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 month’s bulletin.

You can view the full bulletin online here.

Kind regards,




From Marc Duldig, President of the Australian Institute of Physics



Two physicists were recognised last night in Canberra by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, at the 2012 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science ceremony. Astronomer Ken Freeman was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science and AIP member Eric May was awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year. My congratulations to Ken and Eric for the well-deserved recognition they have received for their research in the physical sciences. More details on all the winners below.


TV physicist and Large Hadron Collider researcher Brian Cox has sold out talks in Sydney and Melbourne; The UK’s Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, will give a public talk in Sydney; and three impressive and successful women, Susan Greenfield, University of Oxford, Fiona Stanley, Universities of Western Australia and Melbourne, and Marita Cheng, Robogals, will discuss their journeys as professional women in science and engineering in Melbourne.


And in AIP events this month we ask what the future holds for Australian telecommunication and its associated infrastructure, including the NBN at the NSW AIP Physics in Industry Day. In Sydney, we ponder the possibility that stupid ideas aren’t always stupid and in Tasmania we reinvestigate the previously discredited idea that planetary motion may influence solar activity. In Victoria, we look at the past and current roles of cosmic radiation research. We also reward outstanding postgraduate research in NSW and honours year research in Tasmania.


Registrations for the Australian Institute of Physics 2012 Congress (in conjunction with the 37th Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology) have now exceeded 750. I’m looking forward to a great event in Sydney and encourage you to register soon if you plan to attend. The detailed program is now online at and there is still the opportunity to become a sponsor or register as an exhibitor. In the afternoon before the welcome reception on the first day (9 December) we are running a workshop on how to connect your research with industry. See the details below, and book now if you are interested in attending as places are limited.


The AIP is a sponsor of a symposium showcasing recent theoretical developments and new applications of MRI and NMR Diffusion measurements, coming up at the University of Western Sydney at the end of the month. More info at


In this bulletin you’ll also find news from Science and Technology Australia and ANSTO.


You can view the full bulletin online here.




Niall Byrne
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