A new, cheaper way to deliver accurate time across Australia: instead of using hydrogen maser clocks costing hundreds of thousands of dollars we can bounce signals through the national’s optical fibre network according to physics leaders speaking today and tomorrow.
Also today at the national physics congress in Sydney, meet the man whose job it is to figure out how to build the NBN.
And hear about the magic of thermal plasmas, from safer arc welding to saving the ozone layer.
Physicists are meeting in Sydney this week for AIP/ACOFT 2012, the national physics congress.
To arrange interviews, please contact Niall on 0417 131 977.
A new, cheaper way to deliver accurate time across Australia
The GPS system, space tracking, geological mapping, and the SKA all depend on incredibly accurate measurement of time—knowing exactly when events occur and coincide across the entire continent.
One way of marking time to the level needed would be to provide hydrogen maser clocks to ground stations, research laboratories, observatories and telescope sites across the nation at hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.
Physicists from a consortium including five Australian universities, AARNet, the CSIRO, the National Measurement Institute (NMI) and the Paris Observatory are involved in the National Time and Frequency Network project which aims to set up a more accurate service at a fraction of the cost using optical fibre links.
The strategy is to send a precise burst of light through the optical fibre network from the NMI in Sydney to a receiver in another part of the country which will return the signal. Disruptions due to environmental effects, such as heat or seismic disturbance, are measured continuously with very high precision and can thus be compensated.
The man leading the design of Australia’s information superhighway
Meet the man whose job it is to figure out how to build the NBN.
Prof Peter Ferris, NBN Co. Executive General Manager of Planning and Design, about the NBN’s structure, what it was designed to do, the clever software behind determining access to it and where it will run, and the general schedule of its deployment.
The magic of thermal plasmas – from safer arc welding to saving the ozone layer
Australia’s guru of thermal plasmas will be recognised tonight with the Harrie Massey Medal.
Thermal plasmas are ionised gases raised to very high temperatures (to almost 30,000 degrees Celsius). Tony Murphy’s lifetime of research on thermal plasmas has contributed to destroying greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances, and reduced the health risks from arc welding – arising from fume particles caused by metal vapour during arc welding.
And he was the first person to develop a method of measuring thermal plasmas temperatures across their 30,000 degree Celsius range. He will give his award talk on Thursday 13 December at 1pm.