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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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CH01:

Do Physics Best-Sellers Sell Physics Short?
  Location: SS Ballroom F
  Date: Monday, Aug.1
  Time: 6:30 PM -6:40 PM
  Author: Craig Wiegert, University of Georgia
706-542-4023, wiegert@physast.uga.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: There are many examples of non-technical physics and astronomy books that top the charts on Amazon and make it to the New York Times best-seller list. The most popular books often explore mind-bending topics like string theory, general relativity, and cosmology. While these books certainly generate excitement and fascination with physics among the general public---and future students---their prominence has the unfortunate side effect of misrepresenting the discipline as a whole. I'll discuss the sometimes unrealistic perceptions that our beginning college physics majors have about areas of research in physics and astronomy, and what we're doing to modify those perceptions without (hopefully!) diminishing students' interest in the field.
  Footnotes: None
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