APS News

APS April Meeting Heads to Charm City

April MeetingThis year’s April Meeting will take place at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, from April 11 through 14. The annual meeting is expected to attract about 1,300 attendees and will feature 72 invited sessions, more than 110 contributed sessions, three plenary sessions, poster sessions, and a public lecture. The recipients of APS prizes and awards will be honored at a special ceremonial session on Sunday evening.

The meeting will showcase the latest research from the APS Divisions of Particles and Fields, Astrophysics, Nuclear Physics, and Beam Physics, as well as the Topical Group in Gravitation. In addition, the Forums on Education, Graduate Student Affairs, History of Physics, International Physics, and Physics and Society will be participating, along with the Topical Groups on Energy Research and Applications, Few-Body Systems, Hadronic Physics, and Precision Measurements & Fundamental Constants.

The meeting will host several renowned plenary speakers weighing in on a variety of important physics topics. Monday’s Kavli session will feature Nobel laureate John Mather commemorating the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the cosmic microwave background. Clifford Will from the University of Florida will highlight the precision tests that have confirmed general relativity. Stuart Shapiro of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will explore the origins and detection of gravitational waves.

Speakers from government agencies will open the meeting on Saturday and address the big scientific problems of the future. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will lead off and John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator for science, will speak about the roles scientists can play in shaping the future.

Tuesday’s plenary session will feature James Hartle of the University of California, Santa Barbara, speaking about quantum gravity and cosmology. Haiyan Gao of Duke will bring attendees up to date on the persistent mysteries of the proton.

Just before the April Meeting opens, APS will host a number of workshops. The Topical Group on Hadronic Physics is hosting its workshop on nuclear physics from April 8 to April 10. The Topical Group on Precision Measurements and Fundamental Constants in conjunction with the Group on Few-body Systems are putting together a one-day workshop on Friday on “Tests of fundamental symmetries” to bring participants up to date on efforts to search for time-reversal and parity violation. Also on Friday is a professional skills development workshop for women postdocs.

MIT physicist and science historian David Kaiser will deliver Saturday evening’s public lecture. His historical investigations have focused on how physics research developed in the United States during the Cold War. His most recent book, How the Hippies Saved Physics, was named Physics World’s 2012 Book of the Year.

The Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public is planning to host a special workshop on Saturday with the National Science Foundation to share ways to better communicate with the public. The plan for the half-day session is to mix both presentations and hands-on activities to better train scientists to share their science with the broader community.  

The meeting will host a number of events aimed especially at students. As part of the “Future of Physics days” events, a panel of graduate students will answer undergraduates’ questions about continuing their education. Undergraduate students will present their research at one of the undergraduate oral sessions or the afternoon’s poster session, and there will be a special award brunch on Sunday for the top undergraduate presenters. Undergraduates are invited to apply for travel grants of up to $1000 to attend the meeting.

The Forum on Graduate Student Affairs will sponsor a career session aimed at graduate students who are thinking about opportunities in physics, featuring experts from both the business world and academia with a particular focus on international opportunities. Speakers include Giorgio Paolucci, science director of the SESAME synchrotron in Jordan, entrepreneur Frank Levinson, and Megan Friend, an assistant professor in Japan.

Exhibitors, including publishers and other vendors, will have booths set up around the hotel to display their products.

Meeting attendees will be able to stop by the APS Contact Congress booth to send letters to their elected officials about the importance of continued Congressional support for scientific research.

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Editor: David Voss
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