APS News

Guide to Special Centennial Events

Gala at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History on Sunday. (Courtesy of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau
Gala at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History on Sunday. (Courtesy of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau

As most of our members are now well aware, the APS will celebrate a century of physics accomplishments March 21 through March 26, 1999, in Atlanta, GA. The expanded technical meeting and exhibit program has been augmented with numerous special events and outreach activities. To help attendees navigate their way around the Centennial meeting, we offer the following guide to special Centennial events.

In addition to a Nobel laureate luncheon and exhibit opening involving teachers, students and Nobel Prize winners Saturday, there is an honorary international banquet on Saturday night, and a special gala buffet dinner at the Fernbank Museum on Sunday night. The cornerstone of the week's festivities is the Physics Festival in Atlanta: Mastering the Mysteries of the Universe. A series of popular physics talks will be offered, including a talk on Wednesday night by Stephen Hawking. Physics demonstrations will be offered throughout the week, along with special museum exhibits. Finally, local universities will host special on campus topical lectures and conferences just prior to the meeting.

SATURDAY, MARCH 20

Opening of the Nobel Discoverers Exhibit
GWCC; Level 3 Registration Area
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Exhibit on view throughout the week)

International Science Plenary Talks
GWCC, Conference Center
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

International Reception and Banquet
Westin Peachtree Plaza
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
National and local dignitaries as well as Nobel laureates will be invited guests at this event celebrating international cooperation in physics. Reservations required. A limited number of tickets are available at $40.00 per person.

SUNDAY, MARCH 21

Physics Demonstration: "Magnetism, Materials, Blue Sky Science and Life."
GWCC Lawn
11:30 AM and 12:30 PM
Sam Spiegel of Florida State University presents a light-hearted but heavy-handed look at the implications of magnetism through some clasic demonstrations and discussions with a twist. [Presented by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.]

Opening Centennial Session
GWCC
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
A Century of Physics; D. Allan Bromley

Gala at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
6:30 - 10:00 PM
Black Tie Optional
A gala buffet dinner celebrating the APS Centennial and the accomplishments of 20th century physics. In addition to dancing, there will be three screenings of "Cosmic Voyage" in the IMAX Theatre. Entertainment will be offered in the auditorium by Lynda Williams, "The Physics Chanteuse," and science magician Bob Friedhoffer. A limited number of tickets are available at $50 per person.

Fractal Lectures: 'Fractals and Scaling in Nature, Culture and Finance' on Monday and 'Fractals and Chaos: Bridging Science and Culture' on Tuesday. (Image from Sprott's Fractal Gallery)
Fractal Lectures: 'Fractals and Scaling in Nature, Culture and Finance' on Monday and 'Fractals and Chaos: Bridging Science and Culture' on Tuesday. (Image from Sprott's Fractal Gallery)

MONDAY, MARCH 22

Public Lecture: "Fractals and Scaling in Nature, Culture and Finance."
GWCC Auditorium
10:00 - 10:50 AM
Richard Voss, a professor of physics and mathematics at Florida Atlantic University, illustrates the impact of fractal geometry and chaos theory on practical applications from economics to DNA analysis.

Public Lecture: "The Physics of Dance."
GWCC Auditorium
11:00 - 11:50 AM
Ken Laws, a professor of physics of Dickinson College and long-standing ballet dancer and enthusiast, will analyze a sequence of ballet movements with a ballerina assistant using principles of physics.

Physics Demonstration: "What Does a Scientist Do?"
SciTrek Museum (Midtown)
11:00 AM
Sam Spiegel from Florida State University presents an engaging demonstration and discusion of what scientists do through the use of magic and observation. It is intended to challenge the common perception of white men with wild hair dressed in white lab coats, and encourage students to begin to explore the world around and within themselves through science.

Lunchtime Popular Lecture: "Ice Crystal Halos Over the South Pole."
Georgia Pacific Auditorium (Downtown)
12:15 - 1:15 PM
Robert Greenler, an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, highlights his experiences at the U.S. research station on the South Pole, studying optical effects from the interaction of sunlight with ice crystals.

Physics Demonstration: "FUNdamental Physics with Toys"
GWCC Lawn
12:30 PM and 1:30 PM
Raymond Turner of Clemson University uses a variety of ordinary children's toys to demonstrate fundamental scientific principles, including Weebles that wobble, periscopes that invert images, balls that bounce (or don't bounce), and the use of infrared blasters or bungee jumpers to perform quantitative measurements.

