2011 News archive

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December 2011
One step closer in the search for the Higgs boson   View Summary
15 December 2011
ATLAS event containing four muonsUniversity of Sydney scientists working with an international team using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, have made an important step towards the discovery of the Higgs boson.
Winner in the Australian Innovation Challenge   View Summary
8 December 2011
Marcela BilekProfessor Marcela Bilek and colleagues have won the Australian Innovation Challenge Health award for their new technique to attach biologically functional molecules to surfaces.
Ageing stars are slow on the outside but fast on the inside   View Summary
8 December 2011
The core of red giants spin at least 10 times faster than the outer layers.An international team of scientists, including University of Sydney astronomers Professor Tim Bedding and Dr Dennis Stello, has made a new discovery about how old stars called 'red giants' rotate, giving an insight into what our sun will look like in five billion years.
A Beast With Four Tails   View Summary
2 December 2011
Milky Way and star streams from SGR dwarfSchool of Physics astronomer Professor Geraint Lewis is part of a team that has discovered two 'streams' of stars spread across the southern sky, produced by our Milky Way galaxy devouring one of its smaller neighbours.
November 2011
Quantum Nanoscience Lab opens   View Summary
24 November 2011
Dr David ReillyThe School of Physics' Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory, under the direction of Dr David Reilly, was opened on 24 November.
AIP Prize Winner   View Summary
23 November 2011
Stacey HirshSchool of Physics PhD candidate, Ms. Stacey Hirsh, has been awarded the 2011 Ken Doolan Memorial Prize ($1,000) by the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP).
Astronomer elected OSA Fellow   View Summary
21 November 2011
Professor Joss Bland-HawthornSchool of Physics renowned astronomer and astrophotonics pioneer, Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn, has been elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA).
Physics Researchers are ARC winners   View Summary
15 November 2011
Physics KeystoneSchool of Physics researchers have been awarded over $3.6million in funding through ARC Future Fellowships and Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA).
Quantum physicist earns innovation nomination   View Summary
14 November 2011
Dr Michael J BiercukSchool of Physics Quantum Physicist, Dr Michael J Beircuk, has been announced as one of four finalists in the Australian Innovation Challenge Awards - Minerals and Energy category - run in association with Shell and supported by the Federal Government's Department of Innovation, Industry and Science and Research (DIISR).
Young Tall Poppy Award Winners   View Summary
4 November 2011
Dr Boris KuhlmeySchool of Physics optical researcher, Dr Boris Kuhlmey, has been awarded a Tall Poppy from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, announced at an awards ceremony on 3 November 2011.
Desktop fusion in sights for researchers at University of Sydney   View Summary
3 November 2011
Polywell schematicMatthew Carr, a PhD student in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney has published research into a desktop device for studying fusion. Matthew has helped uncover some of the basic principles behind the fusion device called a Polywell, and brought the technology a step closer to being understood with impressive modeling and exciting plans for future research.
Physics researchers are Discovery winners   View Summary
1 November 2011
SpintronicsSchool of Physics researchers have been awarded over $1.6M in ARC Discovery Grants.
October 2011
Physicist Awared $600,000 NHMRC Grant   View Summary
25 October 2011
Professor Marcela BilekA team of University of Sydney researchers have been awarded a NHMRC Grant of $606,325 over three years to develop a stent technology that can simultaneously address the problems of restenosis and thrombogenicity and provide fundamental biocompatibillity.
Dr Karl is the face of YouTube Space Lab competition   View Summary
25 October 2011
Dr Karl KruszelnickiDr Karl Kruszelnicki, the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney, is the face of the YouTube Space Lab competition for the Asia Pacific region.
Kickstart's on the Road again   View Summary
12 October 2011
Tom GordonTom Gordon, the School of Physics' Science Communicator, has secured a University of Sydney Compass Widening Participation grant of approx. $20,000.
Milky Way's turbulent gas   View Summary
10 October 2011
Milky Way's turbulent gas

A pit of writhing snakes, is how the first picture of turbulent gas in our Milky Way has been described by renowned astronomer, Professor Bryan Gaensler, who is based in the University of Sydney's School of Physics.


