Engaging research seminars from invited guests

Our departmental colloquium series includes speakers from all physics sub-disciplines, delivered at senior undergraduate to graduate level, engaging an audience of researchers in areas as diverse as biophysics and astronomy.

COVID-19 update: on-campus events are significantly impacted by restrictions in response to the global health crisis. Our colloquia series can be accessed online via Zoom. Attendance in person is strictly limited.

Date and VenueSpeakerTitle
6 November 2020 11am-12pm
Professor Mark Wardle
Sebastian Murk
A 4 Million Solar Mass Black Hole at the Galactic Centre
One half of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Andrea Ghez and Reinhard Genzel for their work monitoring and analysing the orbits of stars in the innermost light year of the Galaxy. This confirmed the presence of an 'object' with the mass of 4 million Suns stuffed into a region smaller than the solar system. I'll provide some background, talk about the Nobel-winning work, and outline the ongoing work to observe what is happening closer to the event horizon.
The Penrose Singularity Theorem
On 6 October, Roger Penrose was awarded a half share of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity. In this talk, I will explain the intuition behind Penrose's singularity theorem and discuss its implications for the formation of black holes. In addition, I will comment on its role in contemporary physics and highlight connections with research done here at Macquarie University.
13 November 2020 11am-12pm
Associate Professor Daniel TernoBlack Holes from the Point of View of a Quantum Information Theorist
Black holes have such a ubiquitous presence in theoretical physics, astrophysics and science fiction, that it is worth beginning with some history. We then review their properties (which are mostly properties of the models that purport to describe them), and try to identify what is real, what is not, and what is the difference between the two. This will involve known facts and still unfalsified theoretical possibilities regarding the observed dark massive compact objects. Quantum effects make everything more complicated and interesting. Paradoxes of quantum mechanics arise from the imposition of an over-constraining combination of quantum classical requirements on a model. We discuss what are the ingredients of the black hole information loss paradox and what are the consequences of some of its resolutions. Finally, we explore the ongoing debates on the nature of observed ultra-compact objects, and what we may learn about physics from getting a better understanding of what these objects actually are.

Dr Domenico Bonaccini Calia, European Southern Observatory ​

Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics: ​The ESO Adaptive Optics Facility and Ongoing LGS Technologies R&D

January 2020

Associate Professor Céline d'Orgeville, Australian National University

Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics for Astronomy and Space

November 2019

Dr Irina Kabakova, University of Technology, Sydney

Harnessing photon-phonon interactions for signal processing and biomedical applications

October 2019

Dr Franck Marchis, SETI Institute

25 Years of Adaptive Optics in Planetary Astronomy, From the direct imaging of asteroids to Earth-like exoplanets

August 2019

Dr Mark Ballico, National Meaurement Institute

The kg is dead: long live the kg

May 2019

Professor Alexia Auffèves, Institut Néel of Grenoble, France

When thermodynamics meets quantum optics​

November 2018

Professor Celine Boehm, University of Sydney

Is our current understanding of the Universe correct?​

October 2018

Dr Julia Bryant​, Australian Astronomical Optics

Deciphering the formation of galaxies with new breakthroughs in integral field spectroscopy.

August 2018

Dr James Butler, Naval Research Laboratory (retired)​

Studies of Colored Gem Diamonds: Relevance to Diamond Electronics​

July 2018

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Last updated: 19 Nov 2020