Highlights of the 2018 American Physical Society March Meeting

COLLEGE PARK, MD, February 16, 2018 – The March Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS), the world’s largest annual physics meeting, will take place March 5 – March 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. Over 10,000 papers will be delivered during the course of the meeting.

The March APS meeting is a leading venue for presenting the scientific advances that are the basis for novel and improved high-tech devices, imaging instrumentation, and materials. Major topic areas include bioengineering, medical devices, energy efficiency, superconductivity, graphene, quantum computing, smart materials, spintronics, microfluidics, and ultracold atoms.

Information about the onsite APS press room and press conferences is included at the end of this release. Journalists are invited to attend free of charge. Contact James Riordon (riordon@aps.org, 301-919-2173) for press registration or additional information.

MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

WHY IS TOOTH ENAMEL SO TOUGH?
Monday, March 5, 2:42 PM–2:54 PM
Room 511A

We have long known that tooth enamel is one of the toughest materials in the human body, but it has not been clear precisely what makes it so strong. New images now reveal why tooth enamel can withstand enormous forces thousands of times a day for decades without crumbling. Pupa Gilbert (University of Wisconsin) and colleagues used an imaging technique they developed called Polarization-dependent Imaging Contrast (PIC) mapping to study the structure of enamel from the nanoscale (billionths of meters) to the microscale (millionths of meters). The PIC maps show misorientations of adjacent nanoscopic crystals that comprise enamel, which Gilbert says makes them tougher than if the crystals were aligned. PIC mapping requires large synchrotron light sources, so don’t expect to see them in neighborhood dental offices, but the insights they provide could have practical benefits for your teeth soon, such as finding new ways to fill cavities.http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/C49.2

UNDERGRADUATE MAKERSPACE FOSTERS FUTURES IN PHYSICS ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Monday, March 5, 4:18 PM–4:54 PM
Room 503

Garage physics: the term used by University of Wisconsin physics professor Duncan Carlsmith certainly captures the spirit of the space. While not exactly located in a garage, the space provides undergraduates to create multidisciplinary projects with entrepreneurship in mind. The idea is to challenge students to develop projects with a wide range of their peers and then put them into practice.

Gift funding and surplus research equipment support the garage space. All levels of undergraduate are welcome, giving even the newest students the opportunity to try their hand at physics in a research setting. And R&D is the name of the game. A project team might consist of students in majors as diverse as physics, computer programming, business, economics, and more. Quick classes early in the semester give limited instruction prior to students joining the garage.

The program provides a place to explore concepts beyond the confines of the classroom. Carlsmith hopes to encourage independent discovery and introduce the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship, a goal necessary in a changing field of physics careers.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/C43.4

MICROANGELO - A "HOT" NEW APPROACH TO 3-D MICRO AND NANOSCULPTING
Tuesday, March 6, 9:00 AM–9:36 AM
Room 514

Outside of biophysical applications, microfluidic forces are largely overlooked in physics, but may find new fame because of a novel nanofilm sculpting technique ideally suited to applications ranging from micro-optics to biomimetic surfaces Caltech professor Sandra Troian will discuss her group's efforts in modeling and development of the "MicroAngelo" method, which exploits the highly nonlinear dynamics of thermocapillary surface forces to create patterned nanofilms in a one-step, non-contact process. "This concept for sculpting nanofilms in 3-D by relies on spatiotemporal control of delicate but powerful surface forces not so familiar to the physics community," said Troian . "While mostly inconsequential at macroscales, these Lilliputian forces tend to dominate the surface landscape at the microscale and exceed gravity by orders of magnitude. The underlying nonlinear phenomena are as complex as they are beautiful."

