AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers


November 2006

From the Editors

As you may have noticed, the NEWS is being published later this month. We hope that you'll agree it's for a good reason: there is much exciting, important, and timely news to share with you. Specifically, please see the Member News Section. Future issues of the AAPT NEWS will be going live between the 10th and 15th of each month. Thanks for reading and have a great November!

If you have a news item or feedback for the AAPT NEWS: Please write and tell us.


Member News

National Election Results
We are pleased to announce the results of last month's vote:

  • Vice President: Alexander K. Dickison, Seminole Community College, Sanford FL.
  • Secretary: Steven Iona, University of Denver, CO.
  • Four-Year College Representative: Gordon P. Ramsey, Loyola University Chicago, IL.
Look for additional details coming soon.

October Board Meeting Summary
The AAPT Executive Board met October 28-29 and passed more than a dozen initiatives. President Ken Heller summarizes the meeting in this memorandum to members. For a specific list of the actions, please see this memo from Mary Beth Monroe, Secretary.

Planning Action Group Summary
The AAPT Planning Action Group (PAG) also met October 28-29. Executive Officer Toufic Hakim has this summary of their session.

A Stronger AAPT—From Teachers to Teaching
This letter to the membership (sent via e-mail on Nov. 6) is a companion piece to Ken Heller's Board summary above. A PDF is available here.

Obituary: Mark McDermott
Dr. Mark N. McDermott, former Chair of Physics at the University of Washington, Seattle, died Nov. 4 from complications related to ALS. "The passing of Professor McDermott is a loss not only for the University of Washington, but to the physics community for which he was a great friend and benefactor. On behalf of the entire Association I send my condolences to Lillian and his entire family," said Toufic Hakim, AAPT Executive Officer. Dr. McDermott's obituary is online here.

"Physics To Go" Redesigned
Physics To Go is an outreach website—part of the ComPADRE collection—that is valuable for both physics teachers and students. Recently redesigned, it now incorporates two images in the categories "Physics in Your World" and "From Physics Research." Physics To Go is also a digital library in informal physics learning, with about 300 sites in the collection at this time.

Research Experience for Teachers and Undergraduates Added to ComPADRE
Two new segments have been added: Research Experience for Teachers and Research Experience for Undergraduates.

AAAS Resource Directory of Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities, 4th Ed.
Individuals with disabilities who hold graduate or undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics are invited to participate in this prestigious Resource Directory to be published in the spring of 2007. The directory will available upon request in print and CD-ROM formats. The deadline is March 15, 2007. For more information about the project, visit the web site or e-mail Tesa Leon (or call 202-326-6582).

Publish Your News Here
Have a news item you'd like to share with the AAPT membership in the November issue? Send it to us by December 5—be sure to include a brief overview and a URL (website address) where readers can go to for more information: aapt-news@aapt.org
Science and Education News

A selection of recent stories of interest to our members.*

U.S. Science Educators Happy Over Nobel Sweep
From USAToday.com

Expedition to Inner Space: The Hunt for Higgs Boson
From PhysicsWeb.org

Brand New Substance Created from Water
From NewScientist.com

Podcast of the Month
Rockets Away!
Media Interview with Team America Rocketry Challenge Manager Allison Harvey
From AIA and TARC (MP3, 12.1 MB)

Video of the Month

A Death in the Solar System
From Discover.com (Abstract)

Minority Enrollment in College Still Lagging
From USAToday.com

Physicists: New NBA Ball Performs Differently
From Washingtonpost.com

Theory in Particle Physics: Theological Speculation Versus Practical Knowledge
From PhysicsToday.org

The Martial Art of Scientific Publication
From AAS Career Services

The Dark Ages of the Universe
From ScientificAmerican.com

Monster of the Milky Way

The Strange Rumbling That Drives People Insane
From Discover.com

Putting Hydrogen on Ice
From ScienceNOW Daily News

Fastest Plasma Waves Captured on Film
From ScienceDaily

Scientists Endorse Candidate Over Teaching of Evolution
From The New York Times (Free Registration)