September 2011
Nobel Laureate Visits Physics   View Summary
30 September 2011
Sir Harry KrotoSir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate (1996) will visit the School of Physics next week to discuss nanoscience.
CAASTRO reaches for the stars   View Summary
13 September 2011
CAASTRO logo The who's who of astronomy attended the launch of the School of Physics headquartered ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics, CAASTRO, at Sydney Observatory on Monday 12 September.
Physicists strike Eureka Gold   View Summary
7 September 2011
Professor Ben EggletonFive School of Physics researchers - Professor Ben Eggleton, Associate Professor David Moss, Professor Manfred Lenzen, Dr Joy Murray and Dr Chris Dey - took out three prestigious Eureka Prizes at a gala event held on Tuesday 6 September.
Young Physicist Awarded NMI Prize   View Summary
7 September 2011
Dr Michael J BiercukResearch into the most sensitive measurement of force yet recorded has earned University of Sydney physicist Dr Michael Biercuk, in the School of Physics' Quantum Science Group, the National Measurement Institute Prize for Excellence in Measurement Techniques by a scientist under 35.
August 2011
Major gift funds cutting-edge scientific research   View Summary
31 August 2011
John Hooke (left) and Prof Clive BaldockA generous gift of $5 million from one of Australia's leading businessmen will enable us to make major advances in the exciting new field of nanoscience.
A new Spider for the Web   View Summary
22 August 2011
Time-frequency plot of ultrashort optical pulseAssociate Professor David Moss has announced a revolutionary new chip that uses little energy and operates at ultrafast speeds for telecommunications and computing.
Technology Tethers Radicals   View Summary
16 August 2011
Professor Marcela BilekSchool of Physics researchers, Professor Marcela Bilek and Professor David McKenzie, have developed a revolutionary new platform technology that is set to have a huge impact on areas as diverse as the early prediction of disease and the production of biofuels.
Technology Tethers Radicals   View Summary
16 August 2011
Professor Marcela BilekSchool of Physics researchers have developed a revolutionary new platform technology that is set to have a huge impact on areas as diverse as the early prediction of disease and the production of biofuels.
Eureka Prize Physics Finalists    View Summary
12 August 2011
Prof. Ben Eggleton with Senator Kim CarrTwo individuals and a research group from the School of Physics Science have been named as finalists in the 2011 Eureka Prizes, commonly referred to as the Oscars of Australian science.
Star torn apart by Super Massive Black Hole   View Summary
5 August 2011
Super Massive Black HoleDr Sean Farrell, an ARC Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of Physics, is part of an international team of astronomers that has observed an incredibly rare astronomical event - a star that strayed too close to a Super Massive Black Hole being literally torn apart.
July 2011
First Light for Unique Astrophotonic Instrument   View Summary
22 July 2011
Sam Richards in SAMIIn a world first astronomers from the University of Sydney's School of Physics, together with collaborators at the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) have commissioned a new instrument on the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), making use of new and novel astrophotonic technology.
ISS Indigenous Science Scholar wins Leadership Award   View Summary
14 July 2011
Greg Dyer and Joelene PunterieroJoelene Puntoriero from the Northern Territory has been awarded the coveted Mulpha Leadership Award as part of the 36th Professor Harry Messel International Science School (ISS) - Light and Matter
Australia's Chief Scientist presents ISS2011 Len Basser Prize   View Summary
14 July 2011
Prof. Ian Chubb and Hadleigh FrostAustralia's Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb AC, presented Hadleigh Frost and ISS2011 scholar from Lincoln High School in Canterbury New Zealand, with the prestigious Len Basser Prize for Scientific Leadership at a special reception last night.
Medical Physicist Awarded AM   View Summary
8 July 2011
Assoc. Prof. Lyn Oliver AMAdjunct Assoc. Professor Lyn Oliver was recently recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for "service to medical physics in the field of radiation oncology, and through executive roles with the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, and to professional associations".
Professor Bryan Gaensler speaks at TEDxSydney   View Summary
8 July 2011
Prof, Bryan GaenslerProfessor Bryan Gaensler, from the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), was invited to present as a guest speaker at TEDxSydney recently.
Indigenous Science Scholars    View Summary
1 July 2011
Rebekah Raymond & Atteya Thomas with Dr Karl ISS2009For the first time in its 49-year history as many as eight Indigenous Science Scholars will attend the 36th Professor Harry Messel International Science School: Light & Matter (ISS2011), a science education program being held in the School of Physics from 3-16 July.
June 2011
Leading solar physicist visiting School of Physics   View Summary
23 June 2011
Solar Flares on the Sun

Professor Alan Title, a US solar physicist from Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, will present stunning images of the Sun in a special Colloquium to be held at the School of Physics on Tuesday 5 July.

