The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 27 | 6–10 July 2020




Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

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.




Congratulations to Dominik Koll (NP) for winning the AINSE Postgraduate Research Award for 2020.


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: Do you want to join the film group discussion?

» read more


Physics Education Centre are seeking Postdocs and/or tenured staff who may not currently be teaching; to assist with demonstrating in our second year labs program for semester 2, 2020.  Please contact: or Any assistance will be gratefully received.


This weeks update includes - Safe Passage Student Return Project and the Graduate Office FAQs

» read more


This weeks update includes - Extracts from the Research & Innovation News - July 2020

» read more


July Seminars

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


Data Science Survey

Survey of academic researchers who use or wish to use technical support from staff data scientists. The goal of the survey is to capture the contribution of staff data scientists to research capacity building in academia. 

» read more


NECTAR, the Network for Early Career Academics at ANU

Are you an Early Career Academic? Want to build your network outside your department? Did you know ANU has a Network for Early Career Academics called NECTAR? How can you get involved?

» read more


As You See It! photography competition – submissions open now!

Examples of science, health and medicine are all around us – show us your unique take! From the birds outside your office window, the view down your microscope, or a stunning sunset behind a campus building. In the unusual year that is 2020, we urge you to think and look outside the box. 

» read more


From Last Week

2019/2020 Payment Summaries (ATO Income Statement) 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



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.