Forum Invited Sessions at the March and "April" APS Meetings

By Gloria Lubkin, Forum Chair-Elect, and Daniel Kleppner, Vice Chair

The Program Committee has put together some varied and interesting invited sessions for the March and “April” APS Meetings this year. The March meeting occurs in Pittsburgh March 16–20, while the “April” meeting will be held May 2–5 in Denver.

At the March meeting, we will have three invited sessions. Two focus on the impact of highly influential and greatly admired theorists: Lev Davidovich Landau, who worked in the Soviet Union and created what is known as the Landau School, and Philip Anderson—still active and publishing in his eighties. The third session deals with the origins of Silicon Valley, covering the period from 1910 through the 1960s.

At the “April” meeting, the Forum will have four invited sessions. We have organized sessions on the history of telescopes, accelerators (co-sponsored with the Division of Physics of Beams), and science policy (co-sponsored with the Forum on Physics and Society). In addition, a session on John Wheeler’s legacy was organized by the Topical Group on Gravity and co-sponsored by the Forum. The history of telescopes session commemorates the 400th anniversary of the invention of the telescope. The session on science policy includes as speakers two former Presidential Science Advisers, John Gibbons and Neal Lane.

We urge Forum members to consider attending these meetings and include these sessions in their schedules—as well as the Forum’s contributed sessions, which will occur at both meetings.

Invited Sessions at the March Meeting

Origins of Silicon Valley
Gloria Lubkin, Chair
Monday, 16 March 2009, 2:30–5:30p.m.
  • Stewart Gillmor, Wesleyan University, “Prehistory of Silicon Valley, from 1910 to 1965”
  • David Leeson, Stanford University, “W. W. Hansen, Microwave Physics, and Silicon Valley”
  • Michael Riordan, University of California, Santa Cruz, “From Bell Labs to Silicon Valley: A Saga of Technology Transfer, 1954–1961” (The John Bardeen Lecture)
  • James Gibbons, Stanford University, “The Origins and Development of the Silicon Valley Startup Model”
Centenary of Lev Landau
Gloria Lubkin, Chair
Wednesday, 18 March 2009, 8:00–11:00 a.m.
  • Pierre Hohenberg, New York University, “Lev Landau: A View from the West”
  • Lev Pitaevskii, University of Trento and Landau Institute, Moscow, “Landau and Theory of Quantum Liquids”
  • Valery Pokrovsky, Texas A&M University, “Landau and Theory of Phase Transitions”
  • Igor Dzyaloshinskii, University of California, Irvine, “Landau and Feynman Diagrams”
  • Roald Sagdeev, University of Maryland, “Landau’s Contributions to Applied Physics”
Fifty Years of Anderson Localization
David Thouless, Chair
Thursday, 19 March 2009, 2:30–5:30 p.m.
  • David Thouless, University of Washington, “Anderson Localization in the Seventies and Beyond”
  • Robert Dynes, University of California, San Diego, “Tests of Localization in Metals and Semiconductors”
  • Mordechai Segev, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, “Anderson Localization of Light”
  • Igor Lerner, University of Birmingham, “Anderson Localization and Mesoscopics”
  • Alain Aspect, Institut d’Optique, Palaiseau, “Direct Observation of Anderson Localization of Matter Waves in an Optical Disorder”

Invited Sessions at the “April” Meeting

The Legacy of John Wheeler
Stanley Whitcomb, Chair
(cosponsored with GGR)
Saturday, 2 May 2009, 10:45 a.m.–12:33 p.m.
  • Kenneth Ford, American Institute of Physics, retired, “John Wheeler, 1933–1959: Particles and Weapons”
  • Kip Thorne, California Institute of Technology, “John Wheeler, 1952–1976: Black Holes and Geometrodynamics”
  • Wojciech Zurek, Los Alamos National Laboratory, “John Wheeler, 1976–1996: Law Without Law and Quantum Information”
History of Telescopes
Daniel Kleppner, Chair
Saturday, 2 May 2009, 1:30–3:18 p.m.
  • Marvin Bolt, Adler Planetarium, “Through the Looking Glass: 400 Years of Optical Telescopes”
  • Christine Jones, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University, “Black Holes, Dark Matter, and Dark Energy: Measuring the Invisible through X-Rays”
  • Paul Vanden Bout, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, “Radio Telescopes: A Technological Saga Sparked by Serendipity”
Science Policy: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Daniel Kleppner, Chair
(cosponsored with FPS)
Sunday, 3 May 2009, 8:30–10:18 a.m.
  • John Gibbons, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, 1993–1998, “Lessons from Skating on Thin Ice: Office of Energy Conservation, Office of Technology Assessment, and Office of Science and Technology Policy”
  • Neal Lane, Rice University, “Civic Scientist Era”
  • Lewis Branscomb, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, “Science as a Model for Rational, Legitimate Government”
History of MURA, Fermilab, and the SSC
Gloria Lubkin, Chair
(cosponsored with DPB)
Monday, 4 May 2009, 3:30–5:18 p.m.
  • Lawrence Jones, University of Michigan, “Innovation Was Not Enough: The History of the Midwestern Universities Research Association”
  • Adrienne Kolb, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, “Fermilab: The Ring of the Frontier, 1967–1995”
  • Stanley Wojcicki, Stanford University, “A Personal Recollection of the SSC’s Birth and Demise”

More details on these sessions, including some abstracts of papers can be found on the Web at:

These sessions will be audiotaped and the recordings placed on the Forum web site, with PowerPoint presentations where available.

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