Song of the Month! (Really!)
Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore
From SongRamp

Recommended Reading 

American Journal of Physics
Article of the Month
"A Transmission Electron Microscope for Lecture Demonstrations," by J. A. Panitz and Gertrude Rempfer
(AJP online subscribers only, PDF format)

The Physics Teacher
Article of the Month
"An Atmospheric Pressure Ping-Pong 'Ballometer,'" by Alexander Kazachkov, Dmitriy Kryuchkov, Courtney Willis, and John C. Moore
(Free, PDF format)

News from the National Office

Five-Year Review of the American Journal of Physics
A committee has been formed to conduct the regularly scheduled five-year review of AJP. The committee is Ruth Howes, Marquette University (chair); James Cederberg, St. Olaf College; June Matthews, MIT; and Thomas Olsen, Lewis and Clark College. The committee seeks input from readers, contributors, and other individuals who use this journal (published by AAPT). We’d also like to hear from those of you who do not regularly read AJP so we can learn more. For specifics on AJP, including its mission and scope visit the website. Please send your comments on the content, operations, and/or other aspects of AJP to the committee at ruth.howes@marquette.edu.

The Physics Teacher
Archive Now Back to 1963
The entire archive of TPT issues from 1963 to today is now online. This new search feature is available everyone. Access to articles is limited to online subscribers only.

Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold: AAPT Joins on as National Partner
AAPT is supporting this upcoming PBS television special and teaching guide.
Visit the campaign site for more details.

Upcoming Conferences, Meetings, Symposiums, and Events 

AAPT 2007 Winter Meeting: Save the Dates
Begin your planning now by visiting the Winter Meeting page.

Team America Rocketry Challenge
Contestant applications are now available for the 2007 Rocketry Challenge. The application deadline has been extended to November 30. The Challenge takes place May 19, 2007 in The Plains, VA. AAPT is the Education Partner. For more details, and to enter, visit the Team America site.

2007 NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium
This Symposium takes place January 5-6 concurrent with the AAPT/AAS Joint Winter Meeting in Seattle. The symposium will consist of a keynote talk, talks by AAPFs on their research and education projects, discussion panels on (1) new  directions in undergraduate education in astronomy, (2) teaching the night sky in the modern world, and (3) making the transition from a postdoc to a career position, as well as an invited talk on astronomy education research. This is an AAS-sponsored event and AAPT members are invited to attend. For more specifics, please visit the website.

Activity-Based Physics Faculty Institutes
Are you interested in increasing your students' understanding of the physical world? Two-year college, four-year college and university faculty are invited to attend one of the NSF-sponsored Activity Based Physics Faculty Institutes to be held at the University of Oregon in June 2007 and at Dickinson College in June 2008. For more information and an application, please visit the website.

International Workshop on Historic Scientific Instrument Collections: First Announcement
The University of Mississippi will host the second Scientific Instrument Collections in the University, or SICU2, workshop June 21-24, 2007. This workshop aims to solidify the foundation for finding, describing, organizing, preserving, and using the vast resource of historic instrument collections available in academic institutions worldwide. SICU2 is sponsored by the Scientific Instrument Commission of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and by the University of Mississippi, with funding from the National Science Foundation. Visit the website for more details.

Cosmos in the Classroom 2007
This three-day, hands-on symposium on teaching astronomy to non-science majors, will be held August 3-5, 2007, at Pomona College in Southern California. The meeting is sponsored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, with co-sponsorship by a range of astronomical and educational organizations. For updated information and to get on the mailing list for the meeting, visit this website.

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.

About the AAPT News

The AAPT NEWS is a service to our members and is produced by the National Office of the American Association of Physics Teachers. It is published monthly on or about the 15th.

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

* 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.