Physics and a famous cat

August 19, 2016

Around 500 high school science students arrived at Murdoch today to attend a physics lecture featuring a world-famous feline.

Dr Catalina Curceanu delivers her Women in Physics lecture at Murdoch

Dr Catalina Curceanu delivers her Women in Physics lecture at Murdoch

The pupils and their teachers attended the Women in Physics lecture which was hosted by visiting award-winning physicist Dr Catalina Curceanu.

Organised by the Australian Institute of Physics and Murdoch University, the free event was held in the Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre at the University’s Perth campus.

Demand for tickets was so high that Dr Curceanu had to deliver two lectures instead of one.

Romanian-born Dr Curceanu was visiting Murdoch from the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Frascati, Italy.

She said: “This is my first visit to Australia and I came here to give the students a passion for science.

“I was asked lots of questions and connected with people from all over Australia, who sent me questions about the universe, life, science and careers.

“I’ve had a fantastic time here at Murdoch and I’m really pleased that everyone left today with a strong connection to science and the University.”

The lecture, Modern Quantum Technologies: The offspring of Schroedinger’s famous cat, explored everything from the structure of molecules and the forces which shape proteins, to the physics which form the foundations of computing.

Dr Curceanu explained the theory of quantum physics defined by Erwin Schroedinger, who created the famous paradox known as Schroedinger’s cat – which is simultaneously dead and alive.

Rebecca Treloar-Cook, School Manager at the School of Engineering and Information Technology (SEIT), said: “The lectures were a great success and were met with very positive feedback from pupils and students.

“We’re very fortunate to have had Dr Curceanu at Murdoch for this event.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the community and introduce future students to Murdoch.

“Making science fun and exciting for students is something that SEIT is very proud of.”

The event was part of a range of activities held at Murdoch to mark National Science Week.

As well as the lecture, students enjoyed outreach activities, including science experiments at the University's Bush Court.

Dr Curceanu will be in Australia for one more week, attending events in Canberra and Melbourne, before returning to Italy.

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