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By David C. Cassidy, Chair, Program Committee
The Forum Program Committee is conducting an experiment this year. At the suggestion of Forum Chair Bill Evenson, we divided the program committee into two subcommittees under the overall direction of the Program Chair: an April committee chaired by Cassidy, and a March committee co-chaired by Vice Chair Gloria Lubkin and George Zimmerman. So far the experiment has succeeded quite nicely. Since each committee can now devote full attention to its specific meeting, the result has been a more carefully selected and broadly based program of invited sessions at each of the two meetings.
An overview of the March and April invited sessions is given below. Among the many highlights of these two meetings is the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Physical Review Letters. A session on PRL is planned at each of the two meetings with a series of outstanding speakers who will explore the past, present, and the important issue of the future of research publication in the electronic age. Another highlight will be a unique session at the April meeting celebrating the 65th anniversary of the beginning of the Manhattan Project and the work at Los Alamos. Ben Bederson, who worked on the Manhattan Project and organized the session, has invited all physics alumni of the project to attend the meeting and participate in an extended panel discussion following the presentation by Val Fitch, also an alumnus of the project. In addition, the April meeting will have two back-to-back sessions on the “Triumphs of 20th Century Astrophysics,” one focusing on instrumentation and the other on discoveries. There will also be an April invited session in recognition of 80 years of quantum mechanics, in which members of a new international project on the history of quantum mechanics will present their latest work. And during the March meeting, a session on the history of physics in industrial settings will occur.
In addition to these invited sessions, Gerald Holton, winner of the 2008 Abraham Pais Prize for the History of Physics (see p. 1), will speak on April 14 in a joint award session co-sponsored with the Forum on Physics and Society. Sessions for contributed papers are also scheduled in both March and April meetings; travel grants are available for students presenting contributed papers in these sessions. Some of the titles of the papers given below are still tentative.
March 10–14, 2008
New Orleans, Louisiana
50th Anniversary of Physical Review Letters, March 11.
Industrial Physics History, March 13.
April 12-15, 2008
St. Louis, Missouri
Triumphs of 20th Century Astrophysics, April 12, co-sponsored with DAP.
Chair of both sessions: Ramanath Cowsik, Washington University
I. Observatories and Telescopes.
II. We Master the Stars.
Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project: 65th Anniversary, April 13, co-sponsored with FPS.
Chair: Benjamin Bederson, New York University
80 Years of Quantum Mechanics: A New International Project, April 14.Chair: Clayton A. Gearhart, St. John’s University, Minnesota
50th Anniversary of Physical Review Letters, April 14, co-sponsored with DPF.Chair: R. Sekhar Chivukula, Michigan State University