AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

December 2007

From the Editors
Published December 18, 2007

Among the highlights in this issue: Results of the election, major award recipients announced, guest commentaries from Alex Dickison and Toufic Hakim, and several important details about the Winter Meeting. We hope you find AAPT NEWS useful and we welcome your feedback: Please write and tell us.

Action Items and Notable Dates

News for Members

AAPT Election Results
Congratulations to the new AAPT Executive Board members:
  • Vice President-Elect: David M. Cook, Lawrence University
  • Treasurer-Elect: Paul Zitzewitz, University of Michigan
  • At-Large Member-High School-Elect: Elizabeth B. Chesick, The Baldwin School, PA
The new board members will begin their terms at the Winter Meeting in January.

Award Recipients

AAPT has announced that Vera Rubin, Mildred Dresselhaus, and Judy Franz have won the Richtmyer Memorial Award and the Oersted and Phillips Medals, respectively. Read the press releases here:

Scherr and Dancy Elected to PERLOC
Rachel Scherr and Melissa Dancy have been elected to the Physics Education Research Leadership and Organizing Council. They will each serve a three-year term. More details on PERLOC available here:

Fraknoi Named Professor of the Year
AAPT member and Foothill College Astronomy Instructor Andrew Fraknoi has been named the 2007 California Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE). Read the press release here:

Guest Commentary
Enriching the Health of Physics Education
By Alex Dickison

Executive Officer's Commentary
A Letter to Members

Watch for New Enhancements Coming to AAPT.org
After the new year, the AAPT website will feature an improved member logon process; new, easier-to-complete forms; and host of other enhancements to streamline how you do business with AAPT. Watch the AAPT home page for more details coming soon.

Update or Renew Your Membership

Is your AAPT membership up to date or about to expire? Login to your member account page to verify your current information or renew your membership and ensure that your benefits, services, and peer-reviewed academic journals continue uninterrupted. For further information, contact AAPT Membership & Stewardship by e-mail at membership@aapt.org or at (301) 209-3333.

AAPT Annual Review
The 2006-2007 Annual Review has mailed to all members. Visit the companion site for links mentioned in the report. We're also seeking your feedback, send it to Future@aapt.org.

Nanobowl Video Contest: Win World's Smallest Trophy!
You could win the smallest trophy ever made—and $1,000 of (normal sized) cash—in the PhysicsCentral Nano Bowl Video Contest. For more details, visit:

Legislative Action Center
Visit the Legislative Action Center and make your voice heard.

Phys. Rev. Focus: Current Research Presented for Students
Physical Review Focus provides student-friendly write-ups of  newly published Physical Review articles. Stories often draw on textbook physics concepts. You can sign up for weekly e-mail updates or the RSS feed. Published by APS. Visit:

Publish Your News Here
Have a news item you'd like to share with the AAPT membership in the November issue? Be sure to include a brief overview and a URL (website address) where readers can go for more information and send it by January 9 to news@aapt.org.

News from the Central Office

AAPT Job Fair in Baltimore
Whether you're looking for the ideal candidate or ready to take the next step in your career, the AAPT Job Fair is the place to be. This event takes place January 21-22, at the 2008 AAPT Winter Meeting. For more information, contact Alix Brice at aapt-jobs@aapt.org or call (301) 209-3187.

U.S. Physics Team Contest
There is still time for you register your students for the 2008 U.S. Physics Team Contest. For more details and to register, visit:

Physics Bowl Academic Coordinator Sought
Review the position description here:

Fermi DVD

AAPT is offering a new Enrico Fermi DVD with rare footage of the Nobel Prize winner and his colleagues. Read more about this exciting new offering here:

Absolute Zero to Air in January
As a National Partner for Absolute Zero, we are very pleased to announce that this program will premiere on PBS in January 2008 as part of the award-winning science series NOVA. It will also be screened for Winter Meeting attendees in Baltimore on January 23. Watch a preview here:
Read complete program details and see the broadcast dates here:

Send Us Your Ideas and Feedback
Have a suggestion or criticism that you'd like AAPT leadership to hear? Send an email to Future@aapt.org.

