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SA Branch

Welcome to the South Australia (SA) branch of the AIP. Watch this space for local events in SA!

SA 2023 Committee

News and Upcoming Events

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  • 2 Nov 2023 10:46 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    You are invited to the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) SA Branch 2023 Annual General Meeting and end of year dinner held in the Ivy Room at the Maylands Hotel.

    The agenda for the evening is as follows:

    6:00 pm Pre-meeting drinks

    6:30 pm Annual General Meeting

    7:30 pm Annual Dinner

    The AIP (SA Branch) Annual General Meeting will start at 6:30 pm (pre-meeting drinks from 6:00 pm). Nomination of the 2024 committee will be included as part of the proceedings. Please see the attached letter for details of the current committee’s nominations for the 2024 committee.

    Dinner will be from 7.30 pm, following the main course we will have an after-dinner speaker (TBC).

    Meals to be ordered and paid on arrival from the hotel's menu.

    Please register for the event via Humanitix.

  • 29 Sep 2023 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    The Astronomical Society of South Australia (ASSA) and Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) SA Branch are holding a joint public lecture as part of an ASSA monthly meeting. This meeting is being held in-person and is open to the general public.

    Speaker: Professor David Ottaway

    Date & Time: Wednesday 4th of October 2023 at 8:00pm to 9:30pm

    Location: The Braggs Lecture Theater, The University of Adelaide (map here)

    Meeting Agenda:

    • Gravitational Wave Astronomy Now and Looking to the Future
    • Announcements & Upcoming Events
    • Close at 9:30pm

    Abstract: It has been 8 years since the first direct detection of gravitational waves (GW) occurred almost 100 years after Einstein predicted their existence a century beforehand. Since that time the first three GW observing runs have detected 90 detections. After a period of downtime to install the instruments upgrades the twin LIGO detectors have commenced its 4th observing runs and significant GW events are now being observed weekly. In this talk I will describe the instrument science that makes these amazing detectors operate and the exciting new astrophysics results that they enable. I will also describe the plans for the next generation of detectors that are being planned for operation starting towards the end of the next decade.

    Bio: Professor David Ottaway is a Professor and current Head of Physics at The University of Adelaide. He has spent the vast majority of his career developing optical systems for gravitational wave detectors and other forms of extreme remote sensing. He is principally an instrument scientist who has a keen interest in the amazing Astrophysics that GW Astronomy enables. He is also a Chief Investigator and Node Leader in new funded Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Gravitational Wave Astronomy.

    Attend In-Person: This is a free public event. A theatre ticket is NOT required for this meeting. Just roll up.

    Finding the Venue: The Braggs LT entrance faces the Barr Smith Lawns and is located at E10 on the map.

    Watch Live Online: (no ticket required): YouTube or FacebookPlease Subscribe to the ASSA YouTube channel and turn ON Notifications to be instantly notified of our live broadcasts.

  • 21 Sep 2023 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    Pizza & Networking with local employers of Physicists and STEM professionals.

    Curious about Science and Physics? Wondering what careers can come from studying Physics? Not sure if you should choose to study Physics in Year 11, Year 12, or University? The AIP/IPAS Physics Industry Night will satisfy your curiosity and queries.

    Listen to the experts in their fields who have used their physics education to leap into exciting and rewarding careers.

    Hear from local organisations and companies who hire Physics graduates:

    Afterwards, enjoy FREE PIZZA over networking with these local employers.

