2010 News archive

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December 2010
Spinning Information for Better Memory   View Summary
17 December 2010
Spintronics Equipment

The University of Sydney's Dr Dane McCamey and his international colleagues have demonstrated that the spin of atomic nuclei in silicon can store information for over one hundred seconds and, importantly, that this information can then be read out electrically - a critical step in linking the emerging field of spintronics with classical electronics.

School of Physics wins Tenth Prestigious Pawsey Medal   View Summary
7 December 2010
Professor Bryan Gaensler

Bryan Gaensler, Professor of Physics at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy within the School of Physics at The University of Sydney has won the highly prestigious Pawsey Medal.

1 December 2010
Professor Ben Eggleton

Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of CUDOS, an Australia Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence, headquartered at the University of Sydney's School of Physics, said he was thrilled with the announcement that the University of Sydney was the recipient of an ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment, and Facilities Grant. "This grant will enable us to assemble a leading-edge optical communication facility for testing the building blocks in next generation optical fiber networks", he said.

November 2010
Unexpected Error    View Summary
26 November 2010
Dr Michael J Biercuk The University of Sydney's School of Physics Dr Michael J Biercuk, a quantum physicist, and his international colleagues, have discovered a new source of error in atomic qubits cooled and manipulated using lasers.
18 November 2010
Physics name in sandstone

The announcement of four ARC Future Fellows to be based within the University of Sydney's School of Physics has added to what has been already a highly successful year for the School.

Decadal Plan for Australian Space Science    View Summary
16 November 2010
Solar Flare

The 'SpaceShip Australis' project is proposed by Australian space scientists to study space weather, in particular the effects of the Sun's variability through space to the surface of the Earth and the boundaries of the solar system. Advancing the world's understanding of such space weather is a major focus of the 'Decadal Plan for Australian Space Science: Building a National Presence in Space'.

Sydney Science Forum - Beaming with pride: Celebrating 50 years of laser innovation   View Summary
8 November 2010
Professor Barry Luther-Davies celebrates 50 years since the first laserWe use lasers every day, but where and how? Find out when Professor Barry Luther-Davies, from the Australian National University, Canberra, presents his Sydney Science Forum - 'Beaming with Pride' on Wednesday 10 November at the University of Sydney.
October 2010
University of Sydney astronomers play key role in observing data from NASA's Kepler Mission   View Summary
27 October 2010
stellar oscillationsA group of astronomers from the University of Sydney are playing a leading role in using observations from NASA's Kepler Mission to study star-quakes.
Physics Awarded $2.7M in ARC Discovery Grants   View Summary
25 October 2010
Physics engraved in sandstone doorway

The University of Sydney's School of Physics has been successful in the outcomes of the ARC Discovery Grants announced this week. The School received $2.7million in grants in a diverse range of areas including Materials Engineering, Space Science, Optical Physics and Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics. As well Dr Sean Farrell has been awarded an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship - congratulations Sean. Warm congratulations to all Physics ARC Grant recipients. A list of the School of Physics ARC Discovery Grant recipients along with their funding and project summaries is below:

Sydney professor represents Australia at international science forum   View Summary
18 October 2010
Professor Ben Eggleton Selected as one of the most outstanding young scientists under the age of 40 by an international panel, Professor Ben Eggleton, from the School of Physics, represented Australia at the Science and Technology in Society forum in Kyoto, Japan.
2010 Nobel Prize Winners in Physics Announced   View Summary
6 October 2010
nobel prizeThe School of Physics congratulates the 2010 Nobel Prize winners in Physics Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov who were awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for their groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.
Sydney Science Forum explores why antimatter matters   View Summary
5 October 2010
JossProfessor Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Federation Fellow of the University of Sydney's School of Physics and Leverhulme Professor at the University of Oxford, will explore the mysteries of antimatter in his upcoming lecture Nemesis: the Search for Antimatter.
September 2010
Making the MOST of SKAMP   View Summary
27 September 2010
SKAMPThe Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA) based within the School of Physics, and CSIRO have collaborated in a project that will transform an existing university radio telescope into a world-class instrument. Using CSIRO technology it will be built into a new international telescope, and shape the design of its own ASKAP (Australian SKA Precursor) telescope. All three telescopes will demonstrate technology for the SKA, the international Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.
17 September 2010
Professor Bryan Gaensler

Minister Jodi McKay has announced Professor Bryan Gaensler as the winner of the NSW Scientist of the Year in the Physics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry and Astronomy Category. Professor Gaensler, an ARC Federation Fellow based within the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA) within the School of Physics said he was delighted to win the award in a year that has been one of achievements for the young astronomer.

Developing nations pay for Western consumerism    View Summary
9 September 2010

Professor Manfred Lenzen, recent Eureka Prize finalist and Director of the Integrated Sustainability Analysis Research Group (ISA) based within the University of Sydney's School of Physics, says that many people are not aware of the environmental and social impacts of our consumption.

