The search for the first stars and the hunt for dark energy both feature in a new planetarium show narrated by Geoffrey Rush. The show premiered in March 2016 at the Melbourne Planetarium and will be seen in planetariums around the world.
“I hope this show conveys some of the wonder of the Universe we live in,” says Professor Elaine Sadler, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO).
‘Capturing the Cosmos’ was created by Melbourne Planetarium and CAASTRO, and features the work of two of Australia’s new telescopes, the Murchison Widefield Array and Skymapper.
Deep underground in rural Victoria, Matteo Volpi is searching for evidence of the cosmic glue that holds the Universe together: dark matter.
Matteo is taking the initial measurements for the study at Stawell Gold Mine where an international team is set to construct a $3.5 million laboratory more than a kilometre underground.
Understanding dark matter is regarded as one of the most important questions of modern particle physics.
“If we nail it, it’s a Nobel Prize winning experiment,” says the project leader Elisabetta Barberio, a University of Melbourne physicist and chief investigator of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP).
“Trait-based ecology” enables Macquarie University’s Mark Westoby to explain patterns of species occurrence and abundance and to understand the impacts of climate change and changing patterns of land use. He received the $55,000 NSW Scientist of the Year.
Nanocapsules for drugs delivery: Frank Caruso is making miniature capsules that could better deliver drugs for cancer, AIDS and cardiovascular diseases. He won one of the 2014 Victoria Prizes for Science & Innovation worth $50,000.
Antimatter has been disappearing and Melbourne researcher Phillip Urquijo wants to know why.
He’s hoping that the Belle II experiment, commencing in Japan in 2017, will give him an answer—and if he’s lucky it will answer many other questions about the beginning of the Universe too.
“What I hope we’ll discover is clear evidence of new quarks, leptons or other force-carrying particles,” says Phillip. “And I’d be really excited if we found a new kind of Higgs particle using this indirect approach.”