|Prof Fabio Beltram
from NEST and SNS-Pisa in Italy speaking about green fluorescent
protein markers in studies of HIV infection of cells
Prof Cees Dekker from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
talking about the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes.
Soft condensed matter and nanoscale physics is presently a rapidly
growing research field in Australia. As such, it was identified
as an ideal focus topic for the 13th Gordon Godfrey Workshop on
Recent Advances in Condensed Matter Theory to be held in late 2003.
Little did we know at the time that this would grow to become a
pair of consecutive workshops spanning four days.
In early 2003, A/Prof Alex Hamilton and Dr Adam Micolich applied
for workshop funding from the Missions and Workshops Component of
the Innovation Access Programme – International Science and
Technology, administered by the Australian Academy of Technological
Sciences and Engineering (ASTE) and DEST. Our application was successful
and we received $26k to fund a one-off workshop on recent experimental
advances in soft condensed matter and nanoscale physics. We were
also fortunate in obtaining commercial sponsorship from Agilent
Technologies Australia and Oxford Instruments.
From this grew the concept of holding two workshops back-to-back,
with the 2.5 day ATSE funded “Frontiers of Science and Technology
Workshop on Soft Condensed Matter and Nanoscale Physics” focusing
on experimental aspects, flowing seamlessly into the 1.5 day Gordon
Godfrey workshop (funded under the Godfrey bequest) which focused
on the theoretical aspects of this research area.
The combined workshops were held on the 1st – 4th December
2003 and had over 70 registered participants. The workshop was opened
by A/Prof Aldo Bagnara, Acting Dean of Science, who was followed
by the keynote speaker, Prof Cees Dekker from Delft University of
Technology in the Netherlands, delivering an excellent talk about
his group’s work on carbon nanotube electronics, and his recent
work in the area of molecular biophysics.
Other international invited speakers included Prof Fabio Beltram,
Director of Italy’s National Enterprise for Nanoscience and
Nanotechnology, who spoke about green fluorescent proteins in biology
and bioelectronics; Prof Charles Hanna from Boise State University
in the U.S., who spoke about theoretical studies of Bose-Einstein
Condensates; and Prof Poul-Erik Lindelof from the Niels Bohr Institute
in Copenhagen who spoke about his work on spin effects in carbon
nanotubes and the development of single photon sources and detectors.
We also had a further 16 Australian invited speakers including three
new Federation fellows in the Sydney area (Prof Marcela Bilek and
Prof Cathy Stampfl from the University of Sydney and Prof Michelle
Simmons from UNSW), and researchers from UNSW and the Universities
of Wollongong, Newcastle and Queensland.
Adam Micolich, Alex Hamilton
and David Neilson