The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 44 no 33 | 19–23 August 2019


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you enjoyed the almost tropical weekend, at least compared with the previous one.  It is a great pleasure to congratulate EmProf Rod Boswell on being recognised by the Association of Asia-Pacific Physical Societies (Division of Plasma Physics) and awarded with the first Laureate of their Plasma Innovation Prize.  This award recognises scientists who have made seminal and pioneering contribution in the field of plasma applications, focusing on impacts on industry. The honour will be bestowed at the 3rd Asia-Pacific Conference on Plasma Physics in Hefei, China later this year.

My heartfelt thanks go to all those who contributed to Market Day last week. It was another excellent event in a growing Physics tradition.  The projects can be found here , which is a wonderful way to illustrate to all potential students the depth and breadth in Physics at ANU.

This week’s pic was taken by Elsie Percival from CoS Marketing and shows Luke Roberts (left), Craig Young and Alex Shanahan (background) from the Physics Mechanical Workshop. They are part of a wonderful snapshot of people “behind the scenes” in the Joint College of Science.  Luke’s and Craig’s quotes are classics and highlight how central workshops are to the campus.

At the last School Forum I mentioned that EmProf Lawrence Cram will kick-off the events contributing to discussion points for the working parties being assembled for our response to the School Review.  The first steps in our response were to improve clarity around both governance and finance processes in the School, which are now close to being finalised.  The next steps will involve four working parties who will formulate operational plans to implement the ANU Strategic Plan, as well as acquit the remaining elements of our response. The next Event Horizon will link to the 6 month time line for these working parties to develop their draft plans, which will ultimately feed into the next 3-6-9 in second quarter of 2020.

This week I’m starting a new weekly section which will highlight some of the interesting technical aspects of our new building. Many thanks to Hassell Studios (architect) and Hindmarsh (construction) for the facts.



Call for participation: John Carver Seminar Series

Nominations are called for the John Carver Seminar Series 2019. This is the annual Research School of Physics competition that enables our students to showcase their research to their fellow students. Participating students will be expected to present a 15 minute talk on their research and there are generous prizes. Nominations close 9 September.

» read more



Market Day 2019

Market Day 2019 was a great success. Many thanks to Liz Micallef, Jo Ivanic and the Market Day team. 


Eureka Prize Finalists

Professor Anatoli Kheifets and Alexander Bray (Research School of Physics), as part of the 'Australian Attosecond Team' nominated for the UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research.


Alicia Payne MP visited RSPhys for Science week

She toured the high pressure and laser laboratories and enjoyed hearing all about quantum technologies and new materials. 


Space frontier, down a gold mine

Dr Lindsey Bignell and colleagues from other Australian universities are part of a global effort to detect dark matter, which scientists say is spread across the Universe and helps to hold galaxies together.

» read more


A new dawn for space discovery

A day in the life: Theoretical physicist Professor Susan Scott was part of a global effort that detected, for the first time, ripples in space and time, known as gravitational waves. 

» read more


NoI form for ARC and NHMRC Schemes opening soon (2019)

The Colleges of Science; Health and Medicine Research Office (CRO) is now inviting notices of intent (NoI) to submit applications for a number of schemes opening in 2019, see below for further details.

» read more


Technical Highlights of Stage 1

The image shows the footing for the tower crane just prior to the concrete being poured.  The base of the crane will be anchored to thsi reinforced block containing 4.3 tonnes of steel and 147 tonnes of concrete atop four, 16 metre deep 600mm diameter reinforced piles. After the crane is removed the footing will remain, maybe a good site for a stable lab?




Director's Colloquium

Professor Andrew Peele
3 September 2019
Powered by the Australian Synchrotron – 1001 things you can do with a 200 mA current

» read more


School Review

Bibliometric Discussion
by Lawrence Cram
Tuesday 27 August 2019

12:30 - 1:30
Finkel Theatre, JCSMR Bldg 131

» read more


August Seminars

21 August
Mr Robert Henry
Non-Hermitian Quantum Mechanics and Free Parafermions
» read more

30 August
Mr Shaun Lung
Unconventional Photonics with Dielectric Metasurfaces
» read more


Further details about School Seminars or Events can be found on the RSPE Intranet and School News and Events Page.


Equity and Diversity

August the 30th is Wear it Purple Day. We invite you to wear as much purple as possible on this day to support our diverse ANU community and to encourage our LGBTIQ colleagues to be proud.

» read more


As You See It! Science, Health and Medicine photography competition

This is the second year of the competition in which we ask alumni, staff and students to submit photos that show how they see Science, Health and Medicine.

» read more


Roger Buckley (AM) will be away 8-26 August. Please email for any urgent matters.

Kath Hick (NLPC) will be awy 26/8 - 22/11. Julie Arnold will be acting team leader during this period, and Linda Barbour will cover NLPC.

Patrick Kluth will be away 19-26 August, Prof Fu Lan will be acting HoD during this period.


Department Meetings

There are no departmental meetings scheduled this week.


Physics South Orientation
Every Monday at 10:00am all new starters are invited to meet at reception to have a short tour of the School’s central areas and receive a welcome pack.

Bookings are not required.


Building Update

Infrastructure Upgrade Program

Two weeks ahead

Two day program



JCS Strategic Priorities Plan

CoS Academic Performance Standards

CV Guidelines


Keep Informed

ANU Events

ANU Reporter

(CHM/CoS) Deans' Bulletin

Jaeger Hub Contacts


 Westpac Research Fellowship closes 26 August 2019

NHMRC Peer Review Panel closes 28 August 2019

Carers' Career Development Assistance closes 30 August

APS award open to PhD students - closes 30 August

"How to publish" event series - 9/12 September

Policy Greenhouse Fund closes 13 September

NHMRC and ARC Future Fellowship Workshops - 30 Sept / 3 Oct

2020 Visions in Microscopy Early Bird Nov 2019 



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