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WM18 Program

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

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Plenaries

  • JD Jackson Award

      • JD Jackson Award

      • PL01
      • Sun 01/07, 7:30PM - 8:30PM
      • Awardee: Mehran Kardar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Type: Plenary
      • Force from non-equilibrium fluctuations in QED and Active Matter - The pressure of a gas, the van der Waals attraction between molecules, and the Casimir force in quantum electrodynamic (QED) are classical examples of forces resulting from equilibrium (thermal or quantum) fluctuations. Current research on “Active Matter” studies collective behaviors of large groups of self-driven entities (living or artificial), whose random motions superficially resemble thermally fluctuating particles. However, the absence of time reversal symmetry leads to unusual phenomena such as directed (ratchet) forces, and a pressure that depends on the shape and structure of the confining wall. I discuss if long-range forces are generated due to conservation laws in such non-equilibrium particulate matter. Some manifestations of QED fluctuations out of thermal equilibrium are well-known, as in the Stefan-Boltzmann laws of radiation pressure and heat transfer. These laws, however, acquire non-trivial twists in the near-field regime of sub-micron separations, and in the proximity of moving surfaces. I will discuss surprising consequences for heat transfer, and for dissipation in vacuum.
  • NSHP Plenary Speaker - Gabriela González, Louisiana State University, for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration

      • NSHP Plenary Speaker - Gabriela González, Louisiana State University, for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration

      • PL02
      • Mon 01/08, 9:30AM - 10:30AM
      • Presider: Mel Sabella
      • Type: Plenary
      • Gravitational-wave Astronomy - The recent discoveries of gravitational waves from mergers of black holes and neutron stars have opened a new era of astronomy, with very bright prospects for the future. We will describe the details of the latest discoveries of mergers of binary black hole systems, and the observation of a merger of neutron stars by LIGO and Virgo detectors that was followed up by many electromagnetic observations.
  • AIP Science Communications Awards

      • AIP Science Communications Awards

      • PL03
      • Mon 01/08, 10:30AM - 11:00AM
      • Awardees: Paula Ayer, Greystone Books
        Noah Baker
      • Type: Plenary
      • The Science Communication Awards of the American Institute of Physics wereestablished in the 1960s to recognize some of the best science writing of the previous year. Entries aim to improve the general public's appreciation of the physical sciences, astronomy, math and related science fields. Entries are judged by a committee of scientists and journalists, and winning authors receive a prize of $3,000, an engraved Windsor chair, and a certificate of recognition. Paula Ayer is the winner of the Writing for Children Award. Paula Ayer is an editor at Greystone Books and an accomplished translator and award-winning author of four books for both teens and children. She grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and studied at the University of Calgary and Simon Fraser University. Ayer now resides in Vancouver with her husband and daughter. Noah Baker is the winner of the Broadcast and New Media Award.
  • AIP Panel on Communicating Science to the Public

      • AIP Panel on Communicating Science to the Public

      • PL04
      • Mon 01/08, 12:30PM - 2:00PM
      • Presider: Jason Bardi
      • Type: Plenary
      • A panel discussion focused on challenges and tips for communicating science to the public: Come hear stories from the field, tips on breaking into the publishing industry, and what can happen behind the book or camera. Participants: Paula Ayer, Greystone Books; Noah Baker, Nature and Scientific American; Antonia Banyard, Author; Don Lincoln, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago
  • Plenary Two - Lynne Talley, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

      • Plenary Two - Lynne Talley, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

      • PL05
      • Mon 01/08, 2:00PM - 3:00PM
      • Presider: Mel Sabella
      • Type: Plenary
  • Andrew Gemant Award

      • Andrew Gemant Award

      • PL06
      • Mon 01/08, 6:30PM - 8:00PM
      • Awardee: Don Lincoln, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
      • Type: Plenary
      • The Andrew Gemant Award recognizes the accomplishments of a person who hasmade significant contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic dimension of physics given annually. The award is made possible by a bequest of Andrew Gemant to the American Institute of Physics. Winner: Don Lincoln - Don Lincoln is a senior scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago, where, in addition to conducting research, he hosts dozens of particle physics videos for Fermilab’s YouTube channel, the most popular of which has almost 3 million views. God’s Thoughts: The Modern Search for a Theory of Everything - The ultimate goal of physics is to invent a theory of everything, which explains all of creation from first principles – with extra credit if the theory’s equation can fit on a t-shirt. In popularized science literature, one encounters speculative theories that might fit the bill…ideas like superstrings, or an envisioned unification of known forces into a single, underlying force. Other authors imagine the wedding of the standard model of the quantum realm with the cosmic realm of Einstein’s general relativity. However, physics is an empirical science. Proposals need verification and research needs a credible path forward. And the energy scale at which a theory of everything is imagined to reign is fifteen orders of magnitude higher than can currently be tested in the laboratory. This is an ambitious goal to be sure and the next step is not at all clear. In this lecture, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln will sketch out a realistic roadmap: where we’ve come and where we still must go. He will give you a realistic sense of what strides the research community is taking on this grandest of scientific journeys. AAPT has arranged for buses that will shuttle guests to and from the event.
  • Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award

      • Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award

      • PL07
      • Tue 01/09, 10:30AM - 11:30AM
      • Awardee: Mark Beck, Whitman College
      • Type: Plenary
      • Preparing our Students for Quantum 2.0 - The first quantum revolution (Quantum 1.0) changed the way we think about the physical world, and allowed us to explain the behavior of atoms, molecules, solids and more. It also brought about new technologies, such as those used in the microelectronics industry. Now, however, we have unprecedented control over quantum systems. We can not only explain how things work, but we can design and manufacture, on an atomic scale, systems that have properties that we desire. We can create entangled particles that are separated by long distances, and use them to teleport information from one place to another. We are developing quantum computers that can perform certain tasks exponentially faster than any classical computer. These sorts of technologies are driving the second quantum revolution (Quantum 2.0). This presents a fantastic opportunity for physicists, not only to help drive this technological revolution, but possibly also to help us better understand the nature of quantum mechanics itself. As physics educators we must prepare our students to be leaders in this revolution, and I will describe some ways that I believe we can go about this.
  • Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service/AAPT Fellows/Presidential Transfer

      • Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service/AAPT Fellows/Presidential Transfer

      • PL08
      • Tue 01/09, 11:30AM - 12:00PM
      • Presider: Janelle M. Bailey
      • Type: Plenary
      • DSCs— Jon Anderson Nancy Easterly Mary Ann Klassen Dan Schroeder Steve Spicklemire Fellows— Tim Duman Randall Knight Laureen (Laurie) Reed Carl Rutledge Toni Sauncy Steve Spicklemire Tim Stelzer Paul Tipler Barbara Whitten
  • Oersted Medal

      • Oersted Medal

      • PL09
      • Tue 01/09, 12:00PM - 1:00PM
      • Awardee: Barbara Whitten, Colorado College
      • Type: Plenary
      • The Value of Diversity in Physics - In December of 2015, during discussionof an affirmative action case, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts asked, “"What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?" While it is difficult to know what Justice Roberts had in mind, we suggest that he believed that there is not a perspective that a minority student brings because “physics is physics, whoever you are.” Many physicists might agree with Justice Roberts, believing that the laws of physics are universal, so the makeup of the physics community should not have an effect on the physics we create. I argue that Justice Roberts is wrong; that minority and women students do bring a new and interesting perspective to physics class, and to careers in physics. And that the physics we create will be better—more reliable, more authentic, and more creative—when we have a more diverse physics community. I will support this argument with anecdotes and statistical evidence.

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