Australian Institute of Physics

South Australian Branch

AIP-SA Annual Report 1997

The branch organized the following regular meetings:
December 9th 1997:
Public Lecture organized jointly with the Australian Optical Society on ``Trapped Ion, Schroedinger's Cat, and Quantum Computation'' by Dr David Wineland of the Time and Frequency Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.

November 11th 1997:
Public Lecture organized jointly with the Centre for Australian Space Education given by NASA Astronaut Scott E. Parazynski (M.D.).

September 30th 1997:
Public Lecture on ``Detecting a Human Influence on Global Climate'' by Professor David Karoly, CRC for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology, Monash University.

September 3rd 1997:
Annual Joint Meeting with the Astronomical Society of South Australia, ``Astronomy from the South Pole'', a lecture by Dr Michael Ashley of the Department of Astrophysics, University of NSW

August 15th 1997:
The Claire Corani Memorial Prizes for the best women students to complete Second Year Physics in 1996 were awarded to Chandrika Kodikara of the University of Adelaide and Maria Sexton of The University of South Australia. The prizes were presented by Dr Rachel Webster of the University of Melbourne who also gave the Inaugural Claire Corani Memorial Lecture organized in conjunction with the Women in Physics group on ``Gravitational Lensing: using Distortions to Map the Universe''.

July 8th 1997:
A site visit of Scantech/MCI. The visit included Mineral Control Instrumentation Pty. Ltd. (MCI) which provides high technology solutions for the on-line analysis of bulk materials and environmental management and has product brand names which include COALSCAN, IRONSCAN, FLEETCOM, GEOSCAN, AIRTRAK and SIROTEM.

June 3rd 1997:
Annual Student Night and presentation of the Silver Bragg Medals for highest achievement in the final undergraduate year in Physics courses at each university in South Australia and the Northern Territory. The medals were presented to Damien R. Harris (University of South Australia), Nathan A. Clisby (Flinders University), Steven. G. Lord (University of Adelaide), Tristam Alexander (Nothern Territory University). The presentation was followed by short talks on their research work by postgraduate Physics students from each university in South Australia: ``Electron Momentum Spectroscopy of Solids'' by Shane Canney from Flinders University, ``Surface Force Measurement Between Solid and Fluid Surfaces'' by Jason Connor of the University of South Australia, and ``Variable SBS Pulse Compressor for Nonlinear Optical Measurements'' by Patrick Klovekorn of the University of Adelaide.

May 13th 1997:
Presentation of the Bronze Bragg Medal named after Sir William Henry Bragg (Professor of Mathematics and Experimental Physics at the University of Adelaide from 1886 until 1909) and Sir William Lawrence Bragg, who shared the Nobel prize in Physics in 1915. The medal was awarded to Yean-Hsia Joanne Chong for highest achievement in the year-12 Physics examination. Certificates of merit were awarded to all students who attained full marks in that examination. The presentation was followed by a public lecture on ``Black Holes, White Dwarfs and Neutron Stars" by Dr Matthew Bailes of the University of Melbourne.

March 25th 1997:
Public Lecture presented jointly with the Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter on ``Supernova Explosions, Black Holes and Nucleon Stars" by Professor Gerald E. Brown, Department of Physics, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York.

March 4th 1997:
Lecture on ``Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width: A Blacksmith's Guide to Optical Lineshapes'' by Dr. Brian Henderson of the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

February 10th 1997:
Public Lecture on ``On Weather and Space Weather in the Earth's Upper Atmosphere and Ionosphere" by Prof. Michael Kelley of Space Plasma Physics Department, School of Electrical Engineering, Cornell University.

This year the S.A. Branch of the AIP re-introduced a series of tutorial sessions for capable Year 11 students interested in preparing for and sitting the Qualifying Exam for the International Physics Olympiad. This exam took place in mid-September, and as a result two SA students will attend training sessions in Canberra over the summer break and term 1/2 break next year in preparation for the 1998 International Physics Olympiad.

Together with the Centre for Australian space Education (CASE), the S.A. Branch organized a residential program of activities in space-related technology and science for 40 bright South Australian secondary school students called the South Australian Space School (SASS). The inaugural SASS took place on 9--11 November 1997 with participation of the University of Adelaide, the International Space School, NASA (Scott Parazynski, a NASA astronaut who helped repair the ``Mir'' space station participated) and with sponsorship by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. The aim of SASS is to increase awareness and understanding of the central role science and technology plays in Australia's future, and to encourage young people to extend their formal education in science, and in particular to undertake tertiary studies in science. This project is restricted to South Australian students, and is intended to give many students the chance to participate in a space school, who would not otherwise have the opportunity (only 5 South Australian students are allowed to participate in the Australian International Space School). Initial planning took place in 1996. Following an an unsuccessful application to the Federal Government for funds to run the school, sponsorship was obtained from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO). DSTO and British Aerospace will sponsor SASS in 1998.

In addition the Education sub-committee organized a number of mini-conferences for physics teachers during 1997. In November the Oliphant Awards Physics Prize was awarded jointly to Carl Procko and Erik Procko of Marryattville High School.

During 1997 the S.A. Branch's World Wide Web site was continually updated and improved

The Annual General Meeting was held in the Public Schools Club in Adelaide which used to be the residence of the Braggs. Immediately after the AGM was a dinner at which Allan Lang, Editor of The Southern Skeptics, the newsletter of the Skeptics Society of S.A., talked on the general theme of the need for skepticism.

December 1997

Dr. Ray Protheroe, Chair SA Branch of AIP (1997)
Department of Physics and Mathematical Physics
University of Adelaide
Adelaide, SA 5005

phone: 08 8303 5996
fax: 08 8303 4380

Page prepared by:
Dr. Derek B. Leinweber
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