Sydney Science Forum: Nemesis – The Search for Antimatter in the Universe

Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn (Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney)

It’s the ultimate battle of the universe: when normal matter and antimatter come together, they’re annihilated, and all the mass is converted into energy. Fortunately, the Universe today is composed almost entirely of matter, with very little antimatter. However, the laws of physics require that the Universe began with equal amounts of both. The origin of the asymmetry is not known, but a possible explanation relies on some bizarre events in the early Universe. Recently, however, the annihilation signature of antimatter has been observed emanating from the centre of the Galaxy, at a rate that corresponds to the annihilation of 16 billion tonnes of antimatter every second.

When 5:45pm-6:45pm, Wednesday, 06 October 2010
Where Eastern Ave Auditorium
RSVP PleaseĀ click here

Sydney Science Forum: Law of the Locust

Prof. Steve Simpson (NSW Scientist of the Year)

Locust plagues are one of the most infamous insect scourges, affecting the lives of 1 in 10 people on the planet. But they have also provided important new clues into the causes of human obesity, how we age, and the complex behaviour of crowds. Professor Steve Simpson takes us on a strange journey that begins in the midst of a locust swarm and ends with the human obesity epidemic. Along the way you will see what you can discover by tickling a locust’s leg with a paintbrush, how recreational drugs turn shy solitary locusts into swarming party animals, how robotic helicopters are being used to track swarms, the sinister role played by cannibalism in locust swarms, and how a powerful appetite for protein can explain not only locust mass marching but also human obesity and ageing.

When 5:45pm-6:45pm, Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Where Eastern Ave Auditorium
RSVP Please click here