UQ physicists to mingle with Nobel Laureates

41 Nobel Laureates have already confirmed their participation - including 2018 l

41 Nobel Laureates have already confirmed their participation - including 2018 laureates in physics Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou.

Two University of Queensland physicists have been chosen to attend the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, which will feature 40 Nobel Laureates and an elite selection of international scientists.

Astrophysicist and PhD candidate Samuel Hinton and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Matt Reeves will travel to Germany for the prestigious event.

“This is a once in a lifetime chance for a student like myself,” Mr Hinton said.

“To share and learn from their experience, their wisdom and their tenacity is such a great honour - and also quite intimidating.”

Undergraduates, PhD students and post-doctoral researchers will participate in lectures, classes, social events and panel discussions during the six-day conference, all centred on this year’s focus, physics.

Key topics will include laser physics, gravitational waves, cosmology and dark matter.

Mr Hinton’s PhD work is in cosmology, focusing on dark energy and dark matter, and he is eagerly anticipating new theories that may be revealed at the meeting.

“I am still hunting information on the elusive nature of the dark universe,” he said.

“So many questions remain unanswered - what exactly is dark energy and dark matter, how are they best measured and how can we distinguish all our possible hypotheses?

“These are thorny issues that have been dominating the astrophysical community for over a decade, so it is my hope that outside perspectives will help us tackle these problems from new and improved angles.”

The collaborative event provides opportunities to span specialisations and bridge technical gaps between disciplines and fields.

“Scientific methods percolate slowly through different communities, and techniques which seem novel in one field might be standard in another,” Mr Hinton said.

“Each member of the meeting brings to the table their breadth and depth of scientific experience, and a combined sense of curiosity determined to take our understanding of the universe to a deeper level.

“I can only hope that my own skills and experiences add a useful drop into the ocean of experience presented by fellow participants.”

The meeting will run in Lindau, Germany from 30 June to 5 July 2019. Further information is available on the event’s website.

Image above left from left: Dr Matt Reeves and Samuel Hinton.