The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 26 | 29 June–3 July 2020




Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back, I hope your weekend was enjoyable.  This week’s pic is from DQS PhD student, Nutsinee Kijbunchoo, who won the Jury's Choice Award in the Wiki Science Photography Competition for the entry - Baffled LIGO scientists. This wonderful photo captures a moment when two researchers at LIGO Hanford's Pre-Stabilized Laser enclosure stand baffled by the poor light coupling in a new fibre coupler they just installed.

Congratulations to Dr Siva Karuturi, Prof Hoe Tan, Distinguished Prof Chennupati Jagadish (EME) and their colleagues at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) and Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering (RSEEME) for their recent Advanced Energy Materials Communication (DOI: 10.1002/aenm.202000772) highlighting the group achieving a record efficiency for Perovskite-Silicon based solar water hydrolysis.  Led by Prof Kylie Catchpole (RSEEME), this announcement has been picked up by the materials community applauding their progress towards affordable solar hydrogen production.

With the Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems (TMOS) starting up next month, Professor Dragomir Neshev and his group will be transferring to Electronic Materials Engineering. Dragomir is one of the key senior members of the highly successful Non-Linear Physics Centre and over his time has been a great contributor into experimental developments in this Department, and to the School in general.  For EME, he will bring new elements in optics research and important meta-optics applications, just in time to integrate before their move into the new building next year.  

The importance of Post-Graduate research has jumped into focus as the world relies even more heavily on STEM to manage a COVID world.  To help promote the Masters of Science in Quantum Technology, Amanda Cox from the College of Science has written a great article around Prof Ping Koy Lam’s activity in the field of research. The story introduces readers to the fascinating world of quantum encryption and quantum technology, by highlighting commercialisation success at the ANU in this area, and capacity to generate interest in the growing quantum industry.  I am certain we could do a series of exciting profiles like this one to promote all six of our Masters programs.  Please Phil Dooley know if you have an idea for a profile in one of our Masters.

Last Friday you will have seen an email from our School Manager, James Irwin, asking that we restrict office use until we can increase the number of first aiders in the School.  Also, from Tuesday morning the west end of Oliphant will be sealed due to demolition work required to connect it to the new building.  It will remain sealed until further notice.

To finish on a highlight, last Friday Hindmarsh celebrated a major construction milestone on Stage 1.  At the end I have included a table courtesy of Jonathan De Puit and Brett Price from Hindmarsh that emphasises the sheer scale of this operation, the single technical largest building ever constructed at ANU.  Congratulations to Hindmarsh Constructions, Hassell Studio and all the many contractors on achieving this milestone.  The building is looking fantastic!

Have a good week,



School Seminar Series - 15 July 2020 @ 11:00 am via zoom

Dr Liam McGuinness (LPC) presents: Measuring Frequency better than Atomic Clocks Read more


A message from the E&D committee: This week we highlight some research from the Australian organisation Chief Executive Women. Two of their reports are particularly relevant to physics.  One on Engaging the future of STEM about encouraging young women in the sector, and the other describes increasing male engagement in gender equality efforts in Australia. 


This weeks update includes - Details about the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) international competition.

» read more


July Seminars

3 July - Ms Maria del Rocio Camacho Morales
Nonlinear Optical Processes in Resonant GaAs-based Nanoantennas
» read more

17 July - Mr Naiyin Wang 
Shape Engineering of INP Nanostructures by Selective Area Epitaxy
» read more


It happened in just zeptoseconds

Australian and US physicists say they have calculated the speed of the most complex nuclear reactions and found that they’re, well, really fast. We’re talking as little as a zeptosecond – a billionth of a trillionth of a second (10-21). Professor Cedric Simenel (TP) from the Australian National University worked with Kyle Godbey and Sait Umar from Vanderbilt University to model 13 different pairs of nuclei, using supercomputers at ANU and in the US.

» read more


2019/2020 Payment Summaries (ATO Income Statement)

The way you receive your payment summary is changing.  It is now called an Income Statement and will be available through ATO online services using myGov or through your registered tax agent. This means what you have known as your payment summary (now called an Income Statement) will no longer be issued to you by the University and will not appear within your employee self-service section in HORUS.

» read more


Mysterious collision of a black hole and a much smaller object 800 million years ago

Gravitational Wave scientists of LIGO and VIRGO collabration, including CGA astrophysicists announced detection of gravitational wave that is the result of collision of a black hole around 23 times the size of the Sun with a much smaller object 2.6 solar mass. This mystrious object falls within the astrophysical mass gap between ordinary black holes and neutron stars, making it either the heaviest neutron star or the lightest black hole ever discovered. 

» read more


Returning to "Normal"

Message from the Vanilla Bean - Hope you have all been well during this crazy time.  Just wanted to let you know that the café will be open for take away from Monday 29th June after being closed for 3 months.  Grateful if you could spread the word to colleagues looking for a coffee, breakfast, lunch or some catering. 


From Last Week

First Aid Officers and Fire Wardens are needed - READ HERE

Cyber Security Update - READ HERE

New Purchasing Guidelines and Requirements - READ HERE


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


Building stats - table courtesy of Jonathan De Puit and Brett Price from Hindmarsh.



The Australian National University, Canberra | CRICOS Provider : 00120C | ABN : 52 234 063 906

If you do not wish to receive future emails from us, please unsubscribe.