Below is the abstract of an after-dinner speech I gave at the Australian Institute of Physics WA Branch annual general meeting and dinner, on 16 Nov 2016 (see also national AIP newsletter)
An old animation of mine, showing a bunch of falling spheres that fall into a jar. I’ve been meaning to put online for a while – here it is! Read more
Interested in undergraduate, honours or postgraduate studies in Maths or Physics (or other disciplines)? My home institution, the School of Engineering and Information Technology at Murdoch University, has current open rounds for undergraduate scholarships, honours scholarships and PhD scholarships, open to both Australian and international applicants. This includes scholarships for mid-year intake! If you’re interested, drop me an email (see here for contact details). Also check out our brand-new research brochure about what’s happening research-wise in the maths department at Murdoch, or the research brochure for the whole school.
“Women in Physics Day 2016” – a lecture by Italian-Romanian physicists Dr Catalina Curceanu, a panel discussion featuring some of Perth’s finest physicists and about 20 experiments on Bush Court including the ‘Walk on Water’ Non-Newtonian starch bath. Attendance with almost 600 high school kids well surpassed our wildest expectations. Need to do it again next year!
From landslides to granular hoppers: can local structure metrics predict flow properties of granular materials?
The flow of granular materials are relevant to any industrial transport process of particulate matter – from minerals and sand to powders and pharmaceutical pills. Flow phenomena of loose or compacted granular materials are also important on the geophysical scale, in landslides, dunes or erosion processes. This proposed PhD thesis project uses state-of-the-art simulation methods for simulating granular flows Read more
We hosted organised the 2016 Boden Research conference “Animal, Vegetal, Mineral”, held in Yallingup / Western Australia, from 19-23 Sept 2016, on the emergence and function of complex nanostructures in biological tissue and synthetic self-assembly. Here’s the final report and what attendees had to say about it: Read more
Congratulations to Matthias Saba for the successful defence of his PhD thesis “Photonic crystals with chirality — Group theory, algorithmic tools and experimental approaches for Gyroid-like photonic material” (see link) in December 2015.
In a totally different context to the original quote and article, Phil Anderson’s quote “More is different” holds also for the chiro-optical response of gyroid-based photonic materials. Eight intergrown Gyroids give a substantially different chiro-optical response than the single gyroid. The group theoretic prediction from Matthias Saba’s PhD work (Saba et al, PRB 2013) has now been experimentally validated by Nanofabrication experiments in the Center for Microphotonics at Swinburne University (Turella et al, Optics Letters, 2015). Read more
“In a Material World: Hyperbolic Geometry in Biological Materials”, by Myf Evans and myself, is a popular-science type essay on the sort of geometric questions that we see of relevance for soft matter physics, materials science, biology, etc. In particular, what’s the role of hyperbolic geometry and triply-periodic minimal surfaces, and what’s the geometric rationale why they form in soft matter self-assembly. Hopefully an entertaining read, with no claim to be comprehensive, and certainly not original research. Read more
The bicontinuous phases, composed of two interthreaded channels separated by a matrix domain have a firm place in soft matter self-assembly, from lipids to copolymers. This post high-lights some of our recent work that shows that more complicated geometries, with three rather than two channel domains, may also result from self-assembly. Read more