Upcoming Conferences, Meetings, Symposiums, and Events

2008 AAPT Winter Meeting Registration
Registration for the Baltimore meeting (January 19-23) is open and the advance deadline is Wednesday, January 2. To register visit:

Program Guide for Baltimore Meeting
All attendees of the 2008 Winter Meeting will receive the Program Guide (containing all session and workshop abstracts) in the mail 1-2 weeks before the meeting. Later this month, a PDF of the guide will be available for download. Members who are not attending the meeting may request a printout of the guide by sending an email to NEWS@aapt.org by January 10th.
AAPT's interactive program scheduler and itinerary builder is now online here:

Hotel Registration for the Baltimore Meeting

Hotel registration remains open for the 2008 AAPT Winter Meeting. Deadline to secure the special group rate of $139 per night is December 28 (extended). After the 28th, the rates will be higher based on availability. For more information, visit:

Winter Meeting Exhibit Space Going Fast
If you'd like to bring attention to your organization at the AAPT Winter Meeting in Baltimore this January, consider reserving booth space in the exhibit hall! For more information, please contact Laura Headrick at 301-209-3626 or lheadrick@aapt.org.
Or, visit: http://www.aapt.org/events/wm2008/exhibitor-information.cfm

AAPT Annual Meetings: Save the Dates

  • Winter 2008, Jan 19-23 (Baltimore, MD)
  • Summer 2008, July 19-23 (Edmonton, Alberta); U.S. Citizens: Passports will be required for travel to Canada.
  • Winter 2009 w/AAAS, Feb 12-16 (Chicago, IL)
  • Summer 2009, Dates TBD (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Winter 2010 w/APS, Feb 11-18 (Washington, DC)

ASABE Multi-Media Competition for High School Students
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineer's is now excepting entries for a multi-media competition. Participants must register by January 25th and submit their entries by February 8, 2008. For more information visit:

International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-on Symposium
At this symposium, education and outreach professionals will gather to discuss international, regional, and local programs for the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the astronomical telescope. The symposium is part of the Annual Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and takes place June 2-4, 2008, in St. Louis, MO. For more information, visit:

2008 Gordon Research Conference
Join fellow AAPT and APS members on June 8-13, 2008, at Bryant University, in Smithfield, RI, as physics faculty, physics researchers, and physics education researchers explore the expanding and deepening role of computers in physics research and undergraduate physics instruction. Application deadline for registration is May 18, 2008. For more information, visit:

Activity-Based Physics Faculty Institutes
College/university faculty are invited to attend an NSF-sponsored Activity-Based Physics Faculty Institute. The one-week program is offered twice in 2008 (June 16-20 or 23-27) at Dickinson College. The Institute promotes use of active learning strategies based on physics education research. For more information, visit:

Physics Modeling Workshops
Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh, PA) is presenting a workshop series (beginning on July 7 and July 14, 2008) designed for secondary school teachers interested in bringing a physics modeling approach to their teaching. For more details, contact dliebmann@shadysideacademy.org or visit:

MIT-Harvard Program for Prospective Science Teachers

The MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms is sponsoring a summer program (June 22-August 5, 2008) for undergraduate physics majors who are considering a career in pre-college science teaching. The organizers would appreciate your passing on word to any students you think might be interested. For more visit:

AAPM To Offer Workshop on Teaching Physics
"How We Learn and How We Should Teach Physics” workshop will be offered from July 31 to Aug 3, 2008, in League City, TX. For more details, visit: 

UVA Adds New Physics Degree for Teachers
The Department of Physics at the University of Virginia now offers graduate courses for teachers to earn a Masters of Arts in Physics Education. For more information about the degree and the specific courses, please visit the website:

Recommended Reading

American Journal of Physics
Article of the Month
"Arthur Compton’s 1941 Report on Explosive Fission of U-235: A Look at the Physics,"
B. Cameron Reed
(AJP online subscribers only, PDF)

The Physics Teacher
"Is It More Thrilling to Ride at the Front or the Back of a Roller Coaster?," by Stefano Alberghi, Alessandro Foschi, Giovanni Pezzi, and Fabio Ortolani
(Free, PDF)

Career Center

Looking for the best physics job candidates and job opportunities? The AAPT Career Center is part of the Physics Today Career Network focused on the physics industry and its related disciplines. The network reaches more than 120,000 physicists and other scientists in a broad range of sectors from academia to industry to government and nonprofit organizations. It offers advertisers unmatched exposure and the best buy for their advertising dollar. Visit the online Career Center.


AAPT NEWS is a service to members of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is produced by the AAPT Central Office. It is published monthly on or about the 15th. All issues are archived here. Other stories of significance appear in our Announcements Archive and our archive of Press Releases.

E-mail news items, comments, and suggestions to: news@aapt.org.

Note on External Links
Links to non-AAPT sites are intended as a service to readers interested in AAPT, physics, and education. These links do not reflect an endorsement of any content or product. Also, due to the evolving nature of websites, some external links referenced in the AAPT NEWS may expire over time.