Stories from the 2012 AIP Congress

New ideas on our energy future; hand-held cancer probes; ultra-powerful, high speed quantum computers;  and freeing up space on the mobile network.

These stories and more were presented at the national physics and optics conference, AIP/ACOFT 2012, at the University of New South Wales, Kensington.

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Seeing stealth bombers and freeing mobile networks

A West Australian invention that’s keeping atomic clocks accurate, searching for gravity waves, and improving radar systems has won its creators a national physics prize.

And, as mobile networks become increasingly congested, Sydney engineers have designed new technology that can be retrofitted into mobile communication systems to increase their capacity and reduce the cost of mobile calls.

Read on for more stories from the final day of the national physics congress in Sydney.

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Nobel laureate presents school science project

Posted on behalf of the University of New South Wales

It’s not every day that school students get to present their science project to a major scientific conference, and rarer still to receive a prize for it from a Nobel Laureate.

That’s the happy experience today for a team of four Year 11 students from Gosford High School, who have won a national competition conducted by UNSW and the Australian Institute of Physics.

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How close are we to quantum computers?

Quantum computers promise ultra-powerful, high speed number crunching. They’ll help us to search vast databases and model biological molecules at an atomic level. They will crack the encryptions we rely on for banking and online security but also help us make new, unbreakable codes.

How close are we to building a quantum computer? Australian scientists are working on it.

Also at the national physics congress today: meet the man in charge of planning and designing the NBNdesigning a cheaper high-precision clock for GPS, astronomy and space tracking; and fighting greenhouse gases and arc-welding fumes with super-heated thermal plasma.

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Australia’s smallest miners; Unlimited energy from fusion and more

At the national physics congress this week:

And from Fresh Science

Immune peacekeepers discovered; Nobel Laureate speaks out; dark energy in Brisbane and more…

Science in Public media bulletin 18 October 2011.

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