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Physicists from across the country will head to the Southwest for the 2002 APS Spring meeting, to be held April 20-23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Traditionally dominated by topics in astrophysics, nuclear physics, and particle physics, and related scientific fields - such as plasma physics and beam physics, for the first time the meeting also has joint sponsorship of the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society. The 45 invited sessions and more than 100 contributed sessions will also feature talks in such non-scientific topics as the role of physicists in anti-terrorism, the history of Los Alamos, and communicating with elected officials.
The scientific program will feature nine invited plenary talks on a wide range of topics, including a summary of the first results from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Other talks will focus on universal scaling laws in biology, medium-sized black holes, X-ray studies of globular clusters, the solar neutrino problem, the new landscape for CP violation, and theories of the cosmological constant.
Among the scheduled special events is a tour of the Very Large Array (VLA), one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories. The VLA consists of 27 radio antennae, each 25 meters in diameter and weighing 230 tons, distributed in a Y-shaped configuration. The data collected from the antennae is combined electronically to improve resolution and sensitivity to levels of a much larger system.
Several other local tours will also be available for attendees, including a tour of Sandia Mountain, which dominates the east side of Albuquerque with its 5,000 foot vertical rise. The city is also the hot air ballooning capital of the world, and individual balloon flights over the Rio Grande Valley are available. Finally, attendees can opt to tour a 70-acre pueblo atop a mesa where the Acoma Indians have lived for nearly a thousand years.
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