[ASC-list] Taking the twinkle out of stars and other physics conference highlights

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Wed Jan 23 19:59:06 UTC 2013


Dear ASCers,

We put together a bulletin of physics news and events every month on behalf of Marc Duldig, the President of the Australian Institute of Physics. Here's a taste of what's in this year's first bulletin.

You can view the full bulletin online here<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/aip-presidents-blog/january-2013>.

Kind regards,

Niall


----------------

>From Marc Duldig, President of the Australian Institute of Physics
Welcome to our first bulletin of 2013. This bulletin focusses on our recent conference in Sydney.
It is also my last bulletin before ending my term as President at the AGM next week, so I thought it would be good to quickly review the physics and AIP highlights from the past two years. And what a two years it has been!
For me, the most noteworthy happening has to be Brian Schmidt's Nobel Prize. This has kept the Australian physics community buzzing ever since.
But more than that, it has allowed Brian to have a hugely positive influence politically and socially for our field. It has helped him push the importance of teaching better science in schools into the public domain; something that we have all been trying to do for quite some time.
Other highlights include:

*         the SKA announcement-its positive impact will be felt for years to come

*         the synchrotron now being securely funded (but we still need additional beamlines to come into operation)

*         the Higgs boson arriving in CERN and Melbourne simultaneously

*         physicists across the country winning many national and international awards and many of our colleagues being elected Fellows of the Academy of Science

*         the release of the Physics Decadal Plan.
Speaking of the Academy, there has been a review of the national committee's structure and function and we will see what comes of that in 2013.
On the political front, we have survived the crisis of the Defence Trade Control Bill, although there is still work to do over the trial period of the next two years, getting rid of a few problematic compliance requirements. We have lost out on the funding for access to international facilities though.
Within the AIP, the Australian Physics magazine has gone from being way behind schedule to an on-time publication with a standard of quality that we could only have hoped for a few years ago.
We have just turned 50 and we have plenty planned for our semi-centenary year. The first thing is our new web site, already up and running, at www.aip.org.au<http://www.aip.org.au/>.
And to finish it all off we closed out 2012 with a hugely successful congress.
The Australian Institute of Physics congress and Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology, AIP/ACOFT 2012, at the University of New South Wales in December was the largest physics event of the year.
The congress attracted 832 delegates with representation from 15 countries other than Australia. About 300 undergraduate and post-graduate students attended. Delegates presented more than 280 posters and an exhibition displayed the latest products and services available to the industry.
Some of the physics that gained media interest included:

*         the future of quantum computing

*         Aussie research that will enable the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile to gain clear images of stars

*         an optical fibre that will help detect corrosion in aircraft, bugs in water and much more

*         a new, cheaper way to deliver accurate time across Australia

*         winners of a national school physics competition

*         a discussion on the  assessment used to test Australian science teaching.
And I thank the exhibitors who presented the latest products and services available in the industry at the conference.
Unfortunately this year began with bushfires at Coonabarabran, New South Wales.  Some of the facilities at Siding Springs Observatory were damaged or lost and many astronomers and retired astronomers who live in the area have lost property. Our thoughts are with all of them at this challenging time.
If you'd like to help, I encourage you to consider supporting the Warrumbungle Shire Mayor's Bushfire Appeal<http://www.warrumbungle.nsw.gov.au/News/Articles/Donate-to-the-Warrumbungle-Shire-Mayor-s-Bushfire-Appeal>.
It has been an honour and a pleasure to have served as President during this exciting time in Australian physics. I am happy to pass the baton to Rob Robinson knowing that the leadership is going into good hands and that I leave him a robust and thriving institution filled with outstanding physicists as members.

Full bulletin at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/aip-presidents-blog/january-2013

May you all have a wonderfully happy and fulfilling year.
Regards,
Marc

Marc Duldig
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president at aip.org.au<mailto:aip_president at aip.org.au>
_______

Niall Byrne
Creative Director, Science in Public
 82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood  Vic  3015
(PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015)
03 9398-1416, 03 9078-5398, 0417 131 977
 niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
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www.scienceinpublic.com.au<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/>
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