2012/2013 Series

2012/2013 Series

2013

14/05/13 – Using Spectroscopic Techniques to Interrogate Trapping Dynamics of Nanoscale Particles

Peter J. Reece

University of New South Wales

Peter J. Reece

05/06/13 – When Two Stars Collide – The Strange Case of the R Coronae Borealis Stars

Geoff Clayton

Louisiana State University
Geoff Clayton is the Ball Family Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Louisiana State University. Geoff received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1983. For the past 30 years, he has lived and worked in the United States. He was part of the team at the University of Wisconsin that built the WUPPE telescope which flew on the Space Shuttle in 1990 and 1995, and then spent two years as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters. After six years working at the University of Colorado, he moved to Louisiana State University, where he has been for the last 17 years. Geoff has spent his research career working to understand the formation and evolution of dust in various interstellar and circumstellar environments. His 1989 paper, written with Cardelli, and Mathis, which provided a prescription for characterizing the wavelength dependence of dust extinction, has almost 5000 citations. Geoff was recently elected to the council of the American Astronomical Society, and served previously as the first male chair of the society’s Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy. He teaches a popular course at LSU in Astronomy and Science Fiction. Geoff has spent parts of two sabbaticals in Australia. His first sabbatical, at Mount Stromlo, was interrupted by the great fire of 2003.

Geoff Clayton

31/06/13 – Quantum Technology: The Second Quantum Revolution

Jonathan Dowling

Louisiana State University
Jonathan P. Dowling is the Hearne Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics and co-director of the Hearne Institute for Theoretical Physics at Louisiana State University. Prior to this post he worked for 15 years as a research scientist for NASA and the US Department of Defence. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, and the Optical Society of America. Dr. Dowling has published more than 350 articles holds eight U.S. patents in the fields of quantum science and technologies. He has been a recipient of the Willis E. Lamb Medal for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, the U.S. Army Research and Development Achievement Award, and the NASA Space Act Award. He earned a PhD in mathematical physics from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Jonathan Dowling

15/08/13 – Quantum Simulations of Possible and Impossible Physics

Enrique Solano

University of the Basque Country
Enrique Solano is Ikerbasque professor at Universidad del País Vasco UPV/EHU, Bilbao, Spain, where he leads the “Quantum Technologies for Information Science (QUTIS)” group. He develops influential research in interdisciplinary theoretical fields combining quantum optics, quantum information, condensed matter, quantum field theories, and quantum biomimetics. In particular, his group is well known for adapting these eclectic ideas to different cutting-edge quantum technologies, as is the case of trapped ions, superconducting qubits, and circuit quantum electrodynamics. Prof. Enrique Solano has produced pioneering works associated to quantum simulations of relativistic quantum dynamics and condensed-matter models in trapped ions, studies in the ultrastrong coupling regime of light-matter coupling in superconducting circuits, quantum measurement of propagating quantum microwaves, and the novel concept of embedding quantum simulators merging quantum computing with quantum simulations.

Enrique Solano

04/09/13 – The National Measurement Institute: Knowing What We Know We Don’t Know

Ian Littler

National Measurement Institute
Ian has worked in both industrial and university sectors; as a researcher in atom trapping, non-linear fibre optics, and fibre optic sensing for oil and gas as well as a business strategist in telecommunications and as VP Technology of an optics company. Since 2010, he has been in Optical Standards at the National Measurement Institute where he maintains the Australian primary standard for light and also develops new measurement systems to both meet industry demand and progress the field of metrology. He holds a (BSc Hons1) from the ANU, a PhD from the University of Kaiserslautern and an MBA from the AGSM.


