"April 2010" Forum Sessions

By Daniel Kleppner

The Forum on History of Physics has planned four invited sessions and a contributed session for the 2010 "April" meeting in Washington D.C. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the of the American Association of Physics Teachers annual meeting.

James W. Cronin has organized a session "Remembering Enrico Fermi," to take place on Sunday, Feb. 14. The speakers, all former students of Fermi, and their presentation titles are: T. D. Lee, Columbia University, "Fermi at Columbia and Reminiscences of Chicago Days"; Richard L. Garwin, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, "Working with Fermi at Chicago and Los Alamos"; and Jerome I. Friedman, M.I.T., "A Student's View of Fermi". The session is co-sponsored by the AAPT.

Another session co-sponsored by AAPT has been organized by Ronald E. Mickens. Entitled "Origins of Research and Teaching at Selected Physics Departments," the speakers and titles are: Hans C. von Baeyer, College of William and Mary, "History of the William and Mary Physics Department from 1757 to 2009"; Warren Eugene Collins; Fisk University, "Physics Research and Education at Fisk University"; and Jerry P. Gollub, Haverford College, "Research and Education in Physics and Astronomy at Haverford College." The session is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 16.

In support of the Laserfest celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the laser, Joseph A. Giordmaine has organized a session "The Laser: its History and Impact on Precision Measurements," which is co-sponsored by the Topical Group on Precision Measurements and Fundamental Constants. The session will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Giordmaine will present the opening talk, "The Kickoff Years: from Ruby Laser to Nonlinear Optics," to be followed by Federico Capasso, Harvard University, "Freedom from Bandgap Slavery: from Diode Lasers to Quantum Cascade Lasers," and John L. Hall, JILA, "The Whirlwind from the Speed of Light and the Meter on to the Optical Comb."

Finally, a session entitled "Secrecy and Physics" has been organized by Peter Galison and Charles Holbrow. This session is co-sponsored by AAPT and the Forum on Physics and Society. It will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13. Speakers and titles are Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists, "Secrecy and Physicists: Intersections of Science and National Security"; William Happer, Princeton University, "How Much Secrecy?" and Peter Galison, Harvard University, "Physics and Modern Secrecy." In conjunction with this session, screenings of a new documentary, "Secrecy", will be shown at both the APS and AAPT meetings.

Note Added: This article represents the views of the author, which are not necessarily those of the FHP or APS.