The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 33 | 17–21 August 2020


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

This week’s pic shows Emeritus Professor Neil Manson touching down after his memorable Founder’s Day talk last year.  It gives me tremendous pleasure to congratulate Neil on turning 80 today.

Since joining our School as a Research Fellow in 1973, Neil has made remarkable contributions in bringing high-resolution laser techniques to solid-state spectroscopy. Neil is most closely associated with the elucidation of the nitrogen vacancy (NV) found in diamond, to the extent that he is known in the research community as “Mister NV”.  He has also been our valued HDR convenor for close to 30 years, supporting many students over that time and helping establish the wonderful HDR Team we have today.  In lieu of our usual morning tea and cake please drop Neil a note today and join me in wishing him many happy returns.  Below I’ve included some other pics of Neil with many familiar friends through the ages (Fire in the Belly, Ophel & Jenkins, 1996)

It is with sadness that I inform you of Joan Ophel’s passing last week.  She and Trevor were long standing and valued members of the Nuclear Physics community. Joan was laid to rest last Thursday with members of NP present.  Our thoughts go to the extended Ophel family.

You will have seen notice of an incident a few weeks ago in which someone sustained a very significant shock from a faulty laptop power supply.  As these are frequently moved units they become an increasing risk of failure over time.  Please immediately check your electrical compliance tag on both the supply and cable, if it has a separable lead.   Never use it if either the mains cable look damaged, or if it is beyond the due date for compliance testing.  If you have only one supply then it will need to be tested each year.  I highly recommend purchasing a two supplies, one to be left at home and the other at work. Both will need periodic testing but this can be a longer period if they are essentially static supplies.  The Stores and Electronics Unit are always available for free Test and Tagging of laptop supplies.  We will be permanently locating a Test & Tag unit in Physics North, and until then have regular drop-in days will be arranged.  Due to the high level of risk I am mandating that every laptop owner renews the electrical safety test on their power supplies by mid-September.  Thank you.

Don't forget the chance for a Satellite Selfie.

Have a great week,



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Kath Hicks (NLPC) will be away Monday 17 August to Friday 24 August. If you have any urgent administrative requests, please send them to


Teach for Australia

18 August 7pm-8pm
Tell A Different Story - Virtual Information Session
Registration HERE

20 August 7pm-8pm 
Application Workshop
Registration HERE

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National Science Week 2020

This year National Science week runs 15–23 August. 

During National Science Week 2020, the whole of Canberra will be invited to go outside for a giant photograph taken from space! The event will be presented by the Where You Are Festival with the support of the ACT Government and co-hosted by The Australian National University. See story here.

The Centre for Gravitationnal Astrophysics is also participating in National Science Week 2020

There are plenty of events available in Canberra for the whole family to enjoy - see the calendar of events here.


Australian Defence Science Technology Group Internship Opportunity (DSTG) - Material-object Detection in Hyperspectral Images Using Machine-learning Applications now open to domestic students.

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Reminder - ARC Notice of Intent Form - The College of Science Research Office (CRO) is inviting notices of intent (NoI) to submit applications - end date 31 August.

RSD Seminar Series Recordings - RSD Research Funding and Development Office has hosted several workshops and seminars this year- read more for details.

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From Last Week

Global Young Scientists Summit

Schmidt Science Fellows

John Carver Seminar Series 2020




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