Special Centennial Plenary Talks
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

  • Physics of the Very Big and Very Small; Steven Weinberg, University of Texas/Austin
  • The Impact of Physics on Medicine and Biology; Harold Varmus, Director, NIH
  • Physics and the Information Revolution; Joel Birnbaum, V.P. Research, Hewlett-Packard Labs

Welcome Reception
GWCC, Level 1 West
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Join your colleagues at the APS Welcome Reception at the Convention Center on Monday evening.

Public Lecture: "The Physics of Star Trek."
Rialto Theatre (Downtown)
8:30 - 9:30 PM
Lawrence Krauss, a professor of physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University and bestselling author of The Physics of Star Trek, relates examples from the popular TV series to illustrate concepts at the forefront of modern physics.

TUESDAY, MARCH 23

APS Senior/Retired Member Buffet Breakfast
Rutherford Hall, Omni Hotel
7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Cost: $10.00

Public Lecture: "Sunlight and Ice Crystals in the Skies of Antarctica."
GWCC Auditorium
10:00 - 10:50 AM
Robert Greenler recaps his South Pole experiences studying optical halo effects from the interaction of sunlight with ice crystals.

Public Lecture: "Nonsense and Non-Science: From Aliens to Creationism."
GWCC Auditorium
11:00 - 11:50 AM
Lawrence Krauss offers examples from various advertisements, TV shows, and movies to discuss the difference between science and fiction, and how the distinction between sense and nonsense is becoming blurred in popular discourse.

Physics Demonstration: "Mr. Magnet"
Sci Trek Museum (Downtown)
11:00 AM - Noon
Mr. Magnet-a.k.a. Paul Turner, a technical supervisor at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center-will demonstrate the principles of magnetism and electricity and interesting applications in daily life, such as magnetic strips on credit cards, audio and video tape recorders, and automotive magnet motors, and magnetic sensors.

Lunchtime Public Demonstration: "The Science of Magic and the Magic of Science."
Georgia Pacific Building Auditorium (Downtown)
12:15 - 1:15 PM
Science magician and award-winning author Bob Friedhoffer-a.k.a. "The Madman of Magic"- uses magic to illustrate basic scientific principles, and shows how magic uses science to create its illusions.

Physics Demonstration: Adventures in Physics
GWCC Lawn
12:30 PM and 1:30 PM
Cynthia Keppel of Hampton University and several students present dynamic, interactive physics demonstrations illuminating physics principles, including a vacuum cannon, liquid nitrogen bath, bed of nails and exploding powder.

Public Lecture: "Fractals and Chaos: Bridging Science and Culture."
Atlanta College of Art, Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium (Midtown)
3:00 - 4:15 PM
Richard Voss reprises his discussion of fractal geometry and chaos theory for a general audience, focusing on how these new fields provide tools and unifying concepts that bridge the traditional boundaries between science, art and finance.

Physical Review Drop-In Reception
Sponsored by Physical Review, Physical Review Letters, and Physical Review Special Topics
GWCC, 3rd Level Terraces
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
The journal editors will be available to answer questions and share concerns about the journals. Stop by for refreshment - all are welcome.

Special Centennial Plenary Talks

  • Physics and Technology; Mary L. Good, Managing Member, Venture Capital
  • Physics and Materials; Richard Smalley, Rice University
  • Physics and the American Culture; Martin Klein, Yale University

Public Lecture: "The Physics of Baseball."
Sci-Trek Museum (Midtown)
4:00 - 5:00 PM Richard Brandt, a professor of physics at New York University, discusses the underlying physical principles of pitching and hitting in baseball, drawing on examples from the sport's long history.

Microscapes Exhibit Opening
Atlanta College of Art, Woodruff Arts Center, North Galleria
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Woodruff Arts Center will host an opening reception for the exhibit, "Microscapes: The Hidden Art of High Technology," sponsored by Lucent Technologies. [See "Exhibits" for more information.]

Alumni Reunions
GWCC Hall D
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
As part of the Centennial Celebration many university and laboratory alumni groups will hold alumni receptions in the exhibit hall adjacent to the APS exhibits. Join your colleagues for an evening of relaxation and renewing old acquaintances.

Theatre: "Schr"dinger's Girlfriend"
GWCC (Room TBD)
8:30 PM
A staged reading of the new romantic comedy by Matthew Wells in which love obeys the crazy laws of subatomic physics will have its world premiere at the centennial meeting.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24

Public Lecture: "The Physics of Brass Instruments Or, What do Horn Players Do With Their Right Hands, Anyway?"
GWCC Auditorium
10:00-10:50 AM
Brian Holmes, a professor of physics at San Jose State University who also performs regularly with the San Jose Symphony and Opera, reviews the physics of brass musical instruments throughout history.

Public Lecture: "The Physics of Baseball."
GWCC Auditorium
11:00 - 11:50 AM
Richard Brandt reprises his discussion of the underlying physical principles of pitching and hitting in baseball, and will focus on the 66 and 70 home runs hit by Sosa and McGwire, respectively, in the 1998 season.

Demonstration: "Adventures in Physics"
Sci-Trek Museum (Midtown)
11:00 AM and 12:00 Noon
Cynthia Keppel of Hampton University and several students present dynamic, interactive physics demonstrations illuminating physics principles, including a vacuum cannon, liquid nitrogen bath, bed of nails and exploding powder.

Lynda Williams, a.k.a. 'The Physics Chanteuse' performs on Wednesday.(Courtesy of Lynda Williams)
Lynda Williams, a.k.a. 'The Physics Chanteuse' performs on Wednesday.(Courtesy of Lynda Williams)

Lunchtime Lecture: "The Physics Chanteuse"
Georgia Pacific Building Auditorium
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Lynda Williams, a.k.a. "The Physics Chanteuse," offers Cosmic Cabaret, her unique blend of science and showtunes skewering a broad range of physics concepts. [See ZERO GRAVITY, APS News, February 1999] Williams will also be performing Monday at 8:00 PM at GWCC.

Student's Luncheon
GWCC, Level 1 West, Maple Point
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
All student attendees are invited to mingle with fellow physics students and enjoy complimentary lunch. Demonstration: "The Science of Magic and the Magic of Science"

GWCC Lawn
12:30 PM and 1:30 PM
Bob Friedhoffer-a.k.a. "The Madman of Magic"- uses magic to illustrate basic scientific principles, and shows how magic uses science to create its illusions.

Awards and Retiring APS President's Address
GWCC Ballrooms II & III
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
One Hundred Years of the APS: Looking Backwards, Looking Around, Looking Forward; Andrew Sessler

Public Lecture: "The Physics of Dance."
The Grand Salon, Fox Theatre (Midtown)
6:00 - 7:00 PM
Ken Laws again analyzes a sequence of ballet movements with a ballerina asistant using principles of physics, this time in conjunction with the dress rehearsal of a new work, "Requiem," by the Atlanta Ballet in the Fox Theatre, starting at 7:00 PM.

Stephen Hawking to give Lilienfeld Lecture: 'The Universe in a Nutshell' on Wednesday
Stephen Hawking to give Lilienfeld Lecture: 'The Universe in a Nutshell' on Wednesday

Lilienfeld Public Lecture: "The Universe in a Nutshell ."
Atlanta Civic Center
8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Stephen Hawking, renowned theoretical physicist and author of the bestselling A Brief History of Time, will give the 1999 APS Lilienfeld Prize lecture (see honors insert for further information).

THURSDAY, MARCH 25

Demonstration: "The Science of Magic and the Magic of Science."
Sci-Trek Museum (Midtown)
11:00 AM
Bob Friedhoffer-a.k.a. "The Madman of Magic"- uses magic to illustrate basic scientific principles, and shows how magic uses science to create its illusions.

Lunchtime Popular Lecture: "The Physics of Brass Instruments."
Georgia Pacific Building Auditorium (Downtown)
12:15 - 1:15 PM
Brian Holmes reprises his talk on the physics of brass musical instruments throughout history.

'Physics of Beer' on Friday. (Photo from The New Brewer website'Physics of Beer' on Friday.
(Photo from The New Brewer )

FRIDAY, MARCH 26

Lunchtime Popular Lecture: "The Physics of Beer: Drinking and Eating the Foam We Love."
Georgia Pacific Building Auditorium (Downtown)
12:15 - 1:15 PM
Sid Perkowitz, a professor of physics at Emory University, explores the science behind the formation of foam and bubbles in beer, soda, bread, whipped cream, meringue and other delicacies.



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