CoE for Particle Physics Launched   View Summary
20 June 2011
CoEPP LogoThe Particle Physics Group in the School of Physics is part of the Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP), a new ARC research centre for particle physics.
ARC Linkage Grant for Medical Physics   View Summary
10 June 2011
PhysicsResearch into tumour-targeting cancer technology by Professor Dale Bailey from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor Clive Baldock and Associate Professor Zdenka Kuncic, both from the School of Physics, will receive $265,000 over four years.
Hubble Space Telescope Observations Awarded to Sydney Astronomers   View Summary
9 June 2011
Hubble Space telescopeTwo astronomers in the School of Physics, Professor Geraint Lewis and Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn, have each been awarded individual observation time on the Hubble Space Telescope.
School of Physics Honours Excellence   View Summary
2 June 2011
Prof. Dick Hunstead with Em. Prof. Harry Messel AC CVOScholarships and prizes were awarded to the most outstanding Physics students at a recent ceremony in the School of Physics.
May 2011
Sensitive research wins prestigious prize   View Summary
23 May 2011
Dr Michael J BiercukResearch into the most sensitive measurement of force yet recorded has earned University of Sydney physicist Dr Michael Biercuk, in the School of Physics' Quantum Science Group, the National Measurement Institute Prize for excellence in measurement techniques by a scientist under 35.
Home Run to Sydney Physicist   View Summary
16 May 2011
Professor Rod CrossSchool of Physics' Professor Rod Cross has written a book titled, "Physics of Baseball and Softball" that was recently published in the USA by Springer.
Foundation welcomes new President & Deputy President   View Summary
12 May 2011
School of PhysicsThe Science Foundation for Physics, which supports the School of Physics, has elected Mr Jim O'Connor as the Foundation's President, and for Mr Albert Wong as its Deputy President.
Sydney Astronomy student wins coveted Bok Prize   View Summary
9 May 2011
StarsBarnaby Norris, an astronomy student based within the School of Physics has won the 2011 Bok Prize for the Best Honours Thesis in astronomy across all Australian universities.
CUDOS breakthrough in road to secure technology   View Summary
3 May 2011
CUDOS researchers compare the new small photonic chip

Groundbreaking research in quantum light sources led by CUDOS researchers based within the School of Physics at the University of Sydney will result in information speeds many times faster and data that is almost impossible to hack.


Vale Professor Bernie Mills AC FRS   View Summary
3 May 2011
Prof. Bernie Mills & Sir Robert Menzies at the Mills Cross Professor Bernard (Bernie) Mills, FRS, AC, the fabled academic's academic died recently. Emeritus Professor Harry Messel pays tribute to a great astronomer.
April 2011
Heavy, fast and furious   View Summary
15 April 2011
Milky WayThere are over 400 million stars in the Milky Way but only a few are truly massive. An astronomy team at the School of Physics has used the bright X-ray glow from these stars to find where they are hiding in our Galaxy.
Giant stars reveal inner secrets for the first time   View Summary
11 April 2011
Giant Star Evolution

University of Sydney astrophysicists are behind a major breakthrough in the study of stars known as red giants, finding a way to peer deep into their cores to discover which ones are in early infancy, which are fresh-faced teenagers, and which are facing their dying days.

Astronomers Discover Kepler's Trinity   View Summary
11 April 2011
A complex trinity of starsNASA's revolutionary Kepler satellite has discovered a unique triply eclipsing triple star, reports an international team of astronomers including those from the School of Physics.
March 2011
Physicist Elected to Australian Academy of Science   View Summary
29 March 2011
Professr Ross McPhedran receiving a science honour in France School of Physics photonics & optics physicist, Professor Ross McPhedran, has been honoured by election to the Australian Academy of Science.
A Zero Sum Game   View Summary
16 March 2011
Prime Obession Book Cover

New light has been shed on the 150-year-old math puzzle known as the Riemann hypothesis, say mathematical physicists in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney.

Birth of a New Planet   View Summary
3 March 2011
Artist's impression of the birth of a planetUniversity of Sydney astronomer, Professor Peter Tuthill, is one of an international team of astronomers who have announced a major step forward in the quest to find planets in orbit around distant stars.
Birth of a New Planet   View Summary
3 March 2011
Artist's impression of the birth of a planetUniversity of Sydney astronomer, Professor Peter Tuthill, is one of an international team of astronomers who have announced a major step forward in the quest to find planets in orbit around distant stars.
February 2011
Thick Stellar Disc discoverd in the Andromeda Galaxy   View Summary
17 February 2011
Professor Geraint LewisSchool of Physics astronomer, Professor Geraint Lewis, is part of a team of international astronomers who have identified a thick stellar disc in the nearby Andromeda galaxy for the first time.
Vale Dr Graham Derrick   View Summary
11 February 2011
Dr Graham Derrick in the 1950sDr Graham Derrick (1934-2010) was a former staff member of the School of Physics. His colleague, Professor Ross McPhedran, pays tribute to him.
VALE Nicolae Nicorovici 1944-2010   View Summary
11 February 2011
Dr Nicolae NicoroviciDr Nicolae Alexandru Nicorovici was born in Bucharest Rumania in the last year of World War II. He completed his education at the University of Bucharest with a PhD in Atomic Physics, dealing with the relation between interaction cross-sections and unitary symmetries. He then worked for the Rumanian Atomic Energy Commission, specialising in computation and theoretical physics.
Memorial for Em. Professor John Bennett AO (1921-2010)   View Summary
8 February 2011
John Bennett working on SILLIAC 1956A memorial will be held on Thursday 24 February at 10.30am in MacLaurin Hall, the University of Sydney, for Emeritus Professor John Bennett, a pioneering computer engineer who worked on SILLIAC.