Firstly, let me say that it is a pleasure to be here once again to present the award. Before doing so I thought to tell you that this is a very special year for us physicists. It is the United Nations International Year of Physics. This year we are celebrating 100 years since Albert Einstein published three major works in 1905, at the age of just 26. First he explained that Brownian motion was proof of the existence of atoms and molecules. Then he explained the photoelectric effect showing how light can behave as particles, for which he got a Nobel Prize. To round off a good year he gave the world Special Relativity, which came from the observation that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. This lead to crazy ideas like moving clock slowing down, moving lengths contracting, and the famous formula E=mc2.
     Now, how many of you have never heard off E=mc2? How many can tell me what the formula means? To celebrate the year, in my capacity as Chair of the WA branch of the AIP, I will be organising many public lectures to explain the work of Einstein to the general community. Some of the lectures will be given by me and others by national and international visitors. So, if you are interested tell your teacher to contact me or keep your eye on the local press.
     1905 and the 20th century generally was a fantastic period for physics. Is this, the 21st century, going to be any different? Well it started off we a great discovery. Did you know that Australian physicists have shown that the Universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate? Noone knows why, and when we look out in space we now realise that we see at most just 5% of the Universe. The other 95% we label as Dark Energy and Dark Matter! I can't think of a better way to start a new century than by acknowledging that we know almost nothing about the Universe we live in!
        Now, this prize, for the best year-eleven physics student, was initiated by the physicists at Murdoch to encourage you to consider further study in physics and the nanosciences, necessary if you want to contribute to discovering the Universe and be a part of the ongoing nanoscale technological revolution. To entice you further our best starting students are offered tax-free $4,000 scholarships. It gives me great pleasure to award the prize, which is Stephen Hawking's bestseller The Universe in a Nutshell, to the best year-eleven physics student of 2004, ...

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Last modified: Tue Feb 17 11:07:08 WST 2004