APS News

Meeting Briefs

Texas Section Spring Meeting
The APS Texas Section held its annual spring meeting March 6-8 at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. The conference focused on physics education, and one of the plenary sessions featured a report on the Texas Teacher Preparation Conference, followed by a panel discussion of related issues. A featured plenary speaker on Friday afternoon was Leon Lederman (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory), who described the Physics First program. Among the special events were workshops on education held both days of the conference, as well as a Friday evening banquet with a lecture by Donald Olson, a frequent contributor to Sky and Telescope magazine, on astronomy in art, history and literature.

New York State Section Spring Meeting
The APS New York State Section held its annual spring meeting at the State University of New York College at Geneseo, centered on the topic of the physics of everyday phenomena. Friday afternoon's sessions featured such crowd-pleasing subjects as the physics of baseball and the physics of flying, as well as talks on excimer laser surgery and "digital water." On Saturday morning, participants heard about gleaning interesting physics from everyday materials and the physics of computer components, as well as Hollywood physics (or lack thereof) and the science behind the saxophone. Teaching mechanics on roller blades and exploring the physics behind toys were featured on Saturday afternoon, and Lou Bloomfield of the University of Virginia-author of the online column "Ask Lou" on Physics Central [http://www.physicscentral.com]-gave a public lecture on Saturday night entitled, "How Things Work: From Roller Coasters to Microwave Ovens."

New England Section Spring Meeting
The APS New England Section held its annual spring meeting April 11-12 at Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Friday afternoon's plenary session focused on quantum bits, with lectures on quantum entanglement, photonic qubits, and how to teach quantum mechanics to computer scientists. The after-dinner speaker for the Friday evening banquet was Harvard University's Richard Wilson, who spoke on the role of physicists in public policy. Saturday featured talks on ultrafast pulses beyond the visible spectrum; terahertz wave sensing and imaging; and ultrashort X-ray pulses. There was also a session on novel approaches to teaching physics to non-majors. In addition, there were a number of workshops offered on Saturday afternoon.

Ohio Section Spring Meeting
That same weekend, the APS Ohio Section held its annual spring meeting at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, billed as the Ohio-Michigan Conference on Frontiers of Quantum Computing. Friday afternoon's invited sessions featured talks on quantum computing with individual atoms, followed by a banquet and after-dinner lecture by MSU's Richard Lenski on digital life and evolution. Saturday's program included contributed sessions and a town meeting, followed by invited talks on exponential algorithmic speedup by quantum walk, and quantum computing with electrons on a helium film.

Northwest Section Spring Meeting
The APS Northwest Section held its annual spring meeting May 30-31 at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, drawing attendees from institutions within the Northwest region of the US and Canada. The technical program included both invited and contributed talks in a broad range of subfields, including astrophysics, chemical physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear and particle physics, and physics education. Among the featured topics were recent results from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory; the role of non-perturbative ray dynamics in micro-optic design; double-well Bose condensates; string theory and gravity/gauge theory duality; recent results from the Microwave Anisotropy Probe; opportunities for scientists in the field of display technology, and an overview of lessons learned about successful physics programs from Project SPIN-UP. Friday evening's banquet speaker was Reed College's David Griffiths, author of three widely adopted physics textbooks.