The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 35 | 31 August–4 September 2020


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Clearly it has been a productive year for Nutsinee Kijbuncchoo (CGA) and Anthony Leung (DQS) who have each won a place in this year's 3MT ANU final, a competition that our PhD students have traditionally done very well in.  If you would like to see Nutsinee present “Catching the Waves in the Sea of Noise” and Anthony present “Catching light to protect your privacy” you will need to register for the event.  The final kicks off at midday this Friday, 4th Sep.  All the best to you both!

My congratulations to Ruvi Lecamwasam (DQS) on receiving the 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Tutoring or Demonstrating, announced this this morning.  It is wonderful to see the members of our education team recognised for their outstanding efforts.

Our iconic HPG sculpture, seen top right, is a reminder of the big science our School is known for.  Before the end of this year the HPG will be moved to the entrance of the new building.  Not widely known is that under the 30 Tonne structure lay a time capsule from 1989.  When we relocate the sculpture we aim to re-bury the original time capsule, and add another from this period. What would you want a community 50 or 100 years from now to now about Physics at ANU?  At present we have a large approximately 3 litre stainless steel vessel, so objects will have to be small and archival.  Please turn your minds to what might capture the moment and over the next few months we will start to curate the collection.  I will advertise the schedule for sealing the capsule when I know more.

This week’s pic shows (left) Uyen Nguyen, Sonia Padrun, me and Karen Nulty all sporting various forms of purple last Friday in support of the LGBTIQ community.

Have a good week,



With our current situation of online teaching-via-zoom, it is easy to lose track of who is actively participating in your class, and this can lead to unintended biases.  A simple and effective way to support equity in classroom discussions is to allow a woman to ask the first question.  This suggestion is backed up by research observing behaviour in 250 academic seminars from 10 countries, which found that when a man asked the first question women were less likely to participate during question time, and that this bias disappeared when a woman asked the first question.     



Proposals at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering and National Deuteration Facility at the OPAL Reactor in Sydney, Australia (deadline 15 September 2020)

Australian Synchrotron 2021/1 proposal round open (deadline 15 September 2020)

ANBUG-AINSE Neutron Scattering Symposium (AANSS) 2020: abstract submission open (submissions close 1 September 2020)

ANSTO Powder Diffraction School 2020 Online Webinar: Registrations open (registrations close 1 October 2020)


AINSE 2020 WISE School

1-3 December
4th AINSE Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WISE) School (nominations received until 16 October 2020)

» read more





Dept Seminars

1 Sptember
Ms Ya Zhang
Improving the stability of an optical fibre frequency reference at infrasonic and acoustic frequencies
» read more

24 September
Public forum: Australia, the global renewable energy pathfinder
» read more


Writing Workshop

2-6 November
University of Technology, Sydney
A workshop designed for ECR women aimed at strengthening the scientific writing and critical thinking skills of Australia’s next generation of scientists and academics in STEM. Applications now open.

» read more


Women in STEM Workshop

16 September
Communicating Effectively & with Influence
Led by Dr. Merryn McKinnon, combining specialised techniques with the latest research into effective persuasive and strategic communication, to help become more confident, clear and persuasive in your everyday communication.

» read more


From Last Week

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