21/10/13 – The Evolution of the Milky Way Ecosystem

Naomi McClure-Griffiths

Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science
Dr Naomi McClure-Griffiths is the Deputy Astrophysics Group Leader at CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science, where she leads the Galactic Interstellar Medium group with the aim of better understanding the structure and evolution of our own Milky Way. She has led three major surveys of hydrogen gas in and around our Galaxy. Currently McClure-Griffiths is a principal investigator on the planned Galactic Australian SKA Pathfinder (GASKAP) survey to map the hydrogen and hydroxyl gas in the Milky Way and Magellanic System. In 2006 she was awarded the Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for her discovery of a new spiral arm in the outer Milky Way. McClure-Griffiths started with CSIRO in 2001 as a Bolton Fellow, from 2006 she was a CSIRO OCE Science Leader. She completed her PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, USA and her undergraduate in Physics at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH, USA. She holds an Honorary appointment at the University of Sydney.

Naomi McClure-Griffiths

2012

01/03/12 – Nuclear collisions – Many-Body Quantum Dynamics in Action

Mahananda Dasgupta

Australian National University
Professor Mahananda (Nanda) Dasgupta is an experimental physicist at the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility in the Department of Nuclear Physics of the Australian National University (ANU). She is an international leader in accelerator-based nuclear fusion and fission. Professor Dasgupta completed her PhD in 1992 at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India. She was awarded an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in 1998, and in 2006 was awarded the prestigious Pawsey medal by the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding research in Physics in Australia by a scientist under 40 years of age. Professor Dasgupta was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) in 2011. She was awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2011.


15/03/12 – Semiconductor Nanowires for Optoelectronic Device Applications

Chennupati Jagadish

Australian National University
Jagadish received the B.Sc. degree from Nagarjuna University, Guntur, India in 1977, the M.Sc(Tech) degree from Andhra University, Waltair, India in 1980 and the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Delhi, India in 1982 and 1986, respectively. He was a Lecturer in Physics and Electronics at S.V. College, University of Delhi, during 1985-88 and worked at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, during 1988-90 as a post-doctoral research fellow. He moved to Australia in 1990 and established a major research program in the field of optoelectronics and nanotechnology. He is currently an Australian Laureate Fellow, Distinguished Professor and Head of Semiconductor Optoelectronics and Nanotechnology Group in the Department of Electronic Materials Engineering, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, the Australian National University. His research interests include compound semiconductor optoelectronics and nanotechnology.

Jagadish is a winner of 2000 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc (USA) (IEEE) Third Millennium Medal and a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Nanotechnology Council (NTC), IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) and IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS). He has published more than 650 research papers (430 journal papers), 5 US patents assigned, co-authored a book, co-edited 3 books and edited 12 conference proceedings. Jagadish has served as President of the IEEE Nanotechnology Council (2008 and 2009) and Vice-President (Membership and Regional Activities- Asia-Pacific) of the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (2006 and 2007). He is currently serving as an Editor of the IEEE Electron Device Letters(2008-), an Editor of Progress in quantum Electronics (2008-), an Editor of the Journal Semiconductor Technology and Science (2009-) and an Associate Editor of Journal of Physics D: applied Physics. He is a member of editorial boards of 12 journals. He is the Convener of the Australian Nanotechnology Network and ACT Node Director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility. He received Peter Baume Award (ANU’s prestigious and highest award) for excellence in research and research leadership. He has also been awarded Australian Federation Fellowship (2004-2009) by the Australian Research Council and Distinguished Professor position (since 2009) by the Australian National University.

Chennupati Jagadish

29/03/12 – Optical Metamaterials

Dragomir Neshev

Australian National University
Dragomir Neshev received the Ph.D. degree in physical sciences from Sofia University, Bulgaria in 1999. Since then he has worked in the field of Nonlinear optics at several research centres in Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, USA, France, and Australia. Since 2002, he is with the Australian National University where he currently leads the Experimental Photonics Group at the Nonlinear Physics Centre. He is the recipient of of a number of awards, including the QE II Fellowship (ARC, 2010) the Australian Research Fellowship (ARC, 2004), the Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship (European Commission, 2001), and the Academic award for best young scientist (Sofia University, 1999). His activities span over several branches of optics, including optical solutions, singular optics, harmonic generation, nonlinear periodic structures, plasmonics, and photonic metamaterials.

