Future of Physics Day - April 14, 2008
Summary of Events
Future Physicists Day 2008 was held to expose undergraduate and high school students to the April Meeting, plenary talks, the advantages and potential of a physics degree, and specific hands-on activities.
Students engaged in hands-on activities exploring how laser interferometry is being used to detect gravitational waves under the guidance of Martha Casquette, the Coordinator of Student Development at the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Texas at Brownsville.
Gary White, Director, Society of Physics Students & Sigma Pi Sigma and Mary Williams, an undergraduate at the University of Northern Alabama, engaged students in spectroscopy explorations.
Dr. Michael Drake, from General Motors Research and Development, explained “Advanced Gasoline Engine Development at General Motors using Optical Diagnostics and Numerical Modeling: An Example of Physics in Industry”.
Students also explored how x-rays are used to produce diagnostic images in medical diagnostics. Students worked with a Lego model to understand how a CT scan produces a more detailed image than a traditional x-ray. In the Future Physicists Day plenary session, Dr. Kiaran P. McGee, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, told how “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Through College: Interesting Detours into Physics in Medicine & Biology." Dr. McGee also shared some of the medical imaging techniques that employ physics principles that he works on.
Career Path Workshop
Kendra Rand, Program Coordinator at the Society of Physics Students, shared data gathered by the American Institute of Physics on career paths of physics degree recipients in her talk "Thinking About Your Future - A Great Time to be a Physicist".
Jerry Hobbs, from the American Institute of Physics shared his story: “One Case Study of an Optical/Industrial Physicist."
Joe Cohen, from Princeton Energy Resources International explained how “ Everything Starts With Physics. Really.”