    Date: Tuesday 26th September 2023
    Time: Lecture: 6:00 - 7:00 PM - The Braggs Lecture Theatre
    Networking: 7:00 - 8.30 PM - Hub Mezzanine
    Location: The University of Adelaide
    Registration: EVENTBRITE registration required!
    Enquires: Email to

    Proudly hosted by Australian Institute of Physics SA Branch and the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing

  • 21 Sep 2023 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Tony Thomas for getting a paper published in the Journal of High Energy Physics

    The existence of dark matter has been firmly established from its gravitational interactions, yet its precise nature continues to elude us despite the best efforts of physicists around the world. The key to understanding this mystery could lie with the dark photon, a theoretical massive particle that may serve as a portal between the dark sector of particles and regular matter. In our recent work, a collaboration between CSSM, the Adelaide node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics and Jefferson Laboratory, we study the potential effects a dark photon could have on the interpretation of existing experimental results from the deep inelastic scattering process. Specifically, we make use of the state-of-the-art Jefferson Angular Momentum collaboration (JAM) global analysis framework for parton distribution functions, modifying the underlying theory to allow for the effect of a dark photon. We show that the dark photon hypothesis is preferred over the Standard Model hypothesis at a significance of 6.5 sigma, which constitutes strong evidence, albeit indirect, for a particle discovery.

    Profile likelihood showing preferred regions for the dark photon mass and mixing parameter. This suggests that the Standard Model is disfavoured at 6.5σ.

  • 4 Sep 2023 12:10 PM | Anonymous

    Science Alive! is the largest, single, interactive, mobile science exhibition in Australia, which has been running since 2006.

    This year, for the first time, the South Australian branch of the AIP (AIP SA) participated in the event, offering ‘Mind-Bending Light’ – a series of hands-on optics demonstrations – amongst the 80 interactive exhibits at the Adelaide Showgrounds from August 4-6.

    “The motivation behind the development of these activities is to inspire the next generation of physicists in Australia with fun, hands-on activities,” said Dr Chris Perrella, AIP SA Secretary and co-developer of the activities.

    The activities were a hit, with over 750 visitors to the exhibit over the three days, aged from 4 to 18 years old.

    The activities included:

    • Laser Playpen – where  a series of mirrors, prisms and gratings are used to align a laser onto a receiver and play music via a “Laser Radio”
    • Jelly Waveguides – where different shaped jellies and a ‘light dragon’ are used to re-direct laser light onto different detectors, illustrating the principles of total internal reflection and optical fibres.
    • Absorbing Light – where different coloured lasers and jellies are used to demonstrate the meaning of colours.

    This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the AIP SA branch members, with 12 volunteers assisting for a total of 75 hours, 27 battery changes, and more than 30 packets of jelly used.

    “The SA Branch is already planning a repeat performance for 2024, as Science Alive! represents a fantastic opportunity to engage with and excite the general public about physics,” says AIP SA Branch Chair, Stephen Warren-Smith.

    August was a busy month for the AIP SA Outreach team, also running workshops using these activities as part of the 70th Conference of the Australian Science Teachers Association (CONASTA) and the Flinders University STEM Enrichment Academy in July 2023.

    AIP SA thanks SASTA/The Oliphant Science Awards for hosting the Mind-Bending Light station, as well as the OptoFab node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility for providing 3D printing services, The University of Adelaide for assistance developing the Laser Radios, and the Adelaide Optica Student Chapter for providing additional volunteers.

    For additional information please contact the AIP SA Branch Treasurer at

    AIPSA/Adelaide Optical Student Chapter volunteers Darryl Jones, Sabrina Slimani, Ben Sparkes and Harry Noel Lees excited to welcome their first visitors of the day at Science Alive!

    AIPSA Secretary Chris Perrella explaining the Laser Playpen activity to eager participants at Science Alive!

    Adelaide Optical Student Chapter President Gabriel Britto Monteiro demonstrating the Jelly Waveguide activity at Science Alive!