Dragomir Neshev

10/05/12 – Single Molecule Biophysics of Molecular Machines

Till Böecking

University of New South Wales
ARC Future Fellow Till Böcking is the leader of the Molecular Machines Unit in the Centre for Vascular Research. Originally trained in biochemistry at the University of Bonn in Germany, he crossed disciplines and completed a PhD in Biophysics at UNSW with Hans Coster and Kevin Barrow in 2004. During his doctoral and subsequent postdoctoral research with Justin Gooding and Michael Gal, he developed self-assembly chemistries to assemble biomolecules on surfaces. This work lead to the development of biosensors and the discovery of fundamental principles that govern the performance of these devices. In 2006 he joined the group of Tomas Kirchhausen at Harvard Medical School to elucidate the mechanism of the chaperone-mediated disassembly of the protein coat surrounding endocytic vesicles. Till was awarded a Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship of the Human Frontier Science Program in 2007. Since returning to Australia, Till leads independent research focused on understanding biological processes at the molecular level using approaches from the physical sciences. In particular his team uses single-molecule techniques to resolve mechanistic questions inaccessible with traditional approaches.

Till Böecking

24/05/12 – Quantum Memory for Light: Fun Times with Hot Gas

Ben Buchler

Australian National University
Ben completed an Honours degree in Physics at the ANU in 1996, followed by a PhD in Physics from the ANU which was submitted in 2001. His thesis work investigated experimental techniques for electro-optic control of optical quantum states, serving as a precursor to the eventual demonstration of continuous variable teleportation at ANU in 2002. In his thesis electro-optic control was applied to quantum non-demolition measurements and theoretical investigations of radiation pressure noise. In 2003 Ben took up a post-doctoral position at ETH-Zurich with the nano-optics group of Prof Sandoghdar. There he worked on the scanning near-field microscopy of photonic crystals, investigations of near-infra-red emitting quantum dots and the radiation of single molecular dipoles with a metallic mirror in their near field, which enabled the first determination of the radiative quantum efficiency of the single molecules. In 2006 Ben retuned to ANU to take up a research position with the ARC centre of Excellence for Quantum Atom Optics (ACQAO) and became a chief investigator of this centre in 2008. His work in ACQAO was been focused on the generation of squeezed states compatible with quantum memory, and the development of a new kind of quantum memory, which now holds the world record for efficiency as well as having the unique ability to resequence coherently stored optical information. Ben has a total of 44 publication including 6 Physical Review Letters and 1 Nature.

Ben Buchler

02/08/12 – TBA

Lawrence Krauss

Arizona State University
Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Physics Dept, Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative, and Inaugural Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University. Origins will involve a new and wide ranging interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach program focusing on all aspects of origins, from the origins of the cosmos to human origins, to the origins of consciousness and culture. Until Aug 2008 Krauss was Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy, and Director of the Center for Education and Research at Case Western Reserve University. He is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982 then joined the Harvard Society of Fellows. In 1985 he joined the faculty of Physics at Yale University, and moved to take his CWRU in 1993. From 1993 to 2005 he also served as Chairman of the Physics Department at Case, where his achievements included building one of the top particle astrophysics programs in the country, and the creation of a novel Master’s Program in Physics Entrepreneurship.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prof. Krauss is the author of over 300 scientific publications, as well as numerous popular articles on physics and astronomy. In addition, he is the author of eight popular books, including the international bestseller, The Physics of Star Trek., and the award winning Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth…and Beyond. He has lectured to popular audiences at such places as the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Natural History in New York, as well as serving on the boards of three different science and natural history museums, and appears frequently on radio and television around the world. Prof. Krauss is the recipient of numerous awards for his research, writing, and lecturing. These include include the Gravity Research Foundation First Prize Award (1984), and the Presidential Investigator Award (1986). In February 2000, in Washington D.C., Prof. Krauss was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 1999-2000 Award for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology , joining previous awardees Carl Sagan (1995) and E.O. Wilson (1994). In April 2001, he received the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society. The citation reads “For outstanding contributions to the understanding of the early universe, and extraordinary achievement in communicating the essence of physical science to the general public”. In April 2001 the American Institute of Physics announced that Krauss had been awarded the 2001 Andrew Gemant Award, given annually to “a person who has made significant contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic dimensions of physics”. Previous awardees include Freeman Dyson, Steven Weinberg, and Stephen Hawking. In 2002 Krauss was awarded the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, for his book, “Atom”. In June of 2003 he was awarded an honorary D.Sc. degree from Carleton University for his scientific contributions and his efforts to improve public understanding of science. In August of 2003 Krauss was awarded the Oersted Medal , the highest award of the American Association of Physics Teachers, for his contributions to the teaching of physics. Previous awardees include Richard Feynman, I.I. Rabi, Edward Purcell, and Hans Bethe. Krauss is the only physicist to have been awarded these three most prestigious awards by the APS,AIP and AAPT. More recently, in 2005, the American Physical Society awarded Krauss the Joseph P. Burton Forum Award for his work on Science and Society.

