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SM14 Program

Sessions, Panels, Posters, Plenaries, Committee Meetings, and Special Events

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  • 2014 Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award: Celestial Sleuth: Using Physics and Astronomy to Solve Mysteries in Art, History, and Literature

      • Donald W. Olson, Texas State University

      • PL05
      • Tue 07/29, 10:30AM - 11:30AM

      • Type: Plenary
      • How do astronomical methods make it possible to identify celestial objectsand to calculate dates and times for night-sky paintings by Vincent van Gogh and J. M. W. Turner? When did Claude Monet witness a dramatic sunset on the Normandy coast? Why is there a blood-red sky in Edvard Munch's The Scream? On what dates did Ansel Adams create his moonrise photographs in Yosemite? What spectacular celestial event inspired Walt Whitman to write a poem and Frederic Church to create a painting? Why is a bright star described in Act 1, Scene 1, of Hamlet? On what date did the Roman fleet commanded by Julius Caesar invade Britain? To answer questions like these, faculty and students from Texas State University have made research trips to the relevant sites and have published a series of articles over the last two decades, applying physics and astronomy to art, history, and literature.
  • APS Session

      • APS Session - APS Plenary Speakers, Sponsored by the Division of Particles and Fields

      • PL06
      • Tue 07/29, 3:30PM - 5:00PM

      • Type: Plenary
  • David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching

      • Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood, North Carolina State University

      • PL01
      • Mon 07/28, 10:30AM - 12:00PM

      • Type: Plenary
      • Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood In the early 1900's it was not unreasonableto assume that most students who took physics in college were going to go out and maintain pumps and build bridges. In 2014 that's no longer a reasonable assumption. The interesting problems of the 21st century are difficult and complex, and typically involve the intersection of several disciplines. Our students will work on climate change and sustainability, on medicine and cellular biology and ecology, on information security, on the design of wearable computer hardware, on energy production and storage, and on problems we haven't yet thought of. The introductory physics course can support these students by inviting them into the 21st century, building on the insights and paradigm shifts of 20th century physics. The structure of matter and macro-micro connections, the primacy of a small number of fundamental principles, the process of constructing, testing, and extending physical models, and computational modeling that allows students to see how complex behavior can emerge from simple physical rules, should all be central in 21st century introductory physics.
  • Explorations in the Cosmic Frontier: Shedding Light on the Dark?

      • Clem Pryke, University of Minnesota

      • PL08
      • Tue 07/29, 3:30PM - 5:00PM

      • Type: Plenary
      • The last decade has seen an amazing investment in instruments in particle astrophysics. These experiments are exploring the “cosmic frontier” in an effort to find the answers to some of the biggest questions in physics: What is Dark Energy? What is the nature of Dark Matter and what is it going to take to discover it? What is the physics of the high-energy Universe and where do the highest-energy cosmic rays come from? In this round-up of the cosmic frontier, I will review what we are learning about these “big questions” with a focus on some of the progress made in the effort to detect Dark Matter, both with direct detection experiments such as CDMS and indirect detection through the use of very high energy photons observed by VERITAS. Along the way, I will touch on topics such as the characteristics of Nature’s particle accelerators – astrophysical jets emanating from supermassive black holes at the centers of active galaxies and how we can use their emissions as probes of the existence of a specific Dark-Matter candidate - Axion-like particles.
  • Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT

      • Paul (Joe) Heafner, Dyan Jones, Martha Lietz, and Evelyn Restivo

      • PL03
      • Mon 07/28, 10:30AM - 12:00PM

      • Type: Plenary
  • Paul W. Zitzewitz Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Award

      • Bradford Hill, Southridge High School, Beaverton, OR

      • PL02
      • Mon 07/28, 10:30AM - 12:00PM

      • Type: Plenary
      • Cultivating an understanding of physics is an important profession. Being part of young peoples’ lives as they come to discover the beauty of physics is compelling. Nurturing the habits of mind of a scientist is consistently energizing and meaningful. Our youth need experiences with critical thinking across the curriculum, but for me it is joy to achieve part of this through physics. Especially, as in my mind, high school level physics is in a unique position to bring students from a place of wild guessing to evidence-based argumentation in 90 minutes or less numerous times a semester. Physics, especially with an engineering and mathematical focus, has both “quantity and quality” opportunities to have students make data-driven decisions and to experience science. I first invite my students in with the question: “How do we find and use patterns in nature to predict the future and understand the past?” and then the search for patterns begins.
  • Physics at the CERN Large Hadron Collider, the Past, the Present and the Future

      • Roger Rusack, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota

      • PL07
      • Tue 07/29, 3:30PM - 5:00PM

      • Type: Plenary
      • Physicists working at the Energy Frontier using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN announced last year the observation of the Higgs boson at 125.6 GeV. I will tell a small part of story of what we did to be able to make that announcement and discuss what is happening now at the LHC as we get ready to start data taking at double the collision energy. I will also speak about the plans for the future and possibilities that lie ahead.
  • Robert A. Millikan Medal - Students of Physics: Listeners, Observers, or Collaborative Participants?

      • Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

      • PL10
      • Wed 07/30, 10:30AM - 11:30AM

      • Type: Plenary
      • Scientists and especially physicists have their own, unique ways of developing new knowledge, solving new problems, and communicating about what they do. These form a set of cultural norms and practices that we call
  • The Turn of the Screw: A Chilling Ghost Story of Nature's Most Unusual Fermion

      • Dan Cronin-Hennessy, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota

      • PL09
      • Tue 07/29, 3:30PM - 5:00PM

      • Type: Plenary
      • The Standard Model of particle physics is arguably the most successful theory ever and yet we still do not have a proper theory of flavor. Working at the Intensity Frontier, the flavor oscillations of neutrinos provide crucial information concerning mass, mixing, and the matter/anti-matter asymmetry of our Universe. I will review several of the most active areas of particle physics that exploit the neutrinos unique properties in order to advance our knowledge of fundamental laws.
  • The Uncanny Physics of Superhero Comic Books

      • James Kakalios, School of Physics and Astronomy, The Univeristy of Minnesota

      • PL04
      • Mon 07/28, 7:30PM - 8:30PM

      • Type: Plenary
      • In 2001 I created a Freshman Seminar class at the University of Minnesota entitled: “Everything I Know About Science I Learned from Reading Comic Books.” This is a real physics class that covers topics from Isaac Newton to the transistor, but there’s not an inclined plane or pulley in sight. Rather, ALL the examples come from superhero comic books, and as much as possible, those cases where the superheroes get their physics right!

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