APS Regional Sections Hold Fall Meetings
Five APS geographical sections held their annual fall meetings throughout the nation during the month of October, including the second meeting of the fledgling Four Corners Section. A brief description of highlights from each is below.
New York State Section
The APS New York State Section held its 79th annual topical symposium 2-3 October at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The theme of the meeting was advances and applications in magnetism, featuring lectures aimed at the general public by experts from academic and industrial institutions, as well as non-profit laboratories. Friday morning featured talks on magnetic memory, surface magnetism and cluster magnetism, followed that afternoon by lectures on magnetism and high-temperature superconductors, SQUIDs, extreme microscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging. Friday evening's banquet was followed by a public lecture by Ivar Giaever, recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics, entitled, "How To Win a Nobel Prize." The final session on Saturday morning featured talks on optically based magnetic field sensors, animal magnetism, and permanent magnets.
The APS Texas Section held a joint fall meeting with the Texas Section of the AAPT and Zone 13 of the Society of Physics Students, 15-17 October, at the University of Texas in El Paso. Invited plenary speakers included such noteworthy figures as Murray Gell Mann; Howard Georgi of Harvard University; Nathan Isgur, director of CEBAF/Jefferson Laboratory; Miguel Yacaman, director of Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares (ININ); John Anderson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Michael Martin Nieto of Los Alamos, who gave a banquet address on "The Discovery of Sqeezed States - in 1997." To encourage student participation, prizes were awarded for outstanding contributed papers presented by undergraduate and graduate students.
In addition, two special sessions were organized. One focused on physics in Mexico and featured talks by prominent Mexican physicists on such topics as pulsed laser deposition and in situ characterization of thin films; the application of nulear techniques of analysis using ININ's Tandem Accelerator; and transformations and structural aspects of quasicrystalline phases of alloys. The second featured talks by minority Texas-based researchers at the leading edge, sponsored by the APS Committee on Minorities.
Four Corners Section
The APS Four Corners Section held its first fall meeting 16-17 October at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The conference opened Friday afternoon with a session on "Physics in Utah," featuring talks on nanometer scale electronic measurements using scanning probe microscopy, and on EUV multilater mirrors for the IMAGE mission. Kip Thorne of CalTech, author of several books on astrophysics and cosmology - including Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Legacy - gave a public lecture entitled "Gravitational Waves: A New Window on the Universe" following Friday evening's banquet.
Saturday morning began with a presentation of student papers, followed by a physics demonstration and the awarding of prizes for outstanding student papers, with a specific awards category for Native American or Hispanic students. The conference closed with a public session featuring other distinguished lectures from the region, speaking on the Hubble Space Telescope and the physics of nebulae; recent experiments in Bose-Einstein condensation; and, in keeping with the theme of two recent summer movie blockbusters, reducing the asteroid and comet hazard.
The APS Ohio Section held its annual fall meeting that same weekend at the University of Akron in Ohio. Organized around the theme, "Scanning Probe Microscopies: Recent Advances and Applications," the meeting was held in conjunction with the Ohio Chapter of the American Vacuum Society and the Ohio Materials Network. Friday afternoon's plenary session featured talks on the dynamics of two-dimensional reshaping on a metal surface, and on properties of nanoscale interfaces using scanning probe microscopy. They were followed by a poster session of student papers, after which three prizes were awarded for the best papers in separate categories for undergraduate and graduate students. The conference closed with a Saturday morning session featuring lectures on the use of SQUID microscopy for studying magnetotactic bacteria and on microscopy and spectroscopy beyond the diffraction limit.
New England Section
The APS New England Section concluded the month's regional section activities with its fall meeting, held 23-24 October at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire. Focusing on advances in condensed matter and nuclear physics, as well as issues in undergraduate education, the conference was held jointly with the appropriate regional chapter of the Society of Physics Students and the Seacoast Physics Teachers. Friday afternoon's opening session focused on condensed matter physics, with talks on nanostructures and ultrafast dynamics of metal quantum dots. It was followed by a panel discussion on undergraduate education.
Daniel Kleppner, the Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics and Associate Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Research Laboratory of Electronics, was the featured speaker at Friday evening's banquet, discussing Bose-Einstein condensation. The meeting closed with a Saturday morning session focusing on topics in nuclear physics, including measurements of fundamental physics with polarized neutrons; the use of spin to study strong interaction; parity violation and nucleon structure; and parity violation and fundamental electroweak physics.
Editor's Note: Coverage of the annual fall meeting of the APS Southeastern Section, to be held 12-14 November at Florida International University in Miami, will appear in the December 1998 issue of APS News.