12 September 2017:
CNBP researchers Dr Denitza Denkova and Dr Martin Ploschner took their luminescence and fluorescence science expertise to the general public, at a special after-hours event known as ‘Science at the Calyx’ at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.
Presenting to an audience of approximately sixty people, the CNBP scientists focused on giving members of the public information about the origins of luminescence and examples of it being used – from everyday life to medical applications, and the amazing natural phenomenon of bioluminescence which can be found in plants, animals and fungi.
Following the hour long talk, there were demonstrations including the use of fluorescent bubbles, a ‘magical’ fluorescent screen, the showing of several fluorescent specimens and an examination of fluorescence in money and documents for security purposes. There was also as ample time for attendees to talk to the researchers about their work with fluorescent molecules and nanoparticles.
According to Dr Denkova, the event was highly rewarding.
“There was plenty of opportunity for personal interaction which was embraced by attendees. Many had an interest in the medical applications related to fluorescence, but there were also great questions on practical everyday activities – such as how to paint bikes with fluorescent paint to help improve road safety. Following the talk, people had the chance to walk around the beautiful garden with a UV torch in their hand to discover for themselves which plants are fluorescent. Both Martin and myself enjoyed communicating our science to a wider public!”
20 June 2016:
Attendees at Sydney’s ‘Physics in the pub’ event were treated to a magical light-inspired show by CNBP researchers Martin Ploschner, Denitza Denkova and Varun Sreenivasan. Together they wowed the audience at the Three Wise Monkeys Hotel, using little more than UV light, fluorescent paint and other handy fluorescing materials.
Their act, one of a number on the night, aimed to take science out of the laboratory, to take it to the public, and to make it educational, entertaining and fun in equal measure!
All three researchers enjoyed the experience of showcasing their science in a relaxed and informal environment, and quickly overcame any potential stage nerves to flaunt their fluro-physics to a full-house of engaged and interested members of the public.
Well done to all three – a short video of the fun-filled show can be viewed online!
12 February 2016:
CNBP Research Fellow Denitza Denkova has helped host a school visit to Macquarie University’s Physics and Astronomy Department.
The Year 12 science students, from Kingscliff High School, South Coolangatta, were shown a number of experiments and videos relevant to their Higher School Certificate study.
Explained were principles encompassing particle and wavelength duality, as well as the significance of the recent announcement related to the discovery of gravitational waves – a major event in the world of physics.
15 January 2016:
CNBP researchers Varun Sreenivasan and Denitza Denkova extended their outreach skills in support of the ConocoPhillips Science Experience program that took place at Macquarie University 13-15th January 2016.
The national program, focused on Year 9 and 10 students who have an interest in science, is rolled-out across universities and tertiary institutions across Australia. Students who attend are provided with the opportunity to engage in a wide range of fascinating science activities under the guidance of scientists who love their work.
As a part of this program, Varun and Denitza contributed to the ‘Physics and Chemistry Magic Show’ which ran for an hour at Macquarie University’s Science Faculty. Demonstrated were concepts such as the ‘Stroboscopic effect’, the physics behind a ‘singing wineglass’ and the fun that can be had with Sulfur Hexafluoride.
“Through this event, we were able to share our excitement of science with youngsters, hopefully motivating them to do science as they grow up,”said Varun.
“We also improved our presentations and quick problem solving skills too!”
13 November 2015:
CNBP researchers Andy Greentree, Denitza Denkova and Lindsay Parker took their science to the students on Friday Nov 13th, visiting Belmont High School for a fun filled day of outreach, incorporating science demonstrations, talks, informal discussion and chat.
First up was a 75 minute stage show in front of approximately 80 students from Years 8 and Year 9. Light as a concept was first explained, its wave and particle nature providing the basis for the session. A leaf-blower, table tennis balls, lasers, strobe lights and running water were also used, demonstrating the nature of light and its reflective, refractive and diffractive properties.
Nanodiamonds, iPhones, invisibility cloaks and glow sticks also made an appearance with the challenges and opportunities of looking deeply into the body and CNBP’s research mission clearly outlined.
This was followed by morning tea with the teaching staff and then a further talk and Q&A session with the school’s Year 12 chemistry class.
Thank you to all the students and teachers involved on the day. Great fun and extremely rewarding!
4 May 2015:
CNBP Research Fellow Denitza Denkova, has given an invited seminar talk at the Nonlinear Physics Centre, part of the Australian National University (ANU), located in Canberra. The seminar focused on her PhD research, ‘Optical characterization of plasmonic nanostructures – imaging of the magnetic field of light’. Also discussed were her current research activities on super resolution, as well as potential collaboration possibilities. Denkova was also taken on a tour of the Centre’s lab facilities as part of a well received visit.
6 March 2015:
The power of three.
The CNBP Macquarie Node is growing rapidly with the arrival of three new Research Fellows last week.
Guozhen Liu has arrived from the Central China Normal University. She has over 10 year’s research experience at various universities, primarily in the areas of nanobiofabrication, biosensing and electrochemistry. She also has over 6 years’ institute experience, working on diabetes products. She will be working on cytokine assays, important in various parts of the CNBP. She will join Ewa’s team.
Kai Zhang, is a visiting scholar from Jilin University, China. Her background is in polymer chemistry and physics and her research field is the synthesis and application of composite nanoparticles, especially in drug delivery and gene delivery. She is supported by the China Scholarship Council and will be working with Ewa Goldys on molecular assays.
Denitza Denkova has recently finished her PhD at KU Leuven, Belgium, in the area of near-field microscopy and plasmonic nanoparticles. Here, she will be working with Prof. Jim Piper and Prof. Dayong Jin on the Olympus project, and will be responsible for the development and implementation of a low-power, low-cost STED microscopy system.
Welcome to all three of you – It’s great to have you all on board.