The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 17 | 27 April–1 May 2020




Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

A small taste of winter over the weekend, but some glorious days either side.  Hope you all had a chance to commemorate ANZAC in your own way. It's a time to remember all those affected by conflict.

My many thanks to the 37 people who volunteered within 12 hours of the request to courier face mask kits around to the 70 Canberran quilters and School of Art & Design sewers. Over the next couple of weeks, 1000 reusable face masks will be skilfully sown by some of Canberra’s finest from a special fabric used for preserving the sterility of surgical tools after autoclaving.  From the very onset of this crisis I have been amazed by peoples enthusiasm to help out. The MakerSpace and our Central Workshops have made a vast difference, all from the generosity of skilled and clever ANU people. I have another small request for volunteers. Face shield assembly is ramping up and another 10 or so helpers this coming week would be excellent.  If you’re interested please contact Sonia Padrun asap.

Two weeks ago I mentioned how important it is to reach out to our international friends and collaborators. Last week collaborators of A/Prof Cormac Corr (EME) and Mr Mick Blacksell (EME/EU) from the University of South China reached out to us and donated 1000 disposal face mask.  This was a generous act of kindness and greatly appreciated. These masks will be available to you when we start our gradual and measured return to campus.

Yes, I did mention starting to return to campus.  In a very controlled manner a small group of technical officers, and a few academics and students will be given limited access over the next few weeks as the ANU carefully stages re-introduction to campus.  The vast majority of us will need to cool our heals for some time longer, governed by many external forces and the paramount desire to keep the people of ANU safe.  Your Head of Department knows as much as the School Executive do, so please stay in touch with them for any updates.

The ACT Government has announced employment assistance, please see below.  If you think this may be of value to you please register as soon as you can.

The census date for all PDRs has been moved from May Day to 14th May.  These discussions form an important part of your contribution to Department 3-6-9s.  An updated PDR guidelines includes some mandatory elements for academic staff, as agreed with Heads earlier in the year.  Now is a perfect time to renew your PDR.

A School-wide email will go out today inviting you to undertake a very short survey.  The survey will help us prepare better for remote working in general, and the results will be published. Sue and I would like to thank the Equity & Diversity committee, School Exec and Heads for their contribution to designing this survey. Those who have read this far might like to hit the survey first, HERE.

The top pic this week is the other School icon I referred to last week.  Built in the 70’s, the external form was designed by Derek Wrigley, the University Architect of the time.  Few Canberrans fully appreciate the grand science done within, and over the next year we hope to change that!  The Trevor Dickinson illustration is part of a schedule of public engagements that aims to improve general understanding of this unique and important international facility. Sam Legge (DQS) and Steve Marshall (EU) guessed correctly and will receive a copy of “Fire in the belly”, by Ophel and Jenkins.  What?  No one from Nuclear Physics?  Given the authors were from NP I’m guessing everyone there already has the book (😊 – yes, my first and last emoji in the Event Horizon).

The second pic this week comes from Vanessa Robins' (TP/AM) daughter Lucy of a stunning autumn sunset.

Have a good short week,



A message from the E&D committee: This week -  L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women and ANU safe spaces.

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Information for all PhD and supervisors can be found in this section. We will be updating this link continuously with FAQs, the communications strategy, key contact people and support strategies.

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Information for all Departmental research and professional staff can be found in this section. We will be updating this link continuously with FAQs, the communications strategy, key contact people and support strategies.

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Read the Weekly Digest for Education and Infrastructure


Canberra Jobs Plan throws lifeline to International students

Universities Australia (UA) has welcomed the ACT Government’s jobs plan that will give priority to those in most need and who are ineligible for existing Federal Government support. 

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Isolation salvation - Photographic project by CoS

The College of Science are running a series of photos of researchers, called isolation salvation. They are looking to take photos of people with an activity that helps them through social distancing.

» read more


Gravitational Wave Scientists detected the first binary black hole merger with unequal mass components

» read more


ECI Webinar - 13 May

Energy Conversations: Developments in community-based battery storage

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Baby news - Congratulations

Congratulations to Sunny Hong from CPF and her husband Justin on the arrival of baby boy Euan No on 21, April 2020. 


The Australia – Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme for Funding

» read more Fraudulent Transactions - Update

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RSPhys admin support during the University remote work and study period

Working From Home - Please complete the e-form and WEG checklist




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