  • 4 Aug 2023 5:45 PM | Anonymous

    The Australian Institute of Physics (SA branch) is proudly hosting the Claire Corani Memorial Public Lecture as part of the Women in Physics national lecture tour:

    Nano-magnets: new materials to address biomedical and technological problems.
    Presented by:
    Dr Karen Livesey
    Date & Time: Wednesday 6th of September 2023 at 6.30 to 7.45 pm
    Location: Horace Lamb lecture theatre, The University of Adelaide (map here)

    Abstract: Tiny magnets that are one thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair are starting to be used in technologies all around us, including cancer treatments, medical imaging and even self-repairing paints. Magnets that are shrunk down to the nanoscale behave very differently to the large ones that you have on your fridge, allowing a whole new set of materials to be designed to answer important technological problems. Come along to hear how a theoretical physicist studies nano-magnets and what exciting problems are currently being solved.

    Bio: Dr Karen Livesey was the first in her family to finish high school and studied Physics at the University of Western Australia, completing a PhD in 2010. For almost 10 years she worked at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs reaching the rank of Associate Professor. While the covid-19 pandemic was raging, she moved to Newcastle NSW with her family in 2020. She is currently a Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Newcastle, and an Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies. Karen has won teaching awards and research grants in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. In 2023 she is a national Superstar of STEM (Science and Technology Australia) and the AIP Women in Physics lecturer (Australian Institute of Physics).

    The Claire Corani Memorial Prize will be presented at the lecture, for high achievement at second year level physics in 2022 at a South Australian University.

  • 30 Jun 2023 11:22 AM | Anonymous

    On Wednesday 17 May, The Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) South Australia Branch in conjunction with Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) co-hosted the inaugural Physics Jobs Fair 2023.

    This event gave university students the opportunity to engage with 10 companies who are seeking to locally employ physicists. Over 50 undergraduate and HDR students heard a short presentation from each of the companies which was followed by a networking event over pizza and drinks.

    Thank you to the companies who attended: DST Group, CSIRO, Ellex, Ziltek, Babcock, Shoal Group, QuantX Labs, Fleet Space Technologies, QinetiQ and Norseld.

    And special thanks to the small group of volunteers who made it all happen!

  • 15 Feb 2023 8:41 PM | Anonymous

    “A Brief History of Entanglement (and Photons)”

    6:30 pm, Wednesday 22nd February 2023

     Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre

    The University of Adelaide (North Terrace campus)

    A/Prof Jacqui Romero

    Reader and Westpac Research Fellow,
    University of Queensland

    I will tell the story of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics. I will talk about entanglement: its importance and implications. I will talk about photons and their instrumental role in the important experiments that established the reality (aha!) of entanglement.

    Bio: Dr Jacqui Romero is an expert in experimental quantum information. Her research is focused on using higher-dimensional systems for exploring curious quantum physics phenomena and developing future quantum technologies. She is the group leader of the research team Qudits@UQ. Jacqui was born and bred in Manila, Philippines. Hearing her high school physics teacher complain about quantum physics, she became curious and googled "quantum physics"—she has been hooked ever since. She holds BS Applied Physics magna cum laude and MS Physics degrees from the University of the Philippines. She finished her PhD at the University of Glasgow (in sunny Scotland!) where she was a researcher for seven years. In 2015, she moved to Brisbane to join the Quantum Technology group at the University of Queensland. In 2016 she took up an ARC DECRA fellowship with the same group. In 2019, she took up a Westpac Research Fellowship and formed her own team, Qudits@UQ. Jacqui is recognised for moving the shape of photons to mainstream quantum information. She is currently an associate professor and Westpac Research Fellow. She is also a chief investigator at the Centre of Excellence For Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS).

    The Bronze Bragg medals and merit certificates will be presented at the lecture.

    The medals are awarded for highest achievement in Physics in 2022 in the SACE Stage 2 assessments and IB Higher Level Physics, with certificates being for students who achieved a merit or a grade of 7.

    For additional information please contact the SA AIP Branch Secretary:                   +61 8 8313 2323 (W)

  • 7 Nov 2022 10:58 PM | Anonymous

    To be held on Wednesday Nov. 30th in the Public Schools Club, 207 East Terrace, Adelaide:

    6:00 pm   Pre-meeting drinks

    6:30 pm   Annual General Meeting

    7:30 pm   Annual Dinner

    Menu: 3 courses, alternate drop of one of each. (See menu below).

