APS News

From Quarks To Cosmos in the Nation’s Capital: APS April Meeting 2017

APS April Meeting 2017

The April Meeting comes to Washington DC in January 2017.

By Rachel Gaal

Calling all physicists — it’s time to get ready to travel to Washington, D.C! The APS April Meeting 2017 will be held January 28 - 31, 2017, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The April Meeting (held next year in January to avoid the exploding cost of hotel rooms during the spring cherry blossom viewing season) will host exciting talks about quirky quarks, the vast cosmos, and much in between.

Expecting over 1,500 attendees, the organizers will welcome 130 invited speakers and offer three plenary sessions that cover topics of particle physics, astrophysics, nuclear physics, and gravitational physics.

Government and political figures will speak on the theme of “Science Policy in the 21st Century” at Saturday’s plenary session. John Holdren, Director of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Cherry Murray, Director of the Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy, will discuss the changing role of science within policymaking and their roles as physicists in the government. Rush Holt Jr., CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will discuss the importance of promoting science among policymakers. Congressman Bill Foster, representing the 11th District of Illinois, will also join in the session to discuss his experience as a “physicist on the hill” and as a U.S. representative.

The Kavli Foundation special plenary session, scheduled for Monday, will feature talks from Barbara Jacak of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), Cora Dvorkin of Harvard University, and S. James Gates of the University of Maryland, discussing their work in “Quarks to the Cosmos.” Jacak will discuss her role as director of the Nuclear Science Division at LBL, and as a leading member of the collaboration that built and operates the PHENIX detector at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dvorkin will also discuss her experience as a Hubble Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard, prior to her current position as assistant professor in Harvard’s Department of Physics. Gates’s work in supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory will also expand on the meeting’s main theme of “from quarks to the cosmos.”

Black holes will be discussed in Tuesday’s plenary session, featuring Laura Cadonati of Georgia Tech, Chung-Pei Ma of University of California, Berkeley, and Andrew Strominger of Harvard University. The session will feature recent results on gravitational waves from LIGO and particle astrophysics.

A number of APS units will participate in this year’s April Meeting. Scientific sessions and presentations will be hosted by the APS Divisions of Astrophysics; Computational Physics; Nuclear Physics; Gravitational Physics; Particles and Fields; and Physics of Beams.

APS Topical Groups involved include Few-Body Systems; Hadronic Physics; Instrument and Measurement Science; Physics Education Research; and Precision Measurement and Fundamental Constants.

Among other events and exhibits, undergraduates can get a leg up on their graduate school aspirations by attending “Lunch with the Grads,” which will feature a panel discussion on what to expect as they pursue an advanced degree. They can also attend Sunday’s undergraduate breakfast, which will include a career workshop and award ceremony.

APS authors and referees can attend a tutorial by editorial office staff on Sunday to get a step-by-step walk-through on how to appropriately submit their research and what to expect during peer review. They can also stop by the “APS Meet the Journal Editors” preceding the tutorial to speak with the editors of the journals. The prize and awards ceremonial session will be held after the editorial meet and greet.

Attendees will be able to sharpen their communication chops at a career-skills workshop focused on “Achieving Your Goals Through Effective Communications.” They also can try setting U.S. research funding priorities at a special event on Monday titled “How Would YOU Decide the Federal Budget?”

Many society meetups will be held during and before this year’s meeting: the annual pre-meeting APS April “Tweetup” will be held on Friday, where Twitter fanatics can connect and coordinate their social media appearances during the meeting. A roundtable on Sunday will focus on improving the climate in physics for LGBT+ physicists, preceding the National Society of Black Physicists and National Society of Hispanic Physicists meetup.

Only one poster session will be held at the APS April Meeting 2017, on Saturday evening preceding the welcome reception. Since the meeting itself is hosted earlier than previous years, the post-deadline abstract submission is open until 5:00 p.m. on November 11, 2016 for those who wish to present at a poster session on a space available basis. Don’t wait to submit, and we hope to see you there!

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: Rachel Gaal
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Art Director and Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik