[ASC-media] Faster computers and energy.the next generation takes the baton

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com
Thu Mar 2 12:35:13 EST 2006

2 March 2006

Two young physicists are preparing to take on the big challenges of the day
including increasing computing power and improving the efficiency of fuel
cells for rockets and space shuttles.

They will be supported in their endeavours by a new scholarship to support
Australia's best young physicists. 

Jolyon Bloomfield from ANU in Canberra and Yakov Kulik from UNSW in Sydney
received their $15,000 scholarships from the Defence Science and Technology
Organisation (DSTO) and the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) at a
dinner in Canberra last night. 

"The world needs more young physicists," says David Jamieson, President of
the Australian Institute of Physics.

"We need them to help us develop cleaner forms of energy; to create future
generations of computers. We need them to drive the continuing exploration
of the cosmos."

"And industry needs them. Physicists are in demand around the world -
everywhere from IT, to energy, even finance," he says. 

"DSTO is one of the largest employers of scientists in Australia," says
Roger Lough, Chief Defence Scientist with DSTO who congratulated the two
scholars last night. "And we are particularly reliant on highly qualified
physics graduates."

"We are delighted by DSTO's leadership in supporting excellence in young
physicists," says David.
Canberra's Jolyon Bloomfield has discovered an enthusiasm for the quantum
world in his study of physics and maths. 

"I think physics will drive breakthroughs in computing," he says. "Increased
computing power, better communications and enhanced security are going to
happen because of quantum computing.  That's the area that I want to get
into. It's a young and exciting field with so much scope for research and
Quantum computers will use single atoms to store and process information. To
quote Jolyon, "Quantum computers will use entangled quantum states to
process information in a similar mechanism to the teleportation experiments
performed at the ANU in 2002."

Yakov Kulik has a passion for theoretical physics - and believes his studies
will find application in developing new energy sources. 

Energy is a big issue facing Australia and the world. Yakov's studies could
help the design of better fuel cells - used in spacecraft and rockets - and
in improving oil extraction. 

In the long term he hopes to use statistical mechanics to solve the greatest
hurdle to fusion energy - containing the plasma of a thermonuclear reaction.

The two winners were selected from across Australia based on their academic
record and their motivation to study physics.

The scholarships were established in part to celebrate the Einstein
International Year of Physics. Einstein published four revolutionary ideas
in 1905 at the very young age of 26.  

The scholarship scheme will run for three years with two scholarships
awarded each year to the value of $15,000. The Australian Institute of
Physics is responsible for the administration and competitive selection of
scholarship candidates.

To speak with the students please contact Sarah Brooker on 0413 332 489,
email sarah at scienceinpublic.com


Niall Byrne

Science Communication Consultant
Science in Public
PO Box 199 Drysdale 3222 Australia
(185 Scotchmans Road Portarlington 3223) Ph +61 3 5253 1391, fax +61 3 9923
6008, mobile 0417 131 977 
niall at scienceinpublic.com or niallprivate at scienceinpublic.com for personal

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