA
22 October John Dickey, University of Tasmania TBA
29 October Jean-Pierre Marquart, Curtin University TBA
12 November Virginia Kilborne, Swinburne University TBA
19 November Martin Stringer, Durham University Analytic and numerical realisations of a disk galaxy
26 November Serena Bertone, University of California at Santa Cruz The metal line emission of the intergalactic medium in OWLS


QLD: Physics Department, University of Queensland

The Physics Department holds regular colloquia on Fridays at 4pm (refreshments from 3.30pm) in the Parnell Building Room 222, University of Queensland. More info here or

Date Speaker Title
2 October TBA TBA
9 October TBA TBA
16 October Tad Sama, Institute of Molecular Biology, Jagiellonian University, Poland TBA
23 October Sean Barrett, Macquarie University TBA
30 October TBA Nobel Prize in Physics
6 November Ben Upcroft, University of Queensland TBA

Western Australia

WA: School of Physics, University of Western Australia

The School of Physics holds regular seminars on Tuesdays at 3.30-4.30pm in the Physics Lecture Room 2.15, Physics Building, University of WA. More info here or (08) 6488 2738.

Jobs and Scholarships

PhD Scholarships in Quantitative Marine Science

Up to four scholarships valued at $30,000 per annum are available for a PhD in Quantitative Marine Science at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, in conjunction with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.

Suitable students will have a strong quantitative background, for example, in mathematics, physics or statistics, from the physical sciences, life sciences or engineering.

Applications close 30 October 2009.

For more info contact Ms Denbeigh Armstrong, Quantitative Marine Science Program Manager on (03) 6226 2838 or

Graduate opportunities in the Bureau of Meteorology

Graduates in physics, maths, meteorology, science or electronics may be interested in these positions, which begin with 10 months specialised training in Melbourne.

Graduate meteorologist

Earn a world-recognised Graduate Diploma in Meteorology and, after training, transfer to one of the Bureau’s Forecasting Centres located in capital cities across Australia to work as a weather forecaster.

Requirements: Bachelor degree or higher, majoring in a physical science, meteorology or mathematics, with maths and physics to second-year university level.

Closing date for applications: Thursday 1 October. Training starts late January 2010.

Trainee technical officer – electronics

Learn to install and maintain the Bureau’s range of electronic and electro-mechanical equipment for its extensive national observations network. You’ll be based at a Bureau Maintenance Centre, and travel to meteorological sites, often at remote localities, by car, 4WD, light aircraft, boat and sometimes by helicopter.

Requirements: Diploma of Engineering (Electronics) or higher with good subject results. TAFE graduates with a diploma or advanced diploma in Electrotechnology or IT are also encouraged to apply.

Closing date for applications: Friday 2 October. Training starts mid-January 2010.

Trainee technical officer – observer (weather observer)

Work in one of the Bureau’s many meteorological offices located across Australia, using a range of instrumentation and electronic equipment, radars and computers to collect, monitor and record a range of meteorological data.

Requirements: A diploma, or higher, in a physical science with some maths. Some additional IT studies would be a plus, as would an aptitude for electronics or engineering.

Closing date for applications: Thursday 15 October. Training starts in March 2010.

For more information on all of these graduate and trainee opportunities, and to apply online, go to

Physics conferences

10th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI09)

Melbourne Convention Centre, Vic

27/09/2009 – 02/10/2009

International Conference on Physics Education (ICPE) 2009

Bangkok, Thailand

18/10/2009 – 24/10/2009

Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the future (

Waterloo, Canada and online

15/10/2009 – 25/10/2009

All events will be streamed online live and on demand 24 hours a day. Sign up to interact online with speakers and exhibits.

Shanghai International Congress and Exhibition on Renewable Energy 2009

Shanghai, China

22/10/2009 – 24/10/2009

EPSM-ABEC 2009 Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering Conference

Canberra, ACT

08/11/2009 – 12/11/2009

Tenth International Symposium – Frontiers of Fundamental & Computational Physics (FFP10)

Perth, WA

24/11/2009 – 26/11/2009

International Science Education Conference 2009: Science Education – Shared Issues, Common Future

National Institute of Education, Singapore

24/11/2009 – 26/11/2009

Australasian Conference on Optics, Lasers and Spectroscopy and Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology in association with the International Workshop on Dissipative Solitons (ACOLS ACOFT DS 2009)

The University of Adelaide, SA

29/11/2009 – 03/12/2009

Early bird registration closes 12 October 2009

AINSE/ANBUG Neutron Scattering Symposium, AANSS 2009

Lucas Heights, Sydney, NSW

07/12/2009 – 09/12/2009

Inaugural Sydney International Workshop on Synergies in Astronomy and Medicine (AstroMed09)

Sydney, NSW

14/12/2009 – 16/12/2009

Abstracts are due by 2 October 2009

Sixth International Symposium on the Basic and Application of Plasma Technology

Hsinchu, Taiwan

14/12/2009 – 16/12/2009

Conference on Computational Physics 2009, Taiwan

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

15/12/2009 – 19/12/2009

5th Australasian Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation

University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

16/12/2009 – 18/12/2009

NEW Biology and Synchrotron Radiation (BSR)

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

15/02/2010 – 18/02/2010

Early bird and abstract deadline is 27 November 2009

Held concurrently with the conference on Medical Applications of Synchrotron Radiation, below

NEW Medical Applications of Synchrotron Radiation (MASR)

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

15/02/2010 – 18/02/2010

Early bird and abstract deadline is 27 November 2009

Held concurrently with the conference on Biology and Synchrotron Radiation, above

2010 International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN 2010)

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour

22/02/2010 – 26/02/2009

NEW Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting

Taipei, Taiwan

22/06/2010 – 25/06/2010

Session proposals are open until late October 2009

2010 AIP Congress

Melbourne, Vic

06/12/2010 – 10/12/2010

Submission deadlines for the bulletin and journal

Our next bulletin will be for November 2009. We welcome contributions about activities, conferences and announcements. Our next submission deadline is Friday 23 October. Please send your submissions to Niall or Margie Beilharz from Science in Public on or call (03) 9398 1416.

And the AIP’s journal, Australian Physics, welcomes your articles. The deadline for the November/December issue is 12 October. Email John Daicopoulos on


For more information on physics events visit and click on ‘physics events’ or on your state branch.

If you know of anyone who would like to receive these updates, please feel free to forward this to them.

Kind regards,



Assoc. Prof. Brian James

President of the Australian Institute of Physics

Phone: +61 (2) 9351-2471