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By Leah Poffenberger
The world’s largest physics meeting will see more than 11,000 attendees, including over 1,000 invited speakers, flocking to Boston to share research, network with future collaborators, and attend many events and workshops. The APS March Meeting will run March 4-8 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC).
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics winners Gérard Mourou (École Polytechnique and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and Donna Strickland (University of Waterloo) will speak at a special Nobel Prize session on Thursday, March 7 (5:45-6:30 p.m.). They will discuss the development of chirped pulse amplification, which paved the way for improved laser technology and secured them half of the Nobel Prize.
This year’s Kavli Foundation Special Symposium, themed “from unit cell to biological cell” will feature five distinguished speakers on March 6 (2:30-5:30 p.m.). Claudia Felser (Max Planck institute for Chemical Physics of Solids) will speak on magnetic materials called Heusler compounds and their wide range of uses. Philip Kim (Harvard University) will share research on the emerging new physics of atomically thin structures made by stacking 2D quantum materials. A method of creating ultra-stable glass comes from research done by Mark D. Ediger (University of Wisconsin, Madison). Sharon Glotzer (University of Michigan) will introduce the notion of the entropic bond in her talk “Colloidal Crystals, Quasicrystals and the Entropic Bond.” Clifford Brangwynne (Princeton University) combines biology and soft matter physics in an exploration of self-assembly of biological materials.
The March Meeting officially begins on Monday, March 4, but a number of pre-meeting activities are available on Sunday, March 3, including an orientation session for first-time March Meeting attendees (5:00-6:00 p.m.). A special workshop, Get the Facts Out: Changing the Conversation Around STEM Teacher Recruitment, aimed at addressing misconceptions that discourage students from pursuing careers as physics teachers, will also be held in partnership with the 2019 PhysTEC conference (2:30-5:00 p.m.). A Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to create Wikipedia pages for female and underrepresented minority physicists rounds out the night (6:00-9:00 p.m.).
The APS Prizes and Awards Ceremony will be held Monday evening (5:45-6:45 p.m.) followed by a welcome reception. A special outreach session on quantum information science policy “Enabling Quantum Leap: National Quantum Initiative” will also follow the Prizes and Awards Ceremony (7:30-9:40 p.m.).
As with previous APS Meetings, a number of diversity events are scheduled, including an LGBTQ+ roundtable discussion (Wednesday, 4:00-5:00 p.m.), the National Society of Black Physicists meetup and reception (Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 p.m.), and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists meetup and reception (Wednesday, 6:00-7:00 p.m.). Also on Wednesday, there will be an Education and Diversity reception (7:00-8:00 p.m.).
On Tuesday, March 5, Reviews of Modern Physics (RMP) celebrates 90 years with talks from the authors of popular RMP papers and a champagne toast (7:30-9:00 p.m.). Editors from all APS journals will also be available Tuesday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. to answer questions and discuss the Physical Review journals.
Also on Tuesday, March 5, APS President David Gross and CEO Kate Kirby will host a Town Hall session on the Society’s newly developed strategic plan (2:30–3:30 p.m.). The strategic plan lays out APS goals and priorities for the next several years. Copies of the strategic plan document will be available.
Extra physics fun comes in the form of a quantum-themed physics escape room, brought to the March Meeting by the Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public. LabEscape will be open from March 3 to March 8 for both meeting attendees and the public. On Wednesday, March 6, Imaginative Performances: Quantum Voyages and the History of Physics in 13 songs (7:00-8:30 p.m.) showcases events created by collaborations between physicists and artists. A Rock-n-Roll Physics Sing-along—a March Meeting tradition—will follow (9:00-10:30 p.m.).
Future of Physics Days events, sponsored by APS and the Society for Physics Students, will offer unique opportunities for undergraduate students to present research, explore graduate school and career options, and network with peers and senior scientists. An interactive workshop on Monday (6:00-7:00 p.m.) will seek to give students the tools to transition into a physics career, and a graduate school fair on Tuesday (10:00 AM-5:00 p.m.) will provide an opportunity for students to meet graduate school representatives and learn about programs.
The March Meeting will include many more special events, sessions, and opportunities to network. Visit the meeting website for the full schedule of events.
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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik