Summer 2005 Newsletter

Edited by S.N. Coppersmith

In This Issue

Important Deadlines and Dates

Nominate invited speakers for 2006 March Meeting
Deadline: September 12, 2005

Vote for DCMP officers
Deadline: September 12, 2005

2006 March Meeting abstract submission
Deadline: November 30, 2005

Nomination deadline for DCMP Fellows
Nomination info at

January 2006 (exact date to be announced later)

2006 March Meeting
March 13-17, 2006, in Baltimore, Maryland

Join the lobbying effort at the 2006 March meeting in Baltimore
More info to follow

Note from the DCMP Chair

In the current difficult funding climate for condensed matter physics, as Ben Franklin said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately," DCMP aims to be an organization that helps the condensed matter community to hang together, both in communicating the importance and beauty of our field to the public and to other areas of physics and other scientific and engineering disciplines. The March meeting is an important activity that enhances communication among diverse community of researchers, and the DCMP Executive Committee is using the 2006 March Meeting in Baltimore as a base for expanding lobbying efforts by our community.

March Meeting Invited Symposia nominations

The deadline for Invited Symposia nominations is Monday, September 12, 2005. To nominate an Invited Symposium or an Invited Speaker for the 2006 March meeting, follow the instructions at

The Division of Condensed Matter Physics organizes about 38 symposia during the meeting. The selection is done by a meeting of the entire Executive Committee shortly after the nomination deadline. The Executive Committee cannot substitute speakers of its own choosing.

Our Division's rules and practice for invited speakers are as follows. (1) We only select speakers from among proposals nominated by DCMP members. (2) No person may receive an invitation to speak at the meeting two years in a row (unless the person is a winner of a Prize in the second year). (3) A single symposium is not permitted to have two speakers from the same institution (i.e., same university or laboratory).

Ten steps towards creating a successful proposal.

  1. Propose a Symposium on a timely idea, with strong speakers. In general, the DCMP favors symposia, and uses single speakers sparingly, if at all.
  2. Moreover, we wish to make full use of the time available. Proposals that contain only 2, 3, or 4 talks, as opposed to the 5 that the meeting schedule permits, are less likely to be reviewed well.
  3. Choose a good Symposium Title. This and the Symposium Justification gives the review committee an overview of the Symposium.
  4. Select titles of individual talks carefully and provide informative abstracts to underpin the idea of the Symposium. (The speaker can modify the title later.)
  5. Do the work required to support a recommendation. Tell what the suggested speaker did, and describe how it fits into its field as well as its significance in advancing that field.
  6. Invited papers should be partly tutorial in order to afford those not working in that particular area the opportunity to learn about new developments. Recommend good speakers.
  7. Provide recent references to work published in refereed journals. References should include key research in the area as well as the contributions of the proposed speakers. These references are helpful to the Committee to make sure that the topic is topical.
  8. If possible, suggest an alternate speaker in the abstract, to provide a substitute if the first choice is unavailable. (See Rule (1), above.)
  9. Find a person who can serve as chair of the symposium and obtain that person's agreement to serve as chair if the proposal is approved.
  10. Multiple submissions of a proposal are ineffective and counterproductive. If you and several others wish to nominate the same symposium, it is better if one submits, listing co-sponsors in the Symposium Justification.

Use only one of the following sorting categories, to ensure that the right subcommittee examines the proposal.

  1. Metals
  2. Semiconductors
  3. Insulators and Dielectrics
  4. Polymeric and Organic Materials
  5. Superconductivity
  6. Magnetism (Experiment, Theory, Applications)
  7. Complex Structured Materials
  8. Fluids and Soft Matter
  9. Phase Transitions and Strongly Correlated Systems
  10. Biological Physics
  11. Chemical Physics
  12. Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  13. Artificially Structured Materials
  14. Surface, Interfaces and Thin Films
  15. Instrumentation and Measurements
  16. Applications
  17. General Theory (Theoretical Methods)
  18. General
  19. High Pressure Physics
  20. Quantum Fluids and Solids
  21. Atomic, Molecular & Optical (AMO) Physics
  22. Physics Education
  23. Quantum Information, Concepts and Computation


Vote for DCMP Executive Committee members

To vote for new members of the DCMP Executive committee, go to the DCMP website:

The DCMP Executive Committee performs several functions. Among its most important responsibilities is to be in charge of organizing the APS March Meeting. It is the body that chooses the Invited Symposia from those nominated by the DCMP membership. Keeping a proper balance on the Committee is thus essential for producing a well-run meeting. It helps to lobby Congress on science policy issues. Also, the DCMP Members-at- Large select those names to be forwarded for consideration by the APS Fellowship Committee and Council.

The current (2005-2006) membership of the DCMP Executive Committee is: (date following name indicates end of service on Committee, though title may change.)