His last book, Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions from Plato to String Theory and Beyond, an exploration of our fascination, in art, literature, and science, with the idea that the the three dimensions of space we experience are not all there is, appeared in October 2005, and appeared in paperback in November 2006. His newest book, entitled “Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science” will appear in March 2011.

He has been particularly active in issues of science and society and helped lead the effort by scientists to defend the teaching of science in public schools. His essay in the New York Times on Evolution and Intelligent Design in May 2005 helped spur the recent controversy that has involved the Catholic Church. He also organized a successful campaign to recruit and elect pro-science candidates to the Ohio School Board, defeating all creationist candidates. Most recently he wrote proposing a Presidential Debate on Science, and serves on the steering committee of Science Debate 2008, which has now been co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Council on Competitiveness and endorsed by over 12,000 scientists, business leaders, and legislators.

Krauss is also one of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture. For example, besides his radio and television work, Krauss has performed solo with the Cleveland Orchestra, narrating Gustav Holst’s The Planets at the Blossom Music Center in the most highly attended concert at that venue, and was nominated for a Grammy award for his liner notes for a Telarc CD of music from Star Trek. In 2005 he also served as a jury member at the Sundance Film Festival.

In his spare time, when he is not writing, lecturing etc, he enjoys scuba diving, fly fishing, and mountain biking.

Lawrence Krauss

19/09/12 – The Accelerating Universe

Brian Schmidt

Australian National University
Brian Schmidt is a Laureate Fellow at The Australian National University’s Mount Stromlo Observatory. Brian was raised in Montana and Alaska, USA, and received undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1989. Under the supervision of Robert Kirshner, he completed his Astronomy Master’s degree (1992) and PhD (1993) from Harvard University. In 1994 he and Nick Suntzeff formed the High­Z SN Search team, a group of 20 astronomers on 5 continents who used distant exploding stars to trace the expansion of the Universe back in time. This group’s discovery of an accelerating Universe was named Science Magazine’s Breakthrough of the Year for 1998. Brian Schmidt joined the staff of the Australian National University in 1995, and was awarded the Australian Government’s inaugural Malcolm McIntosh award for achievement in the Physical Sciences in 2000, The Australian Academy of Sciences Pawsey Medal in 2001, the Astronomical Society of India’s Vainu Bappu Medal in 2002, and an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship in 2005. In 2006 Schmidt was jointly awarded the US$1M Shaw Prize for Astronomy, and shared the US$0.5M 2007 Gruber Prize for Cosmology with his High-Z SN Search Team colleagues. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the United States National Academy, and Foreign Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences. His work on the accelerating universe was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter. Brian is continuing his work using exploding stars to study the Universe, and is leading Mt Stromlo’s effort to build the SkyMapper telescope, a new facility that will provide a comprehensive digital map of the southern sky from ultraviolet through near infrared wavelengths. Professor Schmidt, together with Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

Brian Schmidt
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