The Australian National University
Australian Institute of Physics 16th Biennial Congress 2005
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Young Australian Physics Research's Forum

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Events Programme

Manning Clark 2 (MC2), ANU A group of Australia's best and brightest postgraduate students will showcase their research in a series of presentations organized by the students themselves that will complement the main Congress programme. The cost of attending is included in all Congress registration fees.

0930–1020 Registration and Morning Tea
1020 - 1030 Welcome Opening
1030 - 1100 Anne Barnett (Macquarie University)
Optical Micro-characterisation Research
1100 - 1130 Elizabeth Angstmann (University of New
South Wales)
Constraining Variation of Fundamental
1130 - 1200 Andrew Wroe (University of Wollongong)
A New Millennia of Medical Physics
Research at the CMRP
1230 - 1330 Lunch
1330 - 1400 Rebecca Scott (University of Melbourne)
"Nuclear Physics in the Modern World"
1400 - 1430 Benjamin Johnston (Macquarie University)
"Laser Assisted Fabrication of Periodically"
poled Optical Crystals
1430 - 1500 Ilana Klamer (University of Sydney)
"Galaxies at the Edge of the Universe"
1500 - 1530 Ryan Springall (RMIT University)
Dispersion Interactions and the
Adiabatic Connection
1530 - 1600 Peter Brooke (Macquarie University)
The Physics behind the Quantum
1600 - 1630 Afternoon Tea
1630 - 1800 Discussion Forum
Prominent international and local
scientists will discuss the topic
Australia as a Global Leader in

1030 - 1100 hrs Anne Barnett

Physics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney e-mail:

Optical Micro-characterisation Research Group

As science and technology moves into the 21st century, an important focus is the ability of scientists from all areas to create new and exciting research opportunities through the merging of fields and interdisciplinary co-operation. With this in mind our research group has focused on the development and refinement of optical micro-characterisation techniques and their application to state-of-the-art technologies. Our specific focus is on techniques aimed at the characterisation of spectroscopic information from physical, chemical and biological systems on the micrometre and nanometre scales. Our ability to marry pure physics research with applications in the frontier of biotechnology, along with strong collaborative links, has placed Australia as a front-line player in these new and exciting fields.

1100 - 1130 hrs Elizabeth Angstmann

School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW,

Constraining Variation of Fundamental Constants

Theories beyond the standard model, such as grand unified theories, predict the variation of fundamental constants. Our group performs calculations that place limits upon the variation of fundamental constants such as the fine structure constant (α), the binding energy of deuterium, and the ratio of the quark mass to the QCD scale (mq/QCD). These limits are derived from primordial Big Bang nucleosynthesis, the Oklo natural nuclear reactor, quasar absorption spectra, and atomic clock experiments. We have already found hints that αand (mq/QCD) may vary. The improved precision of future experiments and calculations will allow the placement of more stringent limits on the variation of constants.

1130 - 1200 hrs Andrew Wroe

Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong, NSW

A New Millennia of Medical Physics Research at the CMRP

As we move into the new millennium, the use of radiation within our society is ever increasing and so must our knowledge of this important medical and scientific tool. The Centre for Medical Physics (CMRP)

Congress Handbook and Abstracts

Events Programme

(cont.) at the University of Wollongong, is conducting valuable and innovative research into many aspects of the use of radiation within medicine and science. This ground-breaking research is being conducted in a number of areas including the measurement of radiation effects on a cellular and DNA level, medical imaging, space exploration and improvements to radiation therapies including magnetically enhanced radiotherapy, brachytherapy, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), microbeam radiation therapy using synchrotron radiation and proton therapy. Many of these projects utilise novel detection methods and instrumentation as well as Monte Carlo simulation studies to achieve an outcome that will be beneficial to the wider society.

1330 - 1400 hrs Rebecca Scott

School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC,

Nuclear Physics in the Modern World

In Australia, and around the world, the face of nuclear physics is changing fast. As technology advances rapidly, many new and exciting areas of research are being born, and the line between nuclear physics and other branches of physics is becoming blurred. Measurements on exotic halo nuclei, experimental tests of the standard model and land mine identification are just some of the exciting areas that are currently being researched by the Photonuclear Group at the University of Melbourne. Our group is also developing novel detector signal digitisation and analysis techniques that will have a significant impact on the path of nuclear physics in the coming decade.

1400 - 1430 hrs Benjamin Johnston

Physics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney

Laser Assisted Fabrication of Periodically-poled Optical Crystals

Periodically poled optical materials have become popular over the past decade as media for achieving efficient quasi-phase-matched frequency conversion of laser light. The materials used for periodic poling are generally ferroelectric optical crystals such as lithium niobate and its isomorphs. Lithography is commonly used to lay down the electrode patterning used when periodically poling ferroelectric crystals. We have explored an alternative method that uses laser direct write methods to fabricate a topographical electrode pattern which guides the domain pattern. The use of periodically poled materials is an innovative means of furthering the field of non-linear optics in spectroscopy, laser displays and all-optical-processing in future optical networks.

1430 - 1500 hrs Ilana Klamer

School of Physics, University of Sydney. Sydney, NSW,

Galaxies at the Edge of the Universe

Powerful radio emission from a galaxy points to the presence of a central supermassive (> 1 billion solar masses) black hole, and is the most efficient tool for finding galaxies at the edge of the Universe. We have recently embarked on the first large scale search in the Southern Hemisphere for the most distant radio galaxies in the Universe, which, due to the finite speed of light, are also those which existed when the Universe was barely 10% of its current age (13 billion years). In this talk, I will outline the search technique we use and the results thus far, including the discovery of at least nine new radio galaxies more than 10 billion light years away. I will show how observations like these constrain the physics of black hole and galaxy formation and discuss the direction that Australian Astronomy needs to be heading in the next decade to enhance its reputation for doing world-class research.

1500 - 1530 hrs Ryan Springall

Computational and Condensed Matter Physics Group, Department of Applied Physics, RMIT University

Dispersion Interactions and the Adiabatic Connection

In this recently funded ARC project, some of the most accurate calculations ever performed will be used to study in detail the effects of electron correlation beyond the 2 body Coulombic interaction. Electron correlation is seen as being responsible for van derWaals interactions in condensed matter systems, and current non-perturbative models are unable to account for this. Further, an understanding of the non-asymptotic behaviour of these forces is seen as a primary constituent in the modeling of technologies in the nanoscale regime. Powerful theoretical methods will be employed to achieve this, including the adiabatic connection formula, where the non-interacting system is mapped onto a fully interacting system, extracting all electron correlation, and the Quantum Monte Carlo code developed at Cavendish laboratory, Cambridge.