    We need to give seven days' notice for vegans, vegetarians and or any other dietary considerations (lactose free, peanut allergy, gluten-free).

    Bookings for the dinner are essential and should be made with Dr Laurence Stamatescu by Wednesday November 23rd, by email to

    The cost of the 3-course dinner (to be paid on the night) is:

    AIP members and guests: $75 per person

    AIP student members: $40 per person

    The mid-dinner speaker will be Professor Glen Solomon, 

    Hicks Chair of Quantum Materials, The University of Adelaide



    Pan Fried Halloumi

    Salt and Pepper Squids


    Sirloin Char Grilled, Mash Potato – Greens – Red Wine Jus

    Barramundi, Broccoli & Cauliflower Gratin – Citrus Sauce


    Chocolate Paradise, White Chocolate Ice Cream – Whipped Cream & Choc Sauce

    Mini Fruit Pavlovas, Whipped Vanilla Cream

  • 13 Sep 2022 10:22 PM | Anonymous

    Radiation protection is critical for the future human exploration of Mars. Learn about the health hazards and current research in Australia.

    Attend In-Person: Click here for Tickets. Theatre tickets are only required if you wish to attend this meeting in-person. Tickets are FREE and can be obtained online via Eventbrite. Ticket numbers may be limited to ensure compliance with SA Govt indoor seating restrictions. Please cancel your tickets if you are unable to attend in-person.

    About this event

    Members of the general public are most welcome to attend this joint meeting of the Astronomical Society of South Australia (ASSA) and the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP).

    Speaker: A/Prof Susanna Guatelli, Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong

    Abstract: Human missions to Mars have been identified as a main goal of human exploration by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group in 2013. The roadmap to the human exploration of Mars started with the International Space Station mission about twenty years ago and is envisaged to continue with a human outpost on the Moon and finally with a mission to Mars within the next twenty years. A human mission to Mars would expose astronauts to serious health hazards, including acute and late risks caused by exposure to cosmic radiation, eventually leading to cancer and death. The design of shielding solutions and of powerful and accurate radiation monitoring systems are subjects of research to facilitate the human exploration of the Solar System. However, the testing of proposed novel technologies is limited on Earth as there are no accelerator facilities capable to reproduce the complex cosmic radiation field the astronauts would encounter in space. In the past fifteen years, Monte Carlo simulations, capable to describe cosmic radiation interactions in space mission habitats and in astronauts, demonstrated to be an extremely useful tool for radiation protection studies of astronauts. This seminar will begin with a description of the health hazards in astronauts caused by cosmic radiation and of Monte Carlo simulations for space exploration. The speaker will then illustrate her research in this field aimed to develop simulation tools to improve the prediction of health hazards in astronauts.

    Bio: A/Prof Guatelli trained as a nuclear physicist at the University of Genova, Italy. In 2003 she had the opportunity to undertake a PhD in physics, based at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Her enthusiasm for medical physics drove her to study possible radiation protection solutions for human mission to Mars (a project led by the European Space Agency) as her PhD research topic. In 2007 she moved to Australia and since 2009 she has been an academic at the School of Physics, University of Wollongong where she is the academic director of the Medical Radiation Physics Bachelor Degree. She is an internationally recognised expert of Monte Carlo simulations for medical applications, including radiation protection of astronauts. In 2021 she was awarded with the prestigious Women in Physics Award of the Australian Institute of Physics, which celebrates female physicists that have made a significant contribution to research in physics. In 2022 she became a member of the ARC (Australian Research Council) Panel of experts. Susanna has been chair/co-chair of several international workshops and conference sessions dedicated to Monte Carlo codes applied to medical physics. She is Associate Editor of Physica Medica and of Applied Radiation and Isotopes.

    More Info:

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