Creating similar topographies with conventional photolithographic techniques, a common approach that's used to create most integrated circuits, would require a complex, multi-step process performed in a clean room environment not necessary for MicroAngelo.The final 3-D structure arises from projection of thermal distribution maps onto the liquid interface of a molten nanofilm. Currently, these maps are generated by holding a cooled pre-design in close proximity to the liquid surface. The fluid is rapidly attracted out of plane toward those regions with higher thermal gradients, resulting in a 3D replica of the pre-design. The film solidifies in situ as soon as the thermal maps are removed, leaving behind an ultra smooth surface. Modeling estimates suggest a limiting feature resolution of about a hundred nanometers. Troian will also discuss solution of the "inverse problem" by her student Chengzhe Zhou whereby predesigns can be accurately computed from first principles to achieve the desired 3D film architecture in specified time. The principles driving the method apply to a vast array of nano and microscale applications yet to be explored.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/E54.6

PUZZLES TEST QUANTUM COMPUTERS AND TEACH QUANTUM PROGRAMMERS
Wednesday, March 7, 1:03 PM–1:39 PM
Petree Hall C

Enough quantum computer prototypes now exist that job openings with the title "Quantum Software Engineer" are starting to appear on mainstream recruiting websites (admittedly, somewhat rarely). While the development of quantum computer hardware is still in its early stages, the fundamentally different nature of using quantum processes to perform computations makes quantum software development a similarly young field. James Wootton, from the University of Basel, will present his work developing quantum computer games to address both the human and device sides of quantum programming challenges.

Unlike the sharp binary states of a classical bit, qubits can also form superpositions of their two states -- the key to their immense computing potential, as well as the reason implementation challenges are so complex. Quantum algorithms must be designed completely anew and many already have, though often in the context of ideal, low-noise systems of the future. The simple puzzles and games Wootton develops, including a version of Battleships, are designed to test the abilities of quantum computers currently available for use, like IBM's 16 qubit "ibmqx5." Moreover, Wootton designed the puzzles to serve as tutorials both for training a new generation of programmers and more broadly relating the new technology's principles.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/L58.4

HOW ACCOUNTING FOR CLOUDS CAN IMPROVE CLIMATE MODELS
Tuesday, March 6, 3:54 PM–4:30 PM
Room 506

Current climate models may be missing key tipping points in climate change, and improving these models is a critical step to improve decision-making to adapt to climate change. Using novel high-resolution simulations of fluid flow in the atmosphere, Tapio Schneider will present a multiscale analysis of how earth’s low clouds respond to climate change. Moreover, he will explain how climate models can systematically improved by learning from multiscale simulations of clouds and other processes, reducing uncertainties in climate projections. These improved projections can help answer questions such as how high a sea wall New York City should build to protect itself against storm surges in 2050.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/H46.6

RUNNING THE NUMBERS: A NEW WAY TO MODEL PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE TO EXERCISE
Wednesday, March 7, 11:15 AM (Poster Session II)
West Hall A

As scientists learn more about the mounting ways that physical inactivity can be harmful to your health, it becomes all the more valuable to properly assess an individual's physiological responses to activity and aerobic exercise. Thorsten Emig, a research professor at the MIT-CNRS joint laboratory, will present the model he developed, which reconstructs a runner's velocity-dependent oxygen uptake and length of time they can sustain maximal oxygen uptake. Surprisingly, the model is based only on the runner's performance in competitions and heart rate data taken while training. "The advantage of our approach is that no expensive lab testing is required which also has the benefit that measurements are made under conditions in a natural environment," Emig said. "A runner could use the physiological parameters that our model predicts to train at optimal paces and loads, and to estimate possible racing times for future competitions. Also, a runner could track her/his improvements of physiological parameters over time and find out what training methods work best."

Emig and his group applied their model to the personal records of thousands of competitive runners from the UK and France and are currently working with twelve regular runners to analyze how this models applies to individuals who are not necessarily at the elite level, but still dedicated to achieving their own personal goals. Although the model is currently only being tested with running, Emig believes that it could be applied to other aerobic exercises as well. ". . . our model could be also applied to cycling, ice skating and other aerobic activities, with some modifications that take into account the variation of power output with the velocity of motion in the different activities," Emig said.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/L60.357

3D PRINTING DRAWS INSIGHT FROM CARBON NANOTUBE INKS
Wednesday, March 7, 4:18 PM–4:30 PM
Room 150C

Materials reinforced with the high conductivity and ultra light-weight strength of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are attractive for a wide variety of uses, from lining protective clothing to heavy machinery repair. And while you can 3D print just about any form, with choices of ink ranging from human tissue to food, CNT behavior makes it particularly tricky to develop scalable CNT based ink for 3D printing. Siddhartha Das, from the University of Maryland, College Park, will describe the method his team employs for creating CNT inks and how microscopic self-assembly behavior is fundamental for developing 3D printed CNT-reinforced nanocomposites using this ink.

The ink solutions contain either flakes of graphene oxide (GO) or cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). Because CNTs tend to clump together in water, the microscale GO flakes and the nanoscale CNC flakes serve as anchors for the CNT clusters, forcing the CNT clusters to disperse in the solution. This also makes the solution more viscous, preventing it from flowing while it's emitted from the inkjet printer onto a polymer surface. Ultimately, CNT based composites could be printed this way, with the printed lines forming a CNT fiber mesh between polymer layers. "We first have the spin coating done, the spin coating of the polymer layer on glass," said Das. "Then, we use our 3D printer and print the lines, and then we sinter it because we want the water to evaporate." The final structure of the self-assembled CNTs, driven by the departing water, depends heavily on the ratio of graphene flakes or nanocrystals to CNTs in the solution. Characterizing the printability of these inks for various mixtures helps the team optimize these precursors to large-scale, customizable CNT-reinforced composites.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/P03.6

EXPANDING RANGE OF PHYSICS CAREERS INDICATES NEED FOR CURRICULUM CHANGES
Thursday, March 8, 8:36 AM–9:48 AM
Room 408A

If only about 5% of physics students go on to become faculty, why is the physics curriculum focused on sending students that route? If the value of physics goes beyond academic research, what prevents education programs from incorporating more diverse career paths into physics curriculums? In back-to-back presentations, Douglas Arion and Donald Birx illustrate the changing careers of physics graduates and the curriculum shortcomings that need addressing.

Douglas Arion of Carthage College points out that it is not necessarily for bad reasons that the physics curriculum has not expanded past the academic realm in terms of educational training. For the most part physics majors are successful and this success does not show up as a problem. The exact opposite, in fact. However, this does not negate the need to recognize that the traditional physics education focused on academia does not always prepare students for industrial work. Arion suggests advocating for physics as a path into many realms not just academic research. Growing the curriculum correspondingly is the way to keep physics programs relevant to students’ future careers. Additionally, this expansion of the physics curriculum will provide students with the skills they require down the line.

In addition to the disconnect between the future career and the educational curriculum, there is also the issue of small graduating classes. As President of Plymouth State University Donald Birx notes, the average number of physics graduates is less than seven per academic institution. One possible factor contributing to this small number is the disconnect between the physics taught in the early undergraduate courses and the excitement of modern physics. The thrill of a new discovery or the expansion of the space program often motivates students to try their hand at a physics major. By the time they reach the material that attracted them in the first place, a large base of students has already left the major.

Finding a way to connect with that initial excitement can aid in not just growing the major but also growing the skills needed later in diverse career paths. Both presentations explore the expanding career fields taken by physics graduates of all levels. While no single approach to education is appropriate for all students, Arion and Birx are actively working to incorporate new and diverse approaches to the current curriculum.
Douglas Arion: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/R32.2
Donald Birx: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/R32.3

MODELING BIRTH AND DEATH IN A COLONY OF TUMOR CELLS
Thursday, March 8, 9:00 AM–9:12 AM
Room 511B

In order to carry out particular functions, proteins and other biomolecules first assume their specific and monumentally complex folded structure constituting its so-called "functional native state." Hamadri Samanta, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and his co-workers research what the Thirumalai group describes as a "grand challenge in molecular biology" in trying to decipher the mechanisms underlying the biomolecular folding processes that start with random coiling structure, but lead to these functional states. Samanta will present the results of his theoretical work modeling the dynamics of collections of cancer cells and cell division and death. These kinds of behaviors are essential in malignant cancer growth, wound healing and the formation of embryos.

Samanta's model uses what's called a stochastic quantization method, that provides a novel and interesting connection between quantum field theory and statistical mechanics, to calculate the dynamic effects of cell colonies. More specifically, he modelled behaviors like birth-death driven fluidization, where the cells take on a more dynamic fluid-like state, characterized by super-diffusive motion of the cells. "The theory that I am going to present is based on collective motions of cells in growing tumor," said Samanta. "The theory is very general [and] can be applied to any active systems." With his method, he revealed similarities between the motions of soap bubbles, tumor cells and CD8+ T cells -- a type of white blood cell that attacks some cancerous cells. The findings indicated that they all belong to the same universality class, meaning they share a descriptive limiting factor that describes their behavior. Understanding the driving factors in these processes could offer key clues into the impact design has on biomolecules and, ultimately, more about diseases caused by folding defects.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/R50.4

LOOK MA NO FUEL! TINY LIGHT-DRIVEN ROBOTS SHOW POTENTIAL FOR FUTURE USE IN CANCER TREATMENT
Thursday, March 8, 9:24 AM–9:36 AM
Room 518

Matan Yah Ben Zion, PhD candidate at New York University, studies the motion of micro-swimmers, but not just any micro-swimmers. These micro-swimmers do not need the usual chemical fuel to swim. They do so by absorbing light for energy.

Self-sustaining micro-swimmers eliminate two of the big obstacles to understanding complex system dynamics: they take away the added complication of fuel consumption and are more reliable than similar biological models. The micro-swimmers do not depend on their environment for support. Light-driving also introduces a simple and effect method for starting or finishing an experimental run: turn off the light source.

Their usefulness is not limited to research. While still quite a bit down the line, the applications of the micro-swimmers is exciting. Their lack of fuel means less interaction with the environment they swim through. Potentially the swimmer could deliver drugs with pinpoint accuracy, an exciting idea in chemotherapy where damaging drugs could be sent directly to tumors instead of inundating the whole environment.

Ben Zion is presenting research conducted by undergraduate researcher Yaelin Caba. She joined the lab as part of the Diversity Undergraduate Research Incubator (DURI) initiative at NYU, a program focused on bringing in undergraduates from under-represented backgrounds. Caba is unable to present at the March Meeting due to scheduling conflicts.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/R57.8

A CRACKLING NOISE AT ANY SCALE
Thursday, March 8, 9:48 AM–10:24 AM
Petree Hall D

What do nano-crystals, candy wrappers, tectonic plates, and stars all have in common? At first glance, not a whole lot. But Karin Dahmen would argue differently. All these systems and many others demonstrate the same deformation dynamics emitting a crackling noise useful as a diagnostic tool.

Dahmen, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presents research on the common dynamics of systems spanning vastly different scales. Each system deforms—whether crumples, quakes, or avalanches—producing a crackling noise distinct enough to be an identifying characteristic. Even if the collapse is not observable directly, the sound acts as an indirect indicator of the underlying dynamics. Dahmen demonstrates that the deformation mechanics of each of these systems is analogous to the others despite a large difference in size.

The implications of the work include a better understanding of the dynamics of earthquake deformation. A laboratory experiment on an analogous scale could offer insights into how the Earth’s crust deforms. Later research could use the crackling noise and its known dynamics to predict the behavior of new materials helping to prevent imminent engineering collapses and large catastrophes.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/R59.4

DETONATION ON A TABLETOP
Thursday, March 8
10:36 AM–10:48 AM, Room 501A
11:15 AM–11:51 AM, Petree Hall C

Nitromethane, the fuel in top fuel drag racing, is highly energetic. Scientists trying to determine nitromethane’s shock-response, have been limited by the costs and risks associated with detonation experiments. Mithun Bhowmick, a Postdoctoral Research Associate, and Erin Nissen, a graduate student, at University of Illinois pioneered a new device they call a shock compression microscope. Now, “students and postdocs can make and study hundreds of detonations in a day, while sitting at a desk,” said Bhowmick.

This new method has collected the largest pool of data on nitromethane emission so far. Bhowmick explained that “the shock compression microscope has high-speed nanosecond and femtosecond laser diagnostics that measure pressure, temperature and composition in real time, and a fast video camera so we can see right into the detonating explosive.”

The Dlott Research Group’s new device can help other researchers study liquids and solids under extreme conditions of high temperature and pressure. They hope that their work will increase safety protocols in industries dealing with nitromethane and other explosive materials.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/R38.12
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/S58.1

THE ‘MANY-PERSON’ PROBLEM OF TERRORISM: HOW PHYSICS EXPLAINS BEHAVIOR
Thursday, March 8, 11:15 AM–11:51 AM
Petree Hall C

By applying the physics of many-body out-of-equilibrium systems, complex dynamical networks, and Feynman diagrams to global terrorism, Neil Johnson presents a “model that explains the observed data for both online extremist behavior and offline attacks.”

In his talk, Johnson compares humans to particles, online social networks to threatened fish clusters, and real and fake news to external fields. Embracing open source information and big data, Johnson generalized the dark side of human behavior through physics.

This work challenges the conventionally held notion of a “lone-wolf terrorist” and provides a new framework for policymakers to analyze terrorism as a ‘many-person’ problem.

THE DOWNSIDES TO SELF-DRIVING CARS, AND HOW TO MITIGATE THEM
Thursday, March 8, 1:39 PM–1:51 PM
Room 513

Simulations show that traffic flows better as autonomously-piloted cars replace human driven ones, but when things go wrong, a few autonomous cars can cause big problems. Skanda Vivek and colleagues at Georgia Institute of Technology found that if some autonomous cars are disabled en route (say by malicious hackers) traffic flow can be completely blocked on simulated roads even if only 15% of cars are autonomous. Surprisingly, says Vivek, “The risks of hacking-induced congestion are more striking than the benefits of autonomous drivers.”

One of the issues Vivek’s group studied was the question of whether autonomous vehicles perform any better than human drivers in the presence of hacked and disabled vehicles on the road. They were surprised to find that 10-20% of the time autonomous cars do better, but 80-90% of the time, bottleneck effects dominate and it doesn’t matter if cars are autonomous or human-piloted.

Hackers have already found ways to disrupt human-piloted cars, and the exposure to hacking is only increased with fully autonomous cars. “While a collective hack hasn’t happened yet,” Vivek notes, “our view is that it’s better to anticipate and inoculate for these scenarios, rather than being blindsided and having to react in the moment.” Such traffic innoculations might include Human Only Vehicle (HOV) lanes or increasing the diversity in automobile operating systems to limit the number of cars that could be hacked with the same vulnerability.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/S53.13

WORK FROM WATCHING: MEASUREMENT-DRIVEN ENGINE TAKES ADVANTAGE OF QUANTUM PERTURBATIONS
Thursday, March 8, 2:42 PM–2:54 PM
Room 304C

Many people have heard of Schrodinger's cat. It’s an amusing and somewhat disturbing thought experiment in which until observed a cat is simultaneously alive and dead. At the heart of this thought experiment is the conundrum of quantum mechanics: observing a quantum system changes it. Research presented by Cyril Elouard, a postdoc at University of Rochester, exploits quantum perturbations caused by measurement and extracts them as an energy source.

If you ask your friendly neighborhood physicist what actually happens when objects heat up, they’ll probably tell you something along the lines of “the object’s particles absorb energy causing them to move faster.” While this is an oversimplification, it can provide an analogy to how Elouard’s engine works. As the quantum system is measured, the measurement itself perturbs the system. In a sense the system can be interpreted as “heating up.” Elouard’s quantum measurement engine converts this perturbation into work such as raising an elevator or charging a battery. In contrast to the thermal case, the efficiency of the engine can approach unity. That is, all of the energy provided by measurement can be converted into work.

The nature of the engine’s fuel requires quantum coherence and therefore low temperature or tiny scale. This energy generation method is particularly useful in superconducting circuits. As for efficiency, the engine’s net gain in energy offsets the input required to measure the system. Elouard’s goal is to expand the scale of the engine by potentially using an “ensemble of quantum objects” to generate greater amounts of energy.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/V15.2

WRINKLY PHYSICS
Thursday, March 8, 3:06 PM–3:18 PM
Room 511B

As the neuroscience community probes the relationship between structure and function, insights into wrinkling could enhance our understanding of the human brain. Using new live-imaging techniques on a 3D cell culture designed to mimic the brain’s development, researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara observed the mechanisms underpinning wrinkling. Their findings indicate that mechanical instability, a purely physical phenomenon, drives wrinkling.

Specifically, differential growth between the contracting cytoskeleton and expanding outer regions of the organoid causes organoids to wrinkle. Researchers have demonstrated wrinkling in swelling gels, but the authors reports that this is the first experimental evidence that this phenomena occurs in a living system.