August 2010
The country can't face the technological future through copper wire   View Summary
16 August 2010

Those who think our country can do without the national broadband network clearly do not fully understand the potential such a network offers to Australians. While other countries scramble to find ways to meet this exploding demand for global bandwidth, the opposition is wringing its hands and debating the need.

The country can't face the technological future through copper wire   View Summary
16 August 2010

Those who think our country can do without the national broadband network clearly do not fully understand the potential such a network offers to Australians. While other countries scramble to find ways to meet this exploding demand for global bandwidth, the opposition is wringing its hands and debating the need.

July 2010
School of Physics Researchers Nominated for Eureka Prizes    View Summary
22 July 2010
David Moss CMOS

From a total of eight University of Sydney academics shortlisted from across the Faculty of Science for the 2010 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes four hail from the School of Physics.

ARC Centres of Excellence for School of Physics   View Summary
19 July 2010
Bryan Gaensler

The School of Physics has been successful in having two Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence funded from 2011 in the latest round of funding announced on 16 July 2010. The two new Centres have been funded for a total of $44.4 million from the Australian Research Council.

Michael West wins Arts vs Science writing competition   View Summary
5 July 2010
Michael WestMichael West, a current Physics Honours student completing his Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Engineering degrees, has won SydneyTalent's Opinion Editorial Competition. Entrants were asked to write their opinion on Arts vs Science in a newspaper style opinion editorial.
Australian Institute for Nanoscience   View Summary
2 July 2010
NanospectrometerThe University of Sydney's School of Physics has secured $40 million in funding to build the new Australian Institute for Nanoscience from the federal government's Education Investment Fund. Announced in June by the former Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr announced that the University of Sydney was one of four NSW education institutions to successfully secure support from the Education Investment Fund.
June 2010
Bright Outlook for Space Scientists   View Summary
30 June 2010
sunThe University of Sydney's School of Physics along with Australia's space weather agency IPS Radio and Space Services have been awarded a 2010 ARC Linkage grant of approximately $360,000 to fund space weather prediction via automated data analysis systems over the next three years.
Sydney Physicist Honoured by French University   View Summary
16 June 2010
Ross McPhedran

The Universite Paul Cezanne recently awarded Professor Ross McPhedran, a senior researcher with IPOS and CUDOS based within the School of Physics, a Doctorate Honoris Causa by at a ceremony in Aix en Provence, France, on June 7.

End of the Space Shuttle Program   View Summary
16 June 2010
space scienceProfessor Iver Cairns has recently featured on a SBS short program "End of the Space Shuttle Program".
Silicon Chips to enter world of High Speed Optical Processing   View Summary
16 June 2010
on-chip optical integrator

Physicists at the University of Sydney have brought silicon chips closer to performing all-optical computing and information processing that could overcome the speed limitations intrinsic to electronics, with the first report published of an on-chip all-optical temporal integrator in Nature Communications today.

'Six-Minute' Brain Wave Study diagnoses ADHD   View Summary
7 June 2010
Jong-Won Kim and Cliff KerrA 'six-minute' analysis of brainwaves that can detect Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has won Dr Jong-Won Kim and recent graduate, Dr Cliff Kerr, of the University of Sydney's School of Physics, the international 2010 BRAINnet Challenge.
May 2010
Phd Student In Astronomy To Meet The Stars Of Science   View Summary
27 May 2010
chris halesOne of the brightest of the University of Sydney's PhD students, Chris Hales, is about to travel to Lindau, Germany, to meet with over 60 Nobel Laureates and 700 of the world's most promising science PhD and Post Doc students from 27 June to 3 July 2010.
Sydney Astronomer to be Distinguished Visitor at Cambridge   View Summary
14 May 2010
Geraint Lewis

Professor Geraint Lewis, an astronomer at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, based within the University of Sydney's School of Physics, has been awarded the prestigious Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Visitor position at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy.

Postgrad Student Has More Bandwidth Than Most   View Summary
5 May 2010

Video conferencing and telecommunications are heading towards being instantaneous due to research being carried out by young postgraduate student, Trung Duc Vo, working as part of CUDOS, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, at the University of Sydney's School of Physics.

April 2010
30 April 2010
nasa balloon

School of Physics researchers took part in a multi-million-dollar NASA-sponsored stratospheric balloon mission from Alice Springs.