Susan N. Coppersmith (3/07)
Department of Physics
University of Wisconsin
1150 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706
Tel: (608) 262-8358
Fax: (608) 262-2334

Chair Elect

David B. Tanner (3/08)
Physics Department
University of Florida
2372 New Phys. Bldg.
Gainesville, FL 32611-8440
Tel: (352) 392-4718
Fax: (352) 392-3591


Julia M. Phillips (3/09)
Sandia National Lab
PO Box 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185-1427
Tel: (505) 844-1071
Fax: (505) 844-9781


Joseph W. Serene (3/09)
Department of Physics
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057-0995
Tel: (202) 687-5985
Fax: (202) 687-2087

Past Chair

Sidney Nagel (3/06)
James Franck Institute
University of Chicago
5640 S. Ellis Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
Tel: (773) 702-7190
Fax: (773) 702-5863


Moses H. W. Chan (12/07)
Dept. of Physics
Pennsylvania State University
104 Davey Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Tel: (814) 863-2622
Fax: (814) 865-3604


James P. Eisenstein (3/08)
Condensed Matter Physics
Pasadena, CA 91125
Tel: (626) 395-4649
Fax: (626) 683-9060

Matthew P. A. Fisher (3/07)
Inst. for Theoretical Physics
Kohn Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Tel: (805) 893-4111
Fax: (805) 893-2431

Lia Krusin-Elbaum (3/08)
IBM, T.J. Watson Research Center
PO Box 218, Rte 134
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Tel: (914) 945-2548
Fax: (914) 945-2141

Andrea J. Liu (3/06)
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
University of Pennsylvania
209 S. 33rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: (215) 573-7374
Fax: (215) 898-2010

Paul L. McEuen (3/06)
Dept. of Physics LASSP
Cornell University
510 Clark Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Tel: (607) 255-5193
Fax: (607) 255-6428

Arthur P. Ramirez (3/06)
Bell Laboratories
600 Mountain Ave
Murray Hill, NJ 07974
Tel: (908) 582-4742
Fax: (908) 582-3260

Caroline A. Ross (3/07)
Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
77 Massachusetts Ave 13-4005
Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: (617) 258-0223
Fax: (617) 252-1020

Mark Stiles (3/08)
100 Bureau Dr
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8412
Tel: (301) 975-3745
Fax: (301) 926-2746

Clare C. Yu (3/07)
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Irvine, CA 92697-4575
Tel: (949) 824-6216
Fax: (949) 824-2174


APS Fellowship Nominations

Being selected an APS Fellow is restricted to 1/2 percent of the membership in any year. For those nominated through DCMP, that means ~25 per year. Actual approval is by the APS Council upon the recommendation of APS Fellowship Committee.

Competitive nominations require some care. Full details can be found by clicking Fellowship link on main APS webpage, at

Tips for Successful Nominations

The selection process is very competitive; when preparing nominations, sponsors should ensure that the achievements of their candidates are genuinely reflected by the material submitted. In general, the guidelines for the Fellowship Committee are to look for sustained contributions to the field over a period of time and successful nominees generally have over 10 years of professional experience beyond the Ph.D. Inclusion of a complete list of publications, and lists of invited talks, awards, committee service, and organization of conferences is highly recommended. A detailed statement by the sponsors and supporting letters which evaluate the candidate's work and discuss which of the candidate's achievements are "exceptional" aid the committee considerably.

Reprints of papers are generally not useful.

Lobbying effort at 2006 March Meeting

Put Capitol Hill on your 2006 March Meeting itinerary!
By Steve Pierson, Head of Government Relations, APS Office of Public Affairs

The APS Office of Public Affairs (OPA) has begun the planning for the congressional visits during the 2006 APS March Meeting in Baltimore. The objective is to have March Meeting attendees from as many districts and states as possible travel down to Washington, DC to educate Congress on the importance of science research funding.

Carrying the message to individual offices remains one of the best means of influencing a Member of Congress.

OPA will assist the participants in all aspects of a congressional visit. We will brief APS members on the common message, offer advice on how to conduct an effective meeting, and cover the logistics of a congressional visit. We will also provide materials to be left with each office that will have state specific information.

The timing of these visits is excellent since Congress will have just started its considerations of the appropriations for the next fiscal year.

To broaden the message and to take advantage of this opportunity, we would also like to host an event aimed at media that would include the congressional visits participants, Members of Congress and Nobel Laureates.

In addition to influencing Congress, we hope that participants see first-hand the importance of informing their elected officials about what physicists do. While you our members are getting more active in this regard and more APS meeting attendees write letters at the Contact Congress computers, there is much more to do.

We would like you and all APS members to view Congressional visits as part of developing a relationship with an office rather than a one-time event. We would hope that you would follow up with the Congressional office at opportune times, make visits to the home offices, and perhaps invite staff or Members of Congress to visits their labs. You may also become resources for a Member's office.

In addition to the congressional visits, Contact Congress will be back at the 2006 March Meeting. We hope that we can best the fantastic turnout in Los Angeles that yielded 4,250 letters (or three letters each from more than 1400 of the 6500 attendees.) Thanks to the help of DCMP, the 2005 March Meeting marked the third consecutive increase in the number of letters (from 1760 in 2002, 2200 in 2003, and 3550 in 2004.)

OPA will begin its publicity and recruitment of the Congressional visits in the fall and looks forward to working closely with DCMP to make the most of this opportunity. If you have ideas for how to broaden our impact, please contact the APS OPA.

Please plan to make the Congressional visits part of your schedule for Baltimore. If your Senators and Congresspersons don't hear it from you, they won't hear it from anybody!

2005 March Meeting in Los Angeles

The 2006 March Meeting in Los Angeles had the most attendees ever (6645, up from 6331 in 2004), of which 2017 were DCMP members. There were 736 invited talks, 5002 contributed talks, and 593 posters. As in past years, DCMP sponsored a session on the Unity of Physics as well as twelve tables of "Lunch with the Experts," and DCMP played a key role in organizing the campaign of writing letters to Congress.


The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Division of Condensed Matter Physics Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.