[ASC-list] BrisScience : Are the laws of nature changing
l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au
Mon Sep 28 07:22:37 UTC 2009
Are the laws of nature changing? Presented by Dr Michael Murphy -
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of
MONDAY 12 OCTOBER 2009
What are the laws of Nature? Are they really hard-and-fast “laws”, or
just “local by-laws” for the tiny region of the Universe we live in?
These questions are among the most basic we can ask, and also some of
the oldest. This talk will explore how astronomers are trying to
answer these questions of fundamental physics. One fun way is to
observe quasars – super-massive black holes sucking in stars and gas
from the centers of galaxies in the extremely distant Universe – with
the biggest telescopes on Earth. Excitingly, Dr Murphy’s results to
date suggest that some laws of Nature might have been different
billions of years ago, in the early Universe, before our Solar System
and even our Milky Way galaxy existed. Of course, these results are
under intense scrutiny and the story continues.
Michael Murphy is an observational astronomer studying the Universe’s
properties and evolution on the largest possible scales, i.e.
cosmology. He completed his PhD in physics at the University of NSW in
Sydney and then spent 5 years at the University of Cambridge in the UK
as a research fellow. He returned to Australia in 2007 to take up a
lectureship at Swinburne University and began a QEII Research
Fellowship there in 2008, funded by the Australian Government.
* Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm (Doors open at 6pm) 12 October 2009
* Venue: Ithaca Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall
* Refreshments: There will be complimentary drinks and nibblies
following the talk, and they will be available to answer any questions.
* Questions? Contact Lynelle (l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au)
UPCOMING BRISSCIENCE TALKS visit www.BrisScience.org for further
17 November - In association with ASTE 32nd National Symposium, Future
Proofing Australia, we will be hosting a panel discussion with some
distinguished leaders in the field.
30 November - Len Fisher, UK Author of Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game
Theory in Everyday Life, How to Dunk a Doughnut: The Science of
Everyday Life, Weighing the Soul: The Evolution of Scientific Ideas,
and The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life
14 December - Dr Daryl Cooper, University of California, Santa Barbara
IMPORTANT BRISSCIENCE ANNOUNCEMENT
Brisbane City Hall will be closing their doors at the end of 2009 due
to refurbishment. BrisScience is currently looking at alternative
venues for next years series and would like you, our audience, to
indicate your preference for a new home for BrisScience. Please take 1
minute to let us know your preference for a new venue. Visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=qLeGK01_2fjxBV78vqnpOGHA_3d_3d
. There is only one question to answer and by doing so you are helping
to continue BrisScience's success. Thank you in advance.
OTHER SCIENCE RELATED EVENTS
UQ Science - Bird Watching with Professor Hugh Possingham
Sunday 4 October, 7 am visit http://www.uq.edu.au/events/event_view.php?event_id=5804
for more information and to register.
Tools of Science - 20 October 2009 @ 6pm (Room 234 Parnell Building,
UQ St Lucia.
The experimental method as a tool of science in late nineteenth-
century France Presented by Kim Hajek
How do you convince the world that what you're doing is science
legitimate and rigorous? What if your practices seem to resemble the
spectacular manipulations of fairground charlatans? What tools can you
use to persuade people of your work's value as science?
These are all pertinent questions for the aspiring science of
hypnotism in late nineteenth-century France. Its precursor animal
magnetism (or mesmerism) had a dubious reputation, following repeated
official academic rejection of its legitimacy, not to mention the
extravagant antics of popular magnetizers, whose claims bordered on
the supernatural. Having gained a foothold on scientific territory
through the work of the famous neurologist Charcot, hypnotism needed
powerful tools to buttress its claims to proper scientific status. I
will investigate how two prominent researchers used the experimental
method as a tool to assert their scientificity, some surprising
implications of their efforts, and whether their strategy ultimately
Kim Hajek is a PhD student in the Centre for the History of European
Discourses at UQ. She is working on developing a cultural and
intellectual history of scientific hypnotism in late nineteenth-
century France, paying particular attention to the interaction of
scientific and literary discourses around this topic. Kim also works
part time in Physics at UQ, her current research project being CARS
Australian Institute of Physics International Year of Astronomy Series
Professor Brian Boyle will discuss his work on the The Square
Thursday 12 November 2009, Winterford Room, Regatta Hotel, Coronation
Drive @ 6.30 pm
Stretching over a continent and comprised of over 5000 antennas, the
Square Kilometre Array is proposed to be the world's largest radio
telescope and one of the most ambitious pieces of scientific
infrastructure ever built. It will address some of the key questions
of 21st century astronomy and physics and act as an scientific icon
for generations to come.
I will outline the international project which aims to build this
telescope by the end of next decade, and describe some of the
transformational scientific projects that will be done with the
telescope. I will also describe current SKA activities in Australia
developments, including construction of the Australian SKA Pathfinder
telescope at the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory in Western
Australia over the coming four years. With Southern Africa, Australia
is currently one of two countries short-listed to host this $2.5b
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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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