Moreover, using CRISPR/Cas9, Eyal Karzbrun’s group identified and replicated the genetic mutations that are responsible for neurodevelopmental disorders in smoother brain organoids. The researchers hope that their experimental setup can be used in the future as a model system for studying genetic mutations and drugs related to neurodevelopment.

HARVESTING WATER FROM THIN AIR
Thursday, March 8, 4:54 PM–5:30 PM
Room 408A

Climate change presents serious challenges to ensuring the availability of drinking water around the world. In areas limited by access even to salt water, novel solutions are needed to solve the water crisis. 2018 George E. Pake Prize recipient Richard Boudreault presents the results of a collaborative effort to solve this problem through a rather science-fiction-sounding solution: moisture harvesters.

Boudreault presents atmospheric moisture harvesting technology, a potential solution to the ever-growing global water crisis. The harvester technology is based on biomimicry. Some species of cactus and reptiles extract water directly from the air using similar approaches: both involve tiny tubes to funnel tantalizing amounts of water from thin air. This process is reproduced through carbon nanotubes on a semi-permeable membrane, one side treated to be hydrophilic (water attracting) and the other hydrophobic (water repelling). The hydrophilic side pulls water from the air while the hydrophobic side allows removal from the membrane.

Though more efficient in high humidity atmospheres, it is not dependent upon a minimum water vapor content to work. This means the technology could work in almost any environment on Earth, and potentially beyond if one considers water vapor content on Mars. Additionally, the low energy cost of running the technology bodes well for industrialization in the future.

So how much water can the extractor produce? On a small scale, the system can produce about 10 gallons (50 liters) of water per day. This size would be ideal for individuals or remote communities, even for emergency aid. Scaled up to a larger format, the system could produce on the order of hundreds to thousands of gallons of water per day, enough to support industrial or commercial beverage or food operations.

Boudreault notes they have made a working model in the laboratory setting. This summer, the research group looks to expand the technology to a commercial scale device.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/V32.5

VIRTUAL REALITY AND THE PHYSICS OF COORDINATION
Friday, March 9, 8:12 AM–8:24 AM
Room 153A

How do tango dancers coordinate their moves? Put another way, how do humans record and store information to train their behavior? Such questions would have typically led to an experiment involving a laboratory animal to observe their behavior in relation to a stimulus. However, the development of virtual reality and motion capture technologies have made it possible to cut out the middleman—or middle mouse as the case may be. This approach can solve coordination problems in a wide variety of industries, helping to develop better training techniques for the tango and other activities requiring synchronous movement.

Edward Lee, a Ph.D. candidate working with professor Itai Cohen at Cornell University, argues it is possible to go directly to the human source and investigate, for example, how humans process and store cues from their dance partner while tangoing. Lee studies how biological systems, in this case humans, encode information and use that to shape their behavior. Think about interacting with a dancing avatar in a gaming system. The idea is to mimic the avatar’s motion to achieve a high score. What if you turned your back to the screen? Or if the video kept cutting in and out?

In the laboratory this translates to small tweaks in the signal to control the amount, noisiness, or form the subject is able to process. All of which are used to create a “landscape of behavior” via tools from machine learning. Lee and his professor hope to identify critical points such as where coordinated behavior becomes uncoordinated, or more broadly what kind of connections can be seen across the whole information processing plane. This introduces a quantitative way to study behavior observed largely qualitatively in the past.

The applications for such research go beyond the dance floor. Coordinated motion impacts fields from professional sports and gaming to the surgical suite, and other activities that rely heavily on coordination among participants.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/X06.2

HYDRODYNAMIC RATCHETS: MICROFLUIDIC PUMPS INSPIRED BY INSECT BREATHING
Friday, March 9, 1:15 PM–1:27 PM
Room 514

Anne Staples and colleagues at Virginia Tech have exploited their discoveries about the way insects breath to create microscopic pumps that could lead to novel devices for controlling fluid flow on lab-on-a-chip types of devices. The key to insect respiration appears to be hydrodynamic ratchets, which allow fluids to move in only one direction despite the fact that the forces on the fluid alternate forward and back. The ratchets Staples is developing are built of tubes that open up when fluid flows forward, but collapse when the flow is reversed. The ratchets can be tuned to operate at different frequencies, which means a ratchet can effectively be turned on or off by driving a fluid at different rates.

