APS News

APS Members Participate in AAAS Meeting

By Nadia Ramlagan

Several APS members will be speaking at this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Chicago, February 12-16, 2009, which this year is held jointly with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

Barbara Jacak of SUNY Stony Brook and John E. Thomas of Duke University will speak at the symposium, “Quest for the Perfect Liquid: Connecting Heavy Ions, String Theory and Cold Atoms.” The talk will bring together experts from Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy Ion collider (RHIC), string theory/cosmology, and atomic physics to discuss how RHIC’s findings help us understand ultra cold matter and possibly high-temperature superconductors and neutron stars. Peter Steinberg, of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and William A. Zajc, of Columbia University, organized the symposium.

The symposium “Basic Research for Global Energy Security:  A Call to Action”, will feature Paul A. Alivisatos of UC Berkeley and others discussing innovations in energy production, transmission, and storage, and explain how basic research–particularly in the emerging field of nanoscience–is enabling advances in catalysis, superconductivity, artificial photosynthesis and other areas. Research on identifying and advancing renewable and sustainable sources of energy, such as solar wind, hydro and biofuels/biomass will be presented. Member James Misewich of BNL co-organized the symposium.

Murray Gibson of Argonne National Laboratory and Uwe Bergmann of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will discuss how light source research facilities around the world are using state- of-the-art, nondestructive X-ray techniques to uncover fascinating secrets of our ancient world, in fields such as archaeology, paleontology, and anthropology in the symposium, “Casting New Light on Ancient Secrets”.

The three symposia are sponsored by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). In addition, Lene Vestergaard Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard, will give a topical lecture, “Wizardry with Light: Freeze, Teleport, and Go!” on ultra slow light as a novel tool for probing the fundamental properties of Bose-Einstein condensates.

The theme of this year’s AAAS Meeting is “Our Planet and Its Life: Origins and Futures,” in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. All meeting attendees are encouraged to come to these symposia. 

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