The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 42 no 8 | 29 February–4 March 2016


New Look School Forum

On 11 March we will adopt a new format for our School Forum.  While all the representatives from our communities will remain I would like to open the meeting up to allow everyone in the School to attend.  The representatives remain your advocates, however their role will be extended so they table your agenda items and lead that discussion. I will act as moderator and chair.  To a large extent this change has been influenced by the success of the ‘town hall’ meeting run in RSES for several years.  Distribution of information is one important part of Forum, but critically there needs to be an opportunity for broad consultation and debate.  In particular as we move towards our Master Building Plan in the next few months.  I’d like to keep the format open and friendly and so we will run over morning tea (10-1130am) in the main School tea room (Link Building, Physics South).  Morning Tea will be provided by the ever helpful Jo and her team, have a cuppa and remember to speak frankly, fairly and without prejudice.  For those who can’t attend the proceedings will be on our intranet, as are the minutes of all School committees.  If you have items you’d like to bring to Forum please bring them to the attention of your reps, your HoD or Deputy Director, by midday Thursday 3 March when the agenda will be sent out in the Event Horizon.

Your current representatives are:

  • Dr Andre CARVALHO, ECA/MCA Representative
  • A/Prof Fu LAN, ECA/MCA Representative
  • A/Prof Matthew HOLE, ECA/MCA Representative
  • Dr Elizabeth WILLIAMS, ECA/MCA Representative
  • A/Prof Jenny WONG-LEUNG, ECA/MCA Representative
  • Ms Tamara BABIJ, Student Representative
  • Mr Bryce HENSEN, Student Representative
  • Mr Tim SAWKINS, Technical Representative
  • Ms Julie Arnold, DA Representative
  • Ms Laura WALMSLEY, DA Representative
  • Mr Anthony HYDE, WHS Representative


Director's Colloquium

The first Directors Colloquium of 2016 given by Prof David McClelland, Dr Bram Slagmolen and Dr  Robert Ward provided an inspiring overview of how Gravitational Waves were detected for the first time, with the ANU Centre for Gravitational Physics researchers playing a crucial role in the discovery. The detection of these waves is a fantastic story about a cataclysmic event that took place 1.3 Billion years ago to produce ripples in the fabric of spacetime. 

Perhaps the discovery of Gravitational Waves will lead to a Triple J 100 hit next year … "Eve of Detection"


Call for Applications: Scholarship for Space Plasma, Astronomy and Astrophysics

The scholarship is intended to aid postgraduate research students undertaking a project in Space Plasma, Astronomy or Astrophysics and in exceptional circumstances to an undergraduate. Up to four scholarships may be awarded for use towards travel, acquiring of equipment or collaboration activities as required. Further details including eligibility and conditions of the award can be found online. Applicants need to present a case outlining the intended use of funds and how it will assist their current research. A brief supervisor's support statement is also required. No formal application form is required.

Applications open 1 March 2016 and close 5pm, 31 March 2016. The application should be submitted to the RSPE Student Administration office via




Public Lecture - 2 March

The future of physical science - Dr Peter J. Riggs

» read more


Departmental seminars

Professor Chaohong Lee - 26 February
Topological photonic phase transitions and Thouless pumping of light
» read more

Professor B Alex Brown - 29 February
Double Beta Decay and the Nuclear Shell Model
» read more

Dr M. J. Lederer - 4 March
Laser development and integration at the European XFEL User Facility
» read more

Professor Christoph E. Duellmann - 4 March
Along a GSI superheavy element experiment, including excursions to topics that link to ANU
» read more

Miss Kate Ferguson - 8 March
Final PhD Presentation: Generation and storage of multimode, time-delayed entanglement in a spin-wave quantum memory
» read more


Staff movements

Applied Mathematics (AM)
A/Prof Adrian Sheppard 
will be in Qatar 28 February - 4 March 2016.  Prof Vince Craig will be acting Head of Department during this period.



Training course:

  • Corrosives (OHSA07) 17 March

Registration via HORUS


Stay in touch with the RSPE Early Career Researcher community

RSPE has a new Facebook group and mailing list for early career researchers in the school. To find out about events and opportunities of interest to ECRs, join the ANU RSPE Early Career Researchers group and subscribe to the mailing list.  Our first social event is planned for 5.30pm Thursday, 3 March at the RUC Bowls Club in Turner. RSVP via the Facebook group.


Lunch for PhB students and mentors

We will host a meet-and-greet lunch for all our PhB students (new and returning) and their mentors on Thursday 3 March, 1-1.30pm in the RSPE Tea Room.

A short tour of the school will be organised after the lunch for the students. 

All those associated with the PhB students are very welcome, no need to RSVP. The lunch will be Turkish pide and dips.


Race still determines success in Britain. But there is a way to break the barriers

From the RSPE Equity and Diversity Committee

David Cameron is right – young ethnic minorities are being let down, often feeling powerless and insecure in the workplace. We should help them tap into the networks that others take for granted.

David Cameron has accused the universities, the armed forces and Britain’s biggest businesses of “ingrained, institutional and insidious” attitudes that hold certain people back. He called on universities to go “the extra mile” to tackle racism and class discrimination arguing “it’s not enough to simply say you are open to all”. Unusually, I found myself agreeing with him.



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