For an insect, the ratchets ensure that air flows through the insect’s lungs instead of sloshing back and forth. For lab-on-a-chip devices, explains Staples, the ratchets can control the flow into various branches of a microscopic network for chemical analysis or other applications.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/Y54.11

OTHER INTERESTING TALKS

Dancing Our Way to Mars Through Physics
Monday, March 5, 10:24 AM–10:36 AM, Room 153A
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/A06.13

Single-atom Thermometer
Monday, March 5, 10:36 AM–10:48 AM, Room 150A
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/A01.12

From Razor Clams to Robots: Drawing Engineering Inspiration from Natural Systems
Monday, March 5, 11:15 AM–11:51 AM, Room 511B
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/B50.1

Folding Magnets with Topologically Frustrated Origami Sheets
Tuesday, March 6, 8:36 AM–9:12 AM, Room 502A
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/E41.2

Lakota Cosmology Meets Particle Physics: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Tuesday, March 6, 12:15 PM–12:27 PM, Room 150B
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/F02.6

Using Superheroes in a Physics Communication Approach for the General Public
Tuesday, March 6, 12:39 PM–12:51 PM, Room 150B
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/F02.8

Showing Embryonic Tissues’ Mechanical Properties with Magnetic Droplets
Tuesday, March 6, 2:30 PM–3:06 PM, Room 513
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/H53.1

Big Data and Many Body Physics Tackle Online Threats
Wednesday, March 7, 8:00 AM–8:36 AM, Room: 408A
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/K32.1

Stretchable Solar Panels
Wednesday, March 7, 9:24 AM–9:36 AM, Room 515B
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/K56.6

How 3D Printers Can Help Reforestation
Wednesday, March 7, 9:24 AM–9:36 AM, Room 506
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/K46.8

The Physics of Brain Networks
Wednesday, March 7, 11:51 AM–12:27 PM, Room 502B
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/L42.2

Greenhouse Effect Enhances Photovoltaic Efficiency
Wednesday, March 7, 12:27 PM–12:39 PM, Room 308B
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/L20.7

Insect-inspired Locomotion
Wednesday, March 7, 1:03 PM–1:39 PM, Room 502B
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/L42.4

The Heat of NYC: Geospatial Surface Temperature Data Enables Heat Transfer Predictions
Wednesday, March 7, 5:06 PM–5:18 PM, Room 507
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/P47.14

A Cell Sized Machine With the Computing Power of Voyager
Thursday, March 8, 10:36 AM–10:48 AM, Room 501A
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/R38.12

Diving Birds And Wettability-tunable Leaves
Friday, March 9, 10:24 AM–11:00 AM, Petree Hall C
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/X58.5

Imaging a Superfast Vortex on a Superconductor
Friday, March 9, 11:15 AM–11:51 AM, Room 151
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/Y04.1

ATTENDEES’ MOST SCHEDULED TALKS

To see the most popular talks among physicists planning to attend the meeting go to: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/TopEvent


MORE INFORMATION FOR JOURNALISTS

PRESS CONFERENCES

Press conferences will be held daily in the Los Angeles Convention Center room 508A. A press conference schedule, which will include instructions for dialing in remotely, will be issued in late February.

REGISTERING AS A JOURNALIST

Journalists planning to attend the meeting should contact James Riordon (riordon@aps.org,) about free registration.

PRESSROOM INFORMATION

A dedicated and staffed pressroom will operate throughout the meeting at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Phones, computers, printers, and free wireless Internet access will be available to reporters using the pressroom.

  • Location: Los Angeles Convention Center room 508B/C
  • Hours: MON-THU, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and FRI, 7:30 a.m. to noon
  • Food service: Both breakfast and lunch will be provided Monday through Thursday. Breakfast only will be served on Friday.

Contact: James Riordon, riordon@aps.org, 301-919-2173

APS Press Releases

APS issues press releases on research news, Society activities, and other physics tips.

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APS Media Contacts

General Media Inquiries
media@aps.org

Sara Conners
Director of Communications
conners@aps.org
(301) 209-3238

Tawanda W. Johnson
Press Secretary
tjohnson@aps.org
(202) 662-8702

Matteo Rini
Media Relations, Journals
press@aps.org

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About APS

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.