The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 6 | 10–14 February 2020


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Ah rain!  A salve for our sore eyes, and balm for the land. Last week Sue, James and I were discussing the great benefits of tea time.  As February is generally the month the School starts to become whole again after the summer break we would like to institute, from this year onwards, “Free Feb” to ease people back into the pleasure of tea time.  We’d like to encourage you get out of your office and to reconnect, inspire and generally shoot the breeze with your colleagues.  During “Free Feb”, all tea and coffee amenities in your Dept or in the main Oliphant Tea Room are free – including biscuits.

This week’s pic comes from A/Prof Steve Madden who easily convinced me a few years back to put our hands up for some excellent optical coating facilities being gifted to a good home by CSIRO.  Under the expertise at CSIRO much of this equipment was directly involved in the coating developments for the test masses used in LIGO. The rest is history and this amazing facility is now operational in the School. The tool is a Veeco Spector Ion Beam Sputtering machine modified with a custom chamber door. It can take substrates up to 45cm diameter and deposit metal oxide and nitride film stacks of up to 3 materials with uniformity <0.1% across the whole 45cm aperture under full computer control. Currently there are targets to coat silica, tantala, alumina, hafnia, titania, indium tin oxide (conductive) and tantalum nitride. There is a four wavelength ellipsometer for active process control that provides for thickness accuracies <1nm and a white light spectroscopic monitor also. The machine is one of only two in the world "certified" for producing LIGO optics and was used to manufacture the coatings for the beamsplitters and power recycling optics currently in use at LIGO. It produces coatings with sub 10ppm absorption and >99.995% reflectivity mirrors. If you have any ideas for projects please collar Steve.

My thanks to the technical staff in the central workshops, School Facilities and LPC who helped to install this unique capability. We are exceedingly grateful to CSIRO for their gift of expertise and equipment. Shown in the photo (left to right) is Bertrand Delaet, Steve Madden, Kunlun Yan and Johannes Eichholz

Have a great week,



Equity and Diversity

A language analysis of titles and abstracts in more than 100,000 scientific articles found that papers with first and last authors who were both women were about 12% less likely than male-authored papers to include sensationalistic terms such as ‘unprecedented’, ‘novel’, ‘excellent’ or ‘remarkable’. This study also found that papers missing such words garnered significantly fewer citations.

» read more


HDR Supervision Registration Workshop

The ANU HDR Supervision Development Team presents a workshop to current or prospective HDR supervisors in the Research School of Physics 15 April 2020. Participation meets the requirements for HDR Supervisor Registration.

» read more


Thesis Proposal Review Workshop

The ANU Academic Skills Centre is presenting a Thesis Proposal Review workshop for RSPhys HDR students. 13 March 2020, 10am-12pm - Oliphant Conference Room, Level 4.4 Oliphant Building 60 - Registration required.

» read more


ARC applications

Reminder to Researchers participating in ARC applications: Please notify the College Research Office (CRO) by email if you are involved in any ARC DP21 or LE21 (LIEF) applications, including externally-led proposals (if you haven’t notified us already).

LIEF 2021 is now open in RMS and further resources and information will be distributed to those who have emailed their notification of intent to apply.


Early Career Researcher Showcase

Tell us in 30 seconds and you could win a trip to Canberra to present your work at Collaborate Innovate 202025-27 May, the annual conference of the Cooperative Research Centres Association. Closes 27 Feb.

» read more




Free February

Morning and afternoon tea is now FREE....for the month of February (in the Oliphant building). Don't forget, come March, pay for your hot drinks and biscuits.


February Events

14 February
Mr Alexander Bray
Strong field sub-femtosecond electronic processes
» read more

17 February
Energy Change Institute (ECI) Open Day
» read more

17 February
Imagining Australia with 100% renewable energy: how do we get there?
» read more

19 February
Dr Peter Riggs
Time's Labyrinth: Revealing the Characteristics of Time
» read more


Robert and Helen Crompton Award 2020

Applications are being sought for the Robert and Helen Crompton Award 2020. This prestigious award provides funding for RSPhys research students to undertake part of their research program overseas or make a collaborative visit to an overseas institution, for three to six months. Closes 28 Feb.

» read more


Email Archive Policy Change

A 2 year archive policy to all ANU email accounts has been implemented. All emails older than 2 years are being automatically moved to an online archive rather than remain in your primary mailbox.

» read more


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.



JCS Strategic Priorities Plan

CoS Academic Performance Standards

CV Guidelines


Keep Informed

ANU Events

ANU Reporter



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