The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 46 no 7 | 22–26 February 2021


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

The weather was a nice reminder that we’re still in summer. It was 18 months ago, to the very day, that the first tower crane went up (EH#32, 2019). This week’s pic shows the last of that cranes apex structure coming down. The smaller tower crane, seen to the left, will come down in the next month. With nearly all the glazing in place the building is very close to the “lock-up” stage and one can already get a feel for the ambiance of the internal spaces.

Our School Manager and Microsoft wrangler, James Irwin, has helped me to construct a landing page for implementing our structural changes over the next few months. You will receive email invitations directly depending on which part of the SharePoint is most applicable to you. This forum exists so we can inclusively and progressively reconstruct Departments, while keeping an eye on the guidance our Working Parties provide us. These constitute the sides of the School ‘coin’, governance and strategy. In making Department reconstruction the primary objective we can constitute the School Executive from the Heads and Associate Directors, a priority to establish good governance. With governance in place we will be better equipped to respond to the guidance the Working Parties (WP) are providing. The WPs will help us rewire the School’s strategic components, one of the elements we can readily see in the Research Working Party’s “Innovation cycle”. 

Following up from last week, my thanks to Tony Cullen (Electronics Unit, 1974-2007), Kevin Lonsdale (from Mech workshop to School Services Manager, 1971-2006) and Ross Tranter (LPC and in the School since 1979), for identifying the musicians in the photo from 1980. So from right to left, the musos are; on banjo Colin Steele (Mechanical Workshop Manager), on drums Dennis Blackall (Precision Shop Craftsman, Mechanical Workshop), on clarinet Wally Hopkinson (Technical Officer, Engineering Physics (Laser Physics), on trumpet Bob Waterford  (Craftsman, Mechanical Workshop and later RSES Mechanical Workshop Manager), and on guitar John Fulavi (spelling?) was a cleaner in the Mechanical Workshop. The gentleman on the organ is still unknown to us. Normally, Kevin’s wife, Judy would have been on piano. My thanks to the other long-time friends who emailed me thrilled to see this blast from the past.

All the best for teaching commencement this week.


PhB Mentors Needed

This year we have an unprecedented 25+ first-year Physics students in the PhB program, some of the smartest high-school graduates from across the country. We take an advantage of the country closed boarder and keep those who usually would go to study overseas.

Each student is to be assigned an academic mentor for their time at ANU, and we would like to make a call for people willing to take on this role. This typically involves 1-2 meetings per semester to provide advice regarding their degree.

All students should do research projects and also enter the Honours Program, so this is an excellent opportunity to expand your research groups with extra hands. Please contact Prof Yuri Kivshar ( to express your interest. For further details about the program 'read more' below.

Yuri Kivshar and James Sullivan
PhB Physics discipline coordinators

» read more


The ANU MakerSpace is launching a Maker in Residence program. The residency offers an external maker from any discipline three months of full MakerSpace access to realise a project. By creating this opportunity, we aim to amplify our maker culture of skill sharing, inclusivity, and diversity for the benefit of the existing MakerSpace members. Anyone who is not a current ANU student or staff member can apply, so pass info on to your maker friends and family.

Applications close March 1


Quantum Hall Phases Emerging from Atom–Photon Interactions

The team from Nonlinear Physics Center, in collaboration with colleagues from the ITMO University in Russia, demonstrated that topological order can be self-induced in an array of periodically spaced two-level atoms coupled to a waveguide (waveguide quantum electrodynamics).

This finding will advance several research disciplines including quantum optics, many-body physics, and nonlinear topological photonics. 

» read more


ANU 2025 Plan

Have your say. Attend forums, submit written feedback, participate in focus groups or complete the survey. More information can be found on the ANU 2025 website.

» read more




Oliphant Tea Room

The Oliphant tea room is open with tea bags & black coffee only.

Please remember to bring your own cup & spoon.


Building and Room Security Access

Please note that the school now has a general access restriction of 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.  

Only those people that have been approved by the WHS team (updated risk assessment, training and safe work procedures in place) will be granted additional access (24/7).

If you need to complete a new after-hours risk assessment, please see the new top section here:




School Seminar Program - 24 February

How nanostructured materials bring new functionalities to optical systems - Prof. Dragomir Neshev, Prof. Chennupati Jagadish, Prof. Ilya Shadrivov, and Prof. Lan Fu

» read more


Departmental seminars

Mr Wei Wen Wong - 25 February
Epitaxially-grown III-V micro-ring lasers for Si photonics applications
» read more

Mr David Freeman - 26 February
High harmonic generation in the condensed matter phase
» read more


Know your administrator...

Julie Arnold - EME & NLPC

Petra Rickman - NP/HIAF & ARC CDM

Belinda Barbour - DQS

Nikki Azzopardi - AM, CPF, LPC & TP


NHMRC schemes opening in 2021 (Q1)

The College of Science Research Office (CRO) is now inviting notices of intent (NoI) to submit applications for the following schemes opening in 2021.


AINSE 2021 Postgraduate Research Awards (PGRA) – applications now open (applications close 15 April 2021)

» read more


Physics @ ANU



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