The Northwest section of APS held its annual meeting at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington from September 30 through October 2. Thursday’s opening lecture by Barry Barish of Caltech highlighted the work of LIGO in its search for gravitational waves. Twelve plenary sessions were held over Saturday and Sunday: Rory Barnes from the University of Washington updated attendants on the search for habitable planets outside the solar system. David Atkinson from Pacific Northwest National Labs described efforts to improve explosives detection. Valery Milner of the University of British Columbia described new methods of ultrafast spectroscopy. During the Friday evening’s banquet, geologist Kevin Pogue of Whitman College spoke about the intersection of geology and winemaking over a sampling of local wines.
The Joint 63rd Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference and 7th International Conference on Reactive Plasmas was held from October 4 through 8 in Paris, France. The Tuesday evening session featured four speakers weighing in on the history and future of plasma processing and collision physics. On Wednesday morning, the winner the Will Allis prize, Mark Kushner of the University of Michigan, spoke about his research into hybrid plasma models. Stephane Mazouffre of ICARE, described current research and development into plasma thrusters. Jae Koo Lee of the Pohang University of Science and Technology highlighted how plasmas could be used in medicine, specifically for treating cancerous growths.
The Joint Fall Meeting of the Ohio-Region Section of the APS and the Appalachian and Southern Ohio Sections of the AAPT was held at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio on October 8 and 9. The plenary speakers included past Blewett Scholarship recipient Janice Wynn Guikema from Johns Hopkins University describing the potential for graphene to be used as nanoscale magnetic sensor. On Saturday morning Maher Dayeh of the Southwest Research Institute showed the work of IBEX in its mission to map the far reaches of the solar system, following Friday night’s planetarium show also about the discoveries of the IBEX satellite. Mark Eriksson University of Wisconsin-Madison presented on how future quantum computers could be dependent on silicon and germanium quantum dots for processing.
The New York sectional meeting was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York On October 15 and 16. Brookhaven labs were a large presence at the meeting, with Raju Venugopalan and Mei Bai each hosting a talk about recent experiments at RHIC that created quark-gluon plasma. Author Marcia Bartusiak from MIT spoke at Friday’s banquet about her book The Day We Found the Universe which tells the story of how Edwin Hubble discovered that the Milky Way was only a single galaxy in the universe. Daniel Wolf Savin from Columbia University described his lab work to understand the formation of the first hydrogen molecules.
The Four Corners section met at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah on October 15 and 16. At Friday’s banquet Author Chris Cokinos of Utah State University read from his recent book “The Fallen Sky” chronicling the history of meteorite hunters. John Elwell from the Space Dynamics Lab at Utah State University described some of the results from the recent all-sky survey by the Wide field Infrared Survey Explorer. Jennifer Heath from Linfield College shared her work on improving the efficiency of emerging solar cell technology. Constance Walker from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory described her work at raising public awareness about light pollution around the world and called on the researchers present to also get involved.