Soft Condensed Matter and Nanoscale
Physics Workshops

 
Prof Fabio Beltram from NEST and SNS-Pisa in Italy speaking about green fluorescent protein markers in studies of HIV infection of cells Keynote Speaker, 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

 

 


 

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