Engage with us
We host a wide variety of events – come along and learn more about what we do, and how physics and astronomy affect you! We can also visit your school, or your school can visit us for the day. Browse our events below.
Ongoing public events
Visit the Observatory – Monday & Friday Night Observing Sessions
The Association for Astronomy (Department of Physics & Astronomy) invites you to observe the cosmos with your own eyes at the Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory. View planets, moons, binary stars, star clusters, nebulae and bright galaxies through our newly upgraded 12″ and 16″ professional in-dome telescopes. You will be guided by our trained astronomy staff, so please come prepared with any astronomy questions you may have!
Visit the Planetarium – First Thursday of each month
Come and be amazed by an up-close look at the motions of celestial objects, the surfaces of planets, deep sky objects, constellations and much more! You can take a tour of the local Solar System, peer into the depths of the galaxy, or watch amazing new planetarium movies.
Space to Grow: Faulkes Telescope Project
The project innovatively combines rural and city schools, astronomers and technology-focussed educational researchers in a novel learning and teaching program. Year 9/10-12 students have the opportunity to control powerful $30M research-grade, robotically operated telescopes via the internet while directing educational research to an area of natural interest and engagement to students - astronomy.
HSC enrichment day
We're offering a one-day study program in Chemistry to assist year 12 students in preparing for their HSC exams. The HSC Enrichment Program will be presented by Macquarie University academics on core and elective subject areas of the HSC Chemistry syllabus.
Physics and Astronomy Careers Night
Our yearly Careers Night brings back to Macquarie a number of recent graduates, who tell us what careers they have chosen, and how their degree has given them the skills they needed to succeed. We invite you to our next Careers Night, but in the meantime offer recording of some of the previous speakers to give you a taste of where Physics and Astronomy can take you.
School support materials
The photonics simulator
How fast will the internet be in the future? How can we make it faster? How can we increase the bandwidth of the internet?
The photonics game gives students information about how photonic components use light to convey signals (information) and shows how these components may be combined to make photonic circuits, such as in a computer, or optical communications networks on a larger scale. It also illustrates why light carries much more information than microwaves (mobile phones) and copper cables (electronics / radio waves).
The photonics simulator as a teaching resource
- Suitable age group: Stage 5 Science, Stage 6 Physics, Stage
6 Engineering, Stage 6 Senior Science
- Maximum number of students per session: Dependant on
computer lab space
- Availability: On campus or at your school
- Length of session: 1.5 hours or double period
This is part of the Macquarie Experience program.
NSW Syllabus outcomes
Stage 5 Science
- 5.3 evaluates the impact of applications of science on society and the environment
- 5.5 analyses how current research might affect people’s lives
- 5.12 relates the interactions involved in using some common technologies to their underlying scientific principles
- 5.14 undertakes first-hand investigations independently with safety and competence
- 5.15 gathers first-hand data accurately
Stage 6 Engineering
- H1.2 differentiates between properties of materials and justifies the selection of materials, components and processes in engineering
- H2.2 analyses and synthesises engineering applications in specific fields and reports on the importance of these to society
- H4.1 investigates the extent of technological change in engineering
- H4.3 appreciates social, environmental and cultural implications of technological change in engineering and applies them to the analysis of specific problems
- H6.2 demonstrates skills in analysis, synthesis and experimentation related to engineering
Stage 6 Physics – 8.2 The World Communicates
- P1 outlines the historical development of major principles, concepts and ideas in physics
- P3 assesses the impact of particular technological advances on understanding in physics
- P4 describes applications of physics which affect society or the environment
- P5 describes the scientific principles employed in particular areas of research in physics
- P7 describes the effects of energy transfers and energy transformations
- P12 discusses the validity and reliability of data gathered from first-hand investigations and secondary sources
- P14 draws valid conclusions from gathered data and information
- P15 implements strategies to work effectively as an individual or as a member of a team
- P16 demonstrates positive values about, and attitude towards, both the living and nonliving components of the environment, ethical behaviour and a desire for a critical evaluation of the consequences of the applications of science
Stage 6 Senior Science
- H1 discusses advances in scientific understanding and technology that have changed the direction or nature of scientific thinking
- H2 applies the processes that are used to test and validate models, theories and laws, to investigations
- H3 assesses the contribution of scientific advances on the development of technologies
- H4 asses the impacts of applications of science on society and the environment
- H5 describes possible future directions of scientific research
- 9.4 Information Systems 2. Electromagnetic radiation can be modulated to carry different types of information 3. Electromagnetic waves have different properties which are utilised in a range of communication systems through air and space 5. Information can be transmitted in the form of electrical impulses 6. Electrical energy can be converted to light energy for use in optical fibre communication systems
‘Adopt a scientist’ to come to your school
Schools or classes can ‘adopt’ a Macquarie University physicist for a specific activity, event, talk or presentation.
The scientists can come to your school to discuss their research, assist in class research experiments or judge and assist in science competitions. Class groups can even come out to Macquarie University to see the scientists’ laboratory, research areas and perform activities in the laboratories.
This is part of the Macquarie Experience program.
Dr Helen Pask – Laser physics
Dr Pask’s research area is laser physics, and she has worked on many different kinds of projects with applications in telecommunications, medicine, defence and environmental science.
Associate Professor Orsola De Marco – Astronomy
Associate Professor De Marco’s main research areas are planetary nebulae, evolved close binaries and the common envelope interaction.
Come to a lecture course
Want to learn a little more about physics and astronomy? Enrol in any of our physics and astronomy units without undertaking a complete science degree.