The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 24 | 15–19 June 2020




Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

I hope your weekend was pleasant.  Long after the announcement back in Oct 2018 (EH 43/92), Emeritus Professor Denis Evans can now be seen above holding his 2019 Lennard-Jones Prize and Lectureship from the Royal Society of Chemistry.  Well done Denis, you are in great company seeing how many Nobel Laureates have also held this award.  Apart from excelling at thermodynamics, Denis is also an outstanding wildness photographer.

One of the great pleasures of being at a university must surely be interacting with the public.  After covid stopped their school excursion two Year 6 students, Lucy and Cienna, sprang into action and wrote to us for our thoughts on three big questions.  I’ve included a copy of their request (below) and I invite you to include your thoughts. I'll be sending them a card about the Oliphant Homopolar Generator on Thursday and would welcome any contributions you might like to add.  I think their class would be stoked to see a range of impressions from, in their own words, “the smartest group of people to talk about Physics and Electricity.”

The building is progressing quickly with the roof going up and the last of the scaffolding coming down in the next few weeks.  Internal fit-out has accelerated with some amazingly complex piping and ductwork now covering the ceilings.  A short stretch of façade is evident on the southern side.  The pictures below show Chris Graf (Hindmarsh) standing next to a massive 2.8 tonne Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panel awaiting installation in the first of the stable labs.  Three of these panels form the roof.  They are literally wooden cabins, constituted of 30 cubic metres of wood in 8m x 8m x 4m high self-supporting, light-tight CLT acoustic box built a-top a 180 tonne isolated slab.  Each of the 22 ‘cabins’ will have an adjoining but acoustically separated control room.

Our WHS Administrator, Sonia Padrun, tells me she has had 351 requests to return to campus.  Please contact Sonia if you have questions about your return.  If all goes well, we are only six weeks from reaching Level A, when all staff and students will be permitted to return while still observing distancing and hygiene measures.  Later this week we will be advising some groups about afterhours work.  The School Facilities and WHS teams have posted maximum occupancy notices around the School (over 500!).  Please note that the University guidelines for posting maximum occupancy rates do not take into account furniture or equipment footprints and in most cases the practical limit will be reached well before the maximum certified limit.

Have a good week,




School Forum - Wednesday 17 June 2020 @ 10:30

Please note your diaries. There will be an all School Forum held via ZOOM on 17 June. The zoom link has been sent out via email. Any questions? Please email


School Seminar Series - 17 June 2020 @ 3:00pm via zoom

Mr Kirill Koshelev (NLPC)  presents:  Light trapping with unusual waves: bound states in the continuum Read more


» read more


» read more



COVID-19 return to work

RSPhys COVID-19 return to work protocols (PDF, 2MB)

RSPhys COVID-19 safe work procedure (DOCX, 169kB)

RSPhys COVID-19 risk assessment (DOCX, 105kB)

RSPhys Room / Lab / Workshop Risk Assessment (DOCX, 146kB)

RSPhys admin support during the University remote work and study period

Contact details for Admin staff



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