[ASC-list] BrisScience: Living at the Speed of Light - 20 July 2009

Lynelle Ross l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au
Mon Jul 6 07:02:52 UTC 2009

Living at the Speed of Light presented by Dr Jesse Shore, Prismatic  
Sciences  20 July 2009
Whether you know it or not you are living at the speed of light. From  
mobile phones to microwave ovens, the internet, and soon your home  
computer, all depend on signals and energy of light travelling at the  
fastest speed in the universe. Yet modern communications are both  
enabled and limited by the speed of light. Light travels so fast that  
our senses feel it moves from place to place instantaneously. But  
light takes time to travel whether it is moving through the vast  
distances of the cosmos or optic fibres running down your street. And  
light doesn’t always travel at the same speed. In fact light can be  
frozen within atoms! Come to this talk to find out which speed of  
light you want to live by.

The talk will introduce photonics, the science of making, detecting,  
controlling and using light, and explore why it is one of the  
important new research areas. A key part of photonics is about  
changing the speed of light to make better use of it. A range of  
photonic technologies will use optic fibres to communicate far more  
information at higher rates while using far less energy than  
electronic circuits. This will lead to new applications and huge  
improvements to existing processes which include specialised medical  
diagnosis and treatment made available to remote areas, increased DVD  
memory capacity, more powerful computers, speedier access to vast  
amounts of information of libraries, superior imaging of biological  
material and the cosmos, improved lasers, chemical processing and  
things we haven't dreamed of yet.

Jesse will explain some of the science concepts underlying photonic  
communication using a number of everyday experiences and then explore  
some of the more recent understanding of newer less familiar  
processes. New discoveries about how to interact with light are  
leading to applications such as invisibility cloaks which previously  
appeared only in science fiction or fantasy stories. The last part of  
the presentation will explore some of these future developments and  
how they might affect society.

* Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm (Doors open at 6pm)
  * Venue: Ithaca Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall
  * Refreshments: There will be complimentary drinks and nibblies  
following the talk, and Jesse will be available to answer any questions.
  * Questions? Contact Lynelle (l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au)

Jesse Shore has over 25 years of experience as a science communicator  
creating exhibitions, public events, a science festival and working  
with other communications media. He enjoys making science meaningful  
to a variety of audiences and likes to have a bit of fun in how he  
presents his content. He was an exhibition project leader during the  
building of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and their senior curator  
of sciences for 20 years. He left the museum and started his business,  
Prismatic Sciences, to develop science based content for television  
and the web.

This event is free and open to all. No RSVP necessary
17 August - INTECOL 09 International Ecology Panel Discussion. The  
10th International Congress of Ecology (www.intecol10.org/) is to be  
held in Brisbane from 16 - 21 August 2009. In conjunction with INTECOL  
we will be hosting a Public lecture & panel discussion focused on  
Urban Ecology, sustainable urban planning and development and the  
responsibility of ecologists in securing our future.
Speakers include:
* Professor Cliff Dorse from City of Cape Town South Africa
* Dr Mark McDonnell - Director, Australian Research Centre for Urban  
* Dr Darryl Jones - Director, Centre for Innovation Conservation  
Strategies, Griffith University
* Prof. Hugh Possingham - Director, The Ecology Centre, The University  
of Queensland as MC
September (Date to be confirmed) - Our Annual Brisbane Writers  
Festival talk
12 October - Dr Michael Murphy from Swinburne University - Topic to be  
confirmed (Astrophysics)
November - Someone very exciting but we can't reveal who yet.
December - Dr Daryl Cooper, University of California, Santa Barbara
-- July 23, AIP International Year of Astronomy talk by Dr Paulo De  
Souza from CSIRO ICT Centre, Tasmania. Venue to be announced. Check  
the BrisScience website for updates.
"From Mars to Earth: a journey fostered by Science, Technology and  

This is an invitation to a return journey from Mars. Our Planet and  
Mars have a common past. Eventually, they will share the same future  
and some of the incredible technological development for the Martian  
missions is already being applied on our Planet. We will travel across  
time getting an overview on how our knowledge on Mars was built. Over  
the centuries Mars has captured our attention. First as a red bright  
point in the night sky, then with channels seeing by optical  
telescopes, revealing incredible geological features looking like  
Christ's face on its surface or even sending pieces of possible  
fossilized bacteria in meteorites to Earth... Martians? Mars may have  
been able to support life at some point in the planet's history. We  
will talk about it. Lots of images and fresh scientific results will  
be presented, especially those obtained by scientists working with the  
NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers mission. At the end we will see how  
some of the instruments that equipped the rovers Spirit and  
Opportunity are being applied on industry, environment or even  

Dr. Paulo de Souza is the Research Director at the CSIRO's Tasmanian  
ICT Centre and a collaborator scientist of the Mars Exploration Rover  
Project from NASA/JPL/Cornell.

--July 28, Tools of Science presented by Neil Boucher at 6 pm
"Marconi/Braun 1909 Nobel Prize"
Lecture Theatre 222, Parnell Building, The University of Queensland

To join or leave our mailing list please email l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au or  
visit BrisScience at www.BrisScience.org
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Please forward this email to friends, colleagues and family!

 From your friendly BrisScience Co-ordinators, Joel and Lynelle
c/o School of Mathematics and Physics,
The University of Queensland,
Brisbane Australia, 4072
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