Optics Senior Researcher Highly Commended for Student Supervision   View Summary
29 April 2010
maryanne largeUniversity of Sydney senior researcher Dr Maryanne Large has been highly commended by the Vice-Chancellor's Committee for Excellence for her outstanding contribution to supervision and ability to engage and motivate her students.
Super Science Fellows Coming to Physics   View Summary
19 April 2010
Abell clusterSchool of Physics astronomers and space physicists are the recipients of the Rudd Government's 100 Super Science Fellowships.
US Quantum Physicist Joins School of Physics    View Summary
1 April 2010
Dr Michael BiercukDr Michael Biercuk has arrived at The University of Sydney's School of Physics via Harvard, DARPA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Laboratories in Boulder, Colorado.
March 2010
Astrophysicist Elected to Australian Academy of Science   View Summary
31 March 2010
elaine saddlerElaine Sadler, an ARC Australian Professorial Fellow and Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, has recently been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.
University of Sydney Physicists await world record bid    View Summary
30 March 2010
jetUniversity of Sydney physicists will be glued to their monitors as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) attempts to collide protons at a world record energy.
Prime Minister visits Nuclear Medicine Department   View Summary
22 March 2010
Kevin Rudd, Maxine McKew, RNSPrime Minister Kevin Rudd and local MP Maxine McKew recently visited the Nuclear Medicine Department at the Royal North Shore (RNS) Hospital to open the recently installed Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/CT scanner.
Optic chip set to revolutionise diagnostic medicine   View Summary
22 March 2010
peter domchukAs a postdoc at Tufts University, Boston, Dr Peter Domachuk and his colleagues had the revelation of using protein to make an optical chip in strip form to monitor health. Two years on and the idea has become closer to the reality of producing a networked interface to the human body that can potentially provide an unparalleled standard of patient care by ensuring correct, efficient diagnosis and treatment without drawing blood or using lab tests.
Reilly Cool Physics   View Summary
16 March 2010
fridgeSince 2008 Dr David Reilly, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, has been heading up an experimental research group focusing on mesoscopic physics - the behaviour of matter on scales below a micron - where quantum mechanical effects become important.
Corporate Goodwill Measures Up in Time for Record Numbers   View Summary
12 March 2010
agilent oscilloscopeThe University of Sydney's School of Physics may be heritage listed and have a valuable collection in the Physics Museum but when the leading Physics department in the country is still using the same oscilloscopes since the mid-1970s it was definitely time for an upgrade.
NASA Presentation   View Summary
10 March 2010
GerstenmaierAs part of the Celebration of 50 years of Australia-USA Space Collaboration, NASA's Dr William H Gerstenmaier recently visited the School of Physics at The University of Sydney.
Ben wins Scopus Young Researcher of the Year Award   View Summary
3 March 2010
ben eggletonProfessor Ben Eggleton is the winner of the Scopus Young Researcher of the Year Award (Physical Sciences), to be presented tonight at Parliament House.
Artificial Skin Has Real Appeal   View Summary
2 March 2010
minskinNot using sun protection is a big mistake according to Gavin Greenoak, Honorary Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney's School of Physics.
PhD Student's Research Bringing New Hope For Liver Cancer Patients   View Summary
2 March 2010
kathy willowsonPatients diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer that cannot be removed surgically have a very short life expectancy.
February 2010
Proposed Nuclear Research Collaboration Between The University of Sydney and Czech Republic   View Summary
12 February 2010
molten salt reactorThe Institute of Nuclear Science at the University of Sydney and the Czech Nuclear Research Centre aiming at research collaboration in the new generation of nuclear reactors.
Supercomputing Protein Physicists Benefit Biologists   View Summary
12 February 2010
proteinResearch at the School of Physics at The University of Sydney is branching out into areas that were once thought to sit firmly in the biomedical arena. A recent Protein Workshop run by Assoc. Professor Serdar Kuyucak, a biophysicist in the School of Physics, is testament to this diversification.
January 2010
Hawking got it backwards says Sydney Uni physicist   View Summary
27 January 2010
maroneyThermodynamic entropy can be a tricky area even for physicists. Suppose you fell through a wormhole into a part of the universe where everything went backwards. Broken eggs would put themselves together again, if you had a beer you would feel drunk beforehand and thirsty afterwards.
A Sunspot Flares Up - Public talk   View Summary
25 January 2010
solar flareIn late 2009 a small region of sunspots broke an unusual dry spell with little sunspot activity. This activity interrupted a two-year quiet period for the Sun, with few or no sunspots. The last time the Sun was this quiet was in 1913.
Multiple wavelength laser helps silicon chip see the light   View Summary
22 January 2010
optical chipThe ultra-small revolution has begun with the invention of a new laser that will allow light to be used on a computer chip. Assoc. Professor David Moss, a senior researcher within the School of Physics and his international team have developed a multiple wavelength laser on a silicon chip that produces light to process and transmit information and in doing so will speed up computing.
Cloak of Invisibility   View Summary
15 January 2010
cloakingCloaking is the hiding of objects from detection by electromagnetic waves. H.G. Wells science fiction or reality? Research on exactly this has recently been published in the French "Scientific American" journal.
Leverhulme Visiting Professorship for Joss   View Summary
11 January 2010
jossProfessor Joss Bland-Hawthorn has been awarded the prestigious Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at Oxford University in 2010.
Magnetism in the Universe   View Summary
5 January 2010
Professor Bryan Gaensler is interviewed by Brainsmatter on the topic of Magnetism in the Universe.
Sydney scientists discover hundreds of star quakes   View Summary
5 January 2010
star quakesAstronomers in the Sydney Institute for Physics are using data from NASA's Kepler Mission to learn more about the future fate of the Sun. After 300 days of intense investigation since the Kepler spacecraft launched in 2009, the scientific team behind Kepler is announcing the first results from the mission on 5 January 2010.