[ASC-list] AIP Congress apps and awards galore: physics in December & January

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Fri Nov 28 05:11:53 UTC 2014

Dear ASCers,

We put together a bulletin of physics news and events every month on behalf of Rob Robinson, the AIP President. Here’s a taste of what’s in this month’s bulletin.

You can view the full bulletin online<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/aip-presidents-blog/december-2014>.

Kind regards,

>From Rob Robinson, President of the Australian Institute of Physics

It’s time to start packing your bags for the 2014 AIP Congress, which opens in Canberra on Sunday 7 December.

If you can’t come, you can follow us on Twitter at @aipc2014<https://twitter.com/aipc2014> or #aipc2014<https://twitter.com/hashtag/aipc2014?src=hash>, or see our visiting speakers at public lectures and forums, including Nobel laureate Steven Chu’s televised address to the National Press Club. There’s also still time to register<http://www.aip2014.org.au/registration/?IntCatId=38>.

The program<http://aip2014.org.au/program/?IntCatId=54> includes some speakers and posters to close off the International Year of Crystallography, and many, many others fitting the theme of the coming International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. And our Art of Physics theme has been taken up by both speakers and exhibitors.

One of the great privileges for me at the Congress is the chance to celebrate the achievements of our AIP medal and award winners. One of these is Les Kirkup, whose contributions to hands-on physics education have won him the 2014 AIP Education Medal. You can read about Les below.

And Yuri Kivshar will receive the biannual Harrie Massey Medal for his work in the exciting new field of nonlinear optics and metamaterials, which you can also read about below.

Congratulations again to Brian Schmidt and his colleagues, this time for receiving a share of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe and its implications for dark energy. Brian has said he’ll donate part of his prize to promote gender diversity in science.

Other prizes announced recently included the honorific awards from the Australian Academy of Science. We list below all the physicists, geophysicists and mathematicians studying physics-related problems who received awards.

These winners include Michelle Simmons from UNSW, who will also be taking up the post of editor-in-chief of npj Quantum Information, a new, open-access journal and the first Australian-based Nature Partner Journal.

New prize opportunities we’re featuring this month are the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Young Scientist Prizes in laser physics and photonics. These prizes will be awarded in June next year in Germany—see below for how to apply.

Speaking of Germany, a recent visitor to our shores was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, named by Forbes magazine<http://www.forbes.com/profile/angela-merkel/> as the most powerful woman in world. This surely makes her the most powerful physicist in the world as well.

I was fortunate to be invited to attend a reception with her in Sydney, where she spoke about importance of science and technology, particularly for Australia–Germany relations, and how she’ll lobby for a free-trade agreement. Closer ties between the two countries will hopefully lead to greater opportunities for us in physics.

On a more personal note, I’m sad to report the unexpected death of my friend and AIP member George Collins. George contributed greatly to ANSTO and other organisations over the years, and has recently been an inspiring leader of research at Swinburne University in Victoria.

This is my final newsletter for 2014, and I wish everyone a happy and safe summer break, as well as a successful, inventive and prosperous New Year (of Light). And I look forward to seeing many of you in Canberra!

And some of the items:

AIP Congress program goes mobile
Nearly 500 speakers have been confirmed in the release of the official program for the 2014 AIP Congress (7–11 December in Canberra). To make it easier for you to see what’s on and decide which sessions to attend, the program is also available as an app for your mobile phone or tablet. Simply download the app AIP 2014 for free from iTunes orGoogle Play.

Hands-on learning earns prize
The 2014 AIP Education Medal has been awarded to Les Kirkup, from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Over his 30 years of working in tertiary institutions, Les has made a significant contribution to physics education, particularly in laboratory-based, inquiry-oriented learning, and developing activities to engage students who are unlikely to pursue a career in physics.

Medal for metamaterial research
Yuri Kivshar from the Australian National University (ANU) has been awarded the AIP’s 2014 Harrie Massey Medal for his work on nonlinear optics, metamaterials and metadevices. Yuri has pioneered a number of concepts in metamaterials, including nanoengineered structures smaller than the wavelength of light that can manipulate the magnetic component of the electromagnetic waves.

Celebrating cosmological breakthrough
Australian Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt and his colleagues have received more recognition for their contribution to discovering the accelerating expansion of the Universe, with a share of the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Unlike the 2011 Nobel Prize, which was awarded to Brian and his co-discoverers Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter, the Breakthrough Prize was shared among the 50 members of their research teams.

Nature‘s new Australian quantum journal
The first Nature Partner Journal based in Australia will build on local expertise in quantum physics and publish articles on quantum computing, communication and information theory. The journal npj Quantum Information was launched at its partner institution the University of New South Wales, where Michelle Simmons will be editor-in-chief.

“The 21st century will be the quantum information century, as the properties of quantum physics are exploited to develop powerful new, secure technologies for transmitting and processing information,” she said.

The international journal, which is already accepting submissions, will be open access, with articles free to read on publication.

Catch Particle Fever
After screening at various festivals, a documentary about the search for the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has now been released in cinemas. Particle Fever, directed by Mark Levinson—himself a particle physicist by training—follows six theorists and experimentalists in their attempts to understand the Universe.

Public discussion When does science matter?
Mon 8 Dec, 5.45 pm
Llewelyn Hall, ANU School of Music, ACT
As part of the AIP Congress, four of the world’s most eminent scientists will discuss the biggest challenges facing the science community today.

Public lecture: The beauty and serendipity of blue sky research
Tue 9 Dec, 5.45 pm
Tyree Room, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW
Nobel Laureate Professor Serge Haroche will be awarded the Dirac Medal and give the 2014 Dirac Public Lecture.

High-tech astronomy in the classroom
Online videos, apps and interactive websites let students experience the wonder and excitement of space.

Young neutron star seen in recent supernova
Astronomers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research detect signs of stellar remnant in SN1987A.

Galaxy mapping effort faces early end
CSIRO’s Mopra radio telescope to be closed due to funding cuts before it finishes mapping galaxy’s interstellar gas.

Quantum whirlpool from spiral laser beam
ANU team uses a brass mask to create a spiral laser that causes vortices of polaritons—hybrid light-matter particles.

Supervortices with negative absolute temperature
Monash University researcher investigates turbulence in superfluids.

Digging jewels out of stardust
Precious comet particles retrieved by NASA’s Stardust mission are etched out of protective gel by researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney.

More details at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/aip-presidents-blog/december-2014.


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>
Twitter scienceinpublic
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