Australian Institute of Physics

South Australian Branch


presented by the Australian Institute of Physics (SA branch)

in conjunction with the Women-In-Physics Group

as part of the

celebration of the

International Year of Physics


The Claire Corani Memorial Lecture

being the South Australian lecture in the

2005 AIP Women-in-Physics Lecture Tour

at 7:30 pm on Thursday February 17th 2005

in Union Hall at the University of Adelaide

"The Mystery of the
Missing Anti-Matter"

by Professor Helen Quinn
Stanford University (California, USA)

Antimatter may seem the stuff of science fiction but it is indeed very real stuff, made in our laboratories though rare in our Universe. The deep puzzle is that the laws of physics for antimatter are almost identical to the laws for matter, so how and when in the history of the Universe did the imbalance between them develop? (Note that if no such imbalance had occurred we would not be here to talk about it; the Universe today would contain no stars, no planets, no people.) Helen will discuss what little we know about the answer to this question, how we know it, and what we can do to try to understand more. Helen will speak about what physics can say about why anything exists; how science pursues answers to such mysteries and why appropriately funded scientific research is critical to all our futures.

President of the American Physical Society in 2004, recipient of the Dirac medal in 2000 (a recognition of top physics contributions awarded by the International Center for Theoretical Physics), and author of some papers ranking among the most cited in her field, Helen also has a passion for education and for explanations.

Helen Quinn was born in Australia. She attended primary and high school in Victoria and started her undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne before transferring to Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford in 1967 and then held a postdoctoral position at the German Synchrotron Laboratory in Hamburg, Germany. She next spent seven years at Harvard University before returning to Stanford where she is now a Professor of Physics at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

The Claire Corani awards and the Bronze Bragg Medal and certificates will be presented during the meeting.


Prof. Helen Quinn presents the Bronze Bragg medal, for the best student in the 2004 year-12 Physics exam, to Emily Victoria Cooper.

Prof. Helen Quinn presents the Claire Corani award for the best second-year female Physics student in 2004 at the University of Adelaide to Julie Barnes.

Prof. Helen Quinn presents the Claire Corani award for the best second-year female Physics student in 2004 at Flinders University to Jessica Francis-Staite.