APS News

Meeting Briefs

The APS Texas Section held its annual spring meeting March 23-25 at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Among the highlights was a lecture during Saturday morning’s plenary session by David Bixler (ASU), on stellar archaeology–specifically, what white dwarf stars can tell scientists about the age and history of star formation in our galaxy. Other speakers covered such topics as baryon spectroscopy, supersymmetry, new measurements of the proton’s spin, spectral shapes in helium gas, optical properties of bovine ocular tissues, and a scientific explanation for a legendary local optical phenomenon: the “Marfa lights.”

The New England Section held its annual spring meeting March 31 through April 1 at Boston University in Massachusetts, on the theme “Physics and Cosmology at the Interface.” Several prominent scientists discussed their research on the cosmological constant, the accelerating universe, different means of probing dark matter, measuring and predicting cosmological parameters, and cold dark matter halos. Friday evening’s banquet featured bestselling author Lawrence Krauss (The Physics of Star Trek, Hiding in the Mirror) as the after-dinner speaker. The program also featured a showcase of physics demonstrations, as well as an education workshop designed to help new physics teachers integrate effective methods and new technologies to better meet the challenge of reaching students.

That same weekend, the APS Ohio Section held its annual meeting at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The theme of the meeting was the physics of the early universe, featuring such topics as cosmology, Big Bang physics, general relativity, microwave background radiation and quasars, along with selected topics in particle and nuclear physics, including “B” quark physics, symmetry breaking, and the search for the Higgs boson. The invited speakers included Fred C. Adams (University of Michigan), who explored how the early universe may have impacted the formation and long-term evolution of galaxies, and Paul Stankus (Oak Ridge National Lab), on the quark- gluon plasma and the early universe.

From May 19-20, the APS Northwest Section held its annual spring meeting in Tacoma, Washington. Program highlights included plenary talks on probing the existence of extra dimensions with gravitational-wave observations; building robust qubits for quantum computing; the search for missing baryons at Jefferson Lab; the latest results from Fermilab’s Tevatron; relativistic binary pulsar systems; testing symmetry by trapping antihydrogen atoms; and transverse coherence at short wavelengths. Friday evening’s banquet featured an after-dinner lecture by Mott Greene (University of Puget Sound) on atmospheric physics and continental drift: “The True Story of How Alfred Wegener Made His Discovery.”

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette
Staff Writer: Ernie Tretkoff