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Murdoch University, South Street Campus

90 South St

Murdoch, WA 6150

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Find out more about what you could be studying, why physics is exciting and where it could take you. The Western Australian branch of the Australian Institute of Physics and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering invites Year 10 – 12 Science classes and the interested public to attend this year’s “Women in Physics” event.

The day will include presentations from internationally recognised researchers Dr Katie Mack (Melbourne University) and Professor Phil Bland (Curtin University), followed by a game show style physics panel, where science meets comedy.

During the lunch break the universities and Scitech will be hosting interactive Science Stalls, where you can learn about Newtonian physics, discover the maths behind bubbles and much more.


Dr Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist. Her work focuses on finding new ways to learn about the early universe and fundamental physics using astronomical observations, probing the building blocks of nature by examining the cosmos on the largest scales. Throughout her career as a researcher at Caltech, Princeton, Cambridge, and now Melbourne University, she has studied dark matter, black holes, cosmic strings, and the formation of the first galaxies in the Universe. Katie is also an active science communicator and is passionate about science outreach. As a science writer, she has been published by Slate, Sky & Telescope, Time.com, and other popular publications, and has been a columnist for Cosmos Magazine. Katie will be presenting:

"Everything you wanted to know about Dark Matter but were afraid to ask

Dark matter. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together. But what it is it really? Are we sure it exists at all? Can it really be explained by tiny invisible particles? I’ll get you up to date on what we know so far about dark matter, how we’re searching for it, and how it differs from the other big cosmic mystery of the day, dark energy. There will be time for questions at the end, so bring your own!"

Professor Phil Bland came to Australia in 2012 on a ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship. He is on science teams for several space missions, including the NASA OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample-return mission which launched last year. His research focusses on the origins and early evolution of the solar system. In 2006 Asteroid ‘1981 EW21’ was renamed ‘(6580) Philbland’ for contributions to planetary science. Most recently his work has included construction of the Desert Fireball Network – the worlds largest planetary observational facility, built to track meteorites to the ground, and recover them from desert areas of Australia. The system allows us to track meteorites back to their source regions in the solar system.

The Earth sits in a cosmic shooting gallery. Phil will talk about the window that the Desert Fireball Network gives us on asteroid impacts, and how the project might change our understanding of how planetary systems form. It will look at the journey that these rocks have taken, from their origins far beyond the orbit of Mars, to their landing sites in the Australian desert, and the excitement of searching for them in the Australian bush.


Teachers should email Outreach@murdoch.edu.au for more information. Funding is available for regional school buses.

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Murdoch University, South Street Campus

90 South St

Murdoch, WA 6150

Australia

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