[ASC-list] Australian Institute of Physics bulletin

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Wed May 6 02:16:17 UTC 2015

Dear ASCers,

We write a bulletin of physics news and events every month on behalf of Warrick Couch, the AIP President. This month we recognise a bunch of great Australian physicists gaining recognition for their work.

There's a taste of this month's bulletin below and you can view the full bulletin online<http://www.aip.org.au/info/?q=article%2Fcelebrating-physics>.

Kind regards,


>From Warrick Couch, President of the Australian Institute of Physics

We take a peek at some wonderful Australian physicists and their work in this bulletin, as well as congratulating several whose work has been recognised.

I'd particularly like to congratulate Amanda Barnard (winning the Nobel of nanotech, the Feynman Prize), Claire-Elise Green (CSIRO Scholarship in Physics) and Michelle Simmons (Honorary Bragg Membership of RiAus).

I'm pleased to announce that this year's AIP Women in Physics Lectureship has been awarded to Jodie Bradby from ANU. A/Prof Bradbury, who is a leader in nano-deformation research at ANU, will be delivering a national tour of physics lectures later this year. More details will follow in another newsletter.

Teeny tiny diamonds and big data
In prize-winning physicist news, CSIRO researcher Amanda Barnard<http://csironewsblog.com/2015/04/23/nanotech-prize-no-small-win-for-australia-and-women-in-science/> has become the first Australian to win the Nobel of nanotech, the Feynman Prize. The Prize recognises Amanda's work with diamond nanoparticles, including the discovery that they self-align in useful, easily-customised structures, with implications for potentially life-saving chemotherapy treatments. Amanda's work has depended on Australia's powerful supercomputer assets, crunching the numbers to mine decades of big data

Heated up leftovers confounding the search for intergalactic life
A really nice bit of Australian detective work has discovered the source of interesting wave traces found in the data archives of several radio-telescopes around the world.
Known as perytons, the radiowave (RF) bursts closely resemble Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) - brief, extremely intense bursts of RF thought to originate outside our galaxy. However, unlike FRBs, peryton waves are known to come from terrestrial sources.
Swinburne University's Emily Petroff<http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/10/rogue-microwave-ovens-are-the-culprits-behind-mysterious-radio-signals/> and other researchers also saw that perytons appeared in the data most often around lunchtime on workdays. Last month they revealed the source: microwave ovens in nearby kitchens being opened during operation.

Recognition of quantum computing
AIP member and Director of the Quantum Computing and Communications Centre, Michelle Simmons<http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/prince-edward-the-duke-of-kent-presents-awards-at-science-exchange-adelaide/story-fni6uo1m-1227317194257>, has added another feather to her cap. Prof Simmons was presented with Honorary Bragg Membership of RiAus, in recognition of her achievements in quantum computing.
Bragg membership is the highest category of membership awarded by RiAus, and celebrates Adelaide's Nobel-winning Father and son team William and Lawrence Bragg.

Physicists in the news
CSIRO 's first Scholarship in Physics winner Claire-Elise Green has been profiled at CSIRO News blog<http://csironewsblog.com/2015/04/17/uncovering-the-mystery-of-stellar-nurseries/> and in a recorded interview discusses the science of blob-ology - how stars form within ancient molecular clouds deep in space.

South Australian photonics researcher Tanya Monro was profiled in Cosmos magazine<https://cosmosmagazine.com/physical-sciences/her-brilliant-career> in April. Founder of a number of photonics research centres and now Deputy Vice Chancellor Research at the University of Adelaide, she describes how her first taste of physics saw her smitten by "the beautiful clarity of how everything links together". Prof Monro has a string of scientific prizes to her name. Her discovery that photosensitivity within fibre-optic cables could be used guide its own path won her the AIP Bragg Gold Medal<http://www.aip.org.au/info/?q=content/bragg-gold-medal-excellence-physics> for outstanding work by a PhD student in 1998.
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