Quantum & dark matter scientists to visit outback Australia

The National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip will visit regional and remote communities across Australia’s north this August.

The road trip – held annually since 2021 – will begin in Brisbane on 4 August and travel through the Northern Territory before finishing in Broome on 19 August.

Quantum and dark matter scientists will visit schools and host community events, such as pub trivia and demo days, with pop-up events also planned for capital cities and regional towns across Australia.

The Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) and for Dark Matter Particle Physics (CDM) are organising the event to coincide with National Science Week 2024.

The road trip aims to introduce quantum technology and particle physics to Australians, inspire a future generation of scientists and engineers, and highlight the potential of quantum technologies and dark matter discovery for the benefit of our society.

During the road trip, 13 scientists will present talks and demonstrations at schools across Australia’s north.

The cities and towns the National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip will visit include:

Brisbane QLD          Yulara NT          Kununurra WA
Toowoomba QLD Imanpa NT Broom WA
Kingaroy QLD Alice Springs NT Perth WA
Dalby QLD Mount Zeil NT Sydney NSW
Wandoan QLD Engawala NT Ballarat VIC
Capella QLD Tennant Creek NT Dandenong VIC
Clermont QLD Mataranka NT Melbourne VIC
Longreach QLD Katherine NT  
Cloncurry QLD Bulla NT  

Road trip organiser and physicist Dr Ben McAllister, from CDM, EQUS and Swinburne Institute of Technology, said this year’s route focused on regional and remote areas in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

“It is important to share the excitement of quantum and dark matter science with students and communities that might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet scientists face-to-face and learn about the cutting-edge science happening in Australia,” Dr McAllister said.

“We’re excited to be reaching more remote communities than previous road trips, both in number and the level of remoteness. This year’s trip will visit the Northern Territory for the first time – we’re especially grateful to be visiting Aboriginal communities and community-run schools and spaces for the first time.

Macquarie University and EQUS Research Fellow Dr Kerstin Beer was involved in last year’s event and is looking forward to taking part again this year.

“It was wonderful to meet students, especially girls, from communities across Australia and talk science. Inspiring women to get into physics or to think about a career in quantum is something close to my heart. It also sends the message that scientists can and should come from all backgrounds – we don’t all look and sound the same!”

“Science is all about creativity and discovery and that’s our message when we’re visiting students in regional and remote areas who might not usually get the chance to chat to scientists working in quantum and dark matter research.”

To find out more about the road trip, visit qdmroadtrip.org.

Major funding support

Australian Research Council

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present.