It is always a great way to start a week by celebrating a publication in Nature. Last week members of the Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics (CGA), together with colleagues at UWA, MIT and other LIGO consortium members, demonstrated an improvement in signal-to noise in the Advanced LIGO interferometer below the standard quantum limit by 3 decibels. DQS has long been home to many advances in quantum squeezing and the translation of this knowhow into the detection of gravitational waves is the latest achievement. This substantial improvement increases the volume of the universe accessible by 50%, and still with a relatively modest level of squeezing. In the near future they hope to increase the volume by a factor of 10, meaning new gravitational wave detections every day! It is amazing to consider the 40 kg test masses as quantum objects. This week’s pic shows CGA PhD student Nutsinee Kijbunchoo (left) and postdoc Dr Terry McRae (right) building one of the squeezer tables at LIGO Hanford. For the second week in a row, it is a pleasure to acknowledge Nutsinee Kijbunchoo as the photographer. More details.
My congratulations to Dominik Koll (NP), seen below, for winning the AINSE Postgraduate Research Award for 2020. This substantial award assists PhD students to present at conferences, undertake field work or travel to ANSTO facilities.
Speaking of successes, congratulations to everyone who contributes to the discipline of Physics at ANU. The Shanghai Ranking for universities has recently ranked Physics at ANU 28th in the world. In 2017 we ranked 34th. Since then Physics at ANU has steadily improved each year. A closer analysis is warranted but at this stage we might readily improve our rankling still further by choosing to publish more often in top quartile journals. At present only around 60% of our publications appear in journals in the top two quartiles. Simply moving the remaining 40% into journals above the median would make a huge difference, something I know the Research Working Party is investigating. In the Natural Sciences category we are in great company with our close neighbours RSES, who place ANU 26th worldwide in Earth Sciences.
Thank you to those who provided feedback on my message last Friday. It is pleasing to see general agreement that it is a good time to demonstrate our ingenuity.
See you at the School Seminar, have a great week.