AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers


September 2006

From the Editors

Welcome to the September issue. We are dispensing with our usual kickoff chatter to mention two important items:

1. Pre-Registration for the 2007 Winter Meeting (Joint with AAS) is now open. The meeting takes place Jan. 5-10, 2007, in Seattle, WA. See our meeting page for more information and to register. Please also note that the Abstract Submission Deadline has been extended to October 5th.

2. On Tuesday, September 5, Toufic Hakim, our new Executive Officer joins the staff in College Park, MD. Beginning Tuesday, please visit the homepage for a special message from Dr. Hakim.

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


News Headlines 

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

Video of the Month
IAU General Assembly, August 2006
See Definition of a Planet Discourse, Keynote Speakers, and More

Image of the Month
Metallic Water
From AIP Physics News Graphics

Essay: Planets Askew in the Heavens, and Here on Earth, a Mess
From The New York Times (Free registration)

Newsletter for Teachers: "The Universe in the Classroom"
From The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Death of a Star: Scientists Watch Supernova in Real-Time
From The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)

The Extreme Sport of Origami

From Discover

Physics Wars: String Theory
From Wired

Science: Lost in Space
From Inside Higher Ed

Hurricanes: Tempests in a Greenhouse
From Physics Today

Multiple Choice Makes Better Tests
From The American Physical Society

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Power Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
From Georgia Institute of Technology

Fleeting Genius: Ettore Majorana
From PhysicsWorld

Europe's First Lunar Mission Nears End
From ABC News

Why Thinking "Outside the Box" Is Not So Easy
Commentary from EdWeek.org (Free Registration)

Seeing the World Through Science
From ScienceCareers.org

Nearly Half of States Fail Academic Standards Test
From NSTA News

Ask the Experts: What Are Dark Matter and Dark Energy?
From Scientific American

Mars Dead or Alive

Public Attitudes Toward Public Schools
From PDK/Gallup Poll

Rare Carbon Dioxide "Lake" Found Under the Ocean
From National Geographic News

News from the Executive Office

2006 AAPT/Lexmark High School Photo Contest Winners
The Winners Showcase is now available. Here is the complete list of winners (PDF).

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.

Celebrating 75 Years
This year marks AAPT's 75th anniversary. Visit our anniversary site for
details on this year's continuing special activities and events!

Editors Sought for ComPADRE
ComPADRE is looking for editors for two collections: Upper Division Physics and Introductory Physics.
Recommended Reading 

American Journal of Physics
Article of the Month
"Inference of Magnetospheric Currents from Multipoint Magnetic Field Measurements," James A. Van Allen
(AJP online subscribers only, PDF format)

The Physics Teacher
Article of the Month
"Welcome to AAPT's New Executive Officer," Bernard Khoury
(TPT online subscribers only, PDF format)

Upcoming Meetings & Events 

AAPT Strand Day 2006: Save the Date
Mark your calendar: October 20 at the NSTA Regional Meeting in Omaha, NE. Visit the site for more details.

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

Member News

Obituary: Andria Erzberger
Andria (Andi) Erzberger died August 30 after a long struggle against cancer. Andi was an outstanding high school physics teacher, a 26-year member of AAPT, a founder of the Contemporary Physics Education Project, initiator of the Particle Adventure in her high school classroom, a leader of PTRA, an original leader of QuarkNet, winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 1991, and a recent recipient of AAPT's Distinguished Service Citation. She was always full of enthusiasm and ideas. Her service to the physics community was invaluable. She will be sorely missed by thousands of students and friends.
—Clarence Bakken (and AAPT Staff)

New Member Benefit: Congress Web
Take action and write to your senators and congresspersons in support of increased funding for science education. AAPT makes it easy for you through Congress Web and the Legislative Action Center.

PER-CENTRAL Digital Archive Now Live
The Physics Education Research-Community Enhancing Network for Teaching, Research, and Learning is pleased to announce the launch of its digital archive. Access is free and with an account users can browse through the database, submit resources to be included in the collection, maintain a discussion forum, and create your own personal "filing cabinet" of previously searched items.

Contributions to ComPADRE Sought

ComPADRE and the Physical Sciences Resource Center (PSRC) are looking for good materials that can be added to the collections. To submit materials or register (free) click here.

2007 NCUR/Lancy Initiative: Call for Proposals
The Initiative is designed to provide exceptional undergraduates with the opportunity to do original work in close collaboration with faculty mentors. The program will make grants to institutions only. Please see proposal guidelines here.

Publish Your News Here
Have a news item you'd like to share with the AAPT membership in the October issue? Send it to us by September 22—be sure to include an overview and a URL (website address) where readers can go to for more information: aapt-news@aapt.org
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 Executive Office of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

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.