APS News

Watch Out Baltimore, Here Come the Physicists

By Emily Conover

Baltimore will be teeming with physicists this spring. The largest yearly physics meeting in the U.S., the APS March Meeting, heads to Charm City from March 14 through 18. The meeting will feature more than 900 invited talks and over 9,200 papers presented. Organizers expect nearly 10,000 attendees.

The meeting includes presentations from the APS Divisions of Biological Physics; Chemical Physics; Polymer Physics; Laser Science; Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; Condensed Matter Physics; Fluid Dynamics; Materials Physics; Computational Physics; and other groups.

The Kavli Foundation Symposium on Wednesday will feature talks from Deborah Jin of JILA, a joint institute of the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Xiaowei Zhuang of Harvard University; David Weitz, also of Harvard University; Naomi Halas of Rice University; and John Grunsfeld, the associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and former astronaut. From the Department of Energy, Secretary Ernest Moniz and the newly confirmed Office of Science Director Cherry Murray will give talks.

Pre-meeting events will begin March 11 and run through the start of the meeting. The 2016 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference will bring educators together for workshops and discussions, and the U.S.-Brazil Young Physicists Forum will provide opportunities for scientists to forge international connections. Social-media fiends can gather at the Official Tweetup on Sunday, aimed at attendees using Twitter during the meeting.

Physicists looking to deepen their knowledge in a particular field can partake in one of ten half-day tutorials, or a two-day course on polymer nanocomposites hosted by the Division of Polymer Physics, all preceding the full meeting.

Students will find a plethora of activities geared to their needs. The Future of Physics Days will cater to undergraduates, featuring research sessions, a grad school fair, and a workshop on professional skills for non-academic careers. Graduate students can attend the Lunch with the Experts for informal, in-depth discussion with scientists at the forefront of their fields, and the Careers in Physics workshop will cover all aspects of a job search, from networking to resumes. A job expo will give students the chance to speak with prospective employers. On Tuesday evening graduate and undergraduate students are invited to a student reception and award ceremony.

Special sessions and talks throughout the meeting will focus on industrial physics. The Meeting will host an Industry Day on Wednesday titled “From Nano to Meso.” The session will examine techniques to model materials at the nanoscale and extrapolate to larger scales, which could allow industrial scientists to design materials with less experimentation. And a session on industrial careers is targeted at students.

The National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists will host a meetup, and the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics and the Committee on Minorities in Physics is sponsoring a Diversity Networking Reception. All interested parties are welcome to attend.

The Prizes and Awards Ceremony on Monday will honor physicists for their contributions to the field. A reception and coffee break with the APS editors will give members a chance to discuss the journals. Attendees can also peruse the Exhibit Hall, which will boast more than 100 exhibitors. And don’t miss the Rock ‘n’ Roll Physics Sing-along, on Wednesday evening, where pop music gets nerdy with physics-themed lyrics.

For more information, go to the March Meeting 2016 website.

See you in Baltimore!

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Emily Conover
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Art Director and Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik