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[an error occurred while processing this directive] The APS April Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida


Poster Session I was the busiest of the three. If there's anything better than discussing physics with the experts, it's discussing physics while munching on delicious hors d'oeuvres.


Undergraduate Michelle Perry (FSU) discusses the Casten triangle of nuclear structure with Peter Manchev (University of Richmond).


SPS director Gary White (left) talks to Michelle Perry (FSU, center) and Kalina Aleksandrova (University of Richmond, right).


Attendees who signed up early got a chance to eat a complimentary boxed lunch with an expert from one of five different projects. Shown here is Abhay Deshpande (Stony Brook) at the "Spin Structure of the Proton" table.


Attendees used these stations to write to their states' representatives in Congress.


Diandra Leslie-Pelecky (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) gave a special talk on the physics of NASCAR, which was accessible and open to the public.


Photographs and captions by Keenan Pepper, Florida State University. Text by Gary White, Director, Society of Physics Students

APS April Meeting Website
SPS Travel & Reporter Award Recipients

Space weather and undulations of the earth's magneto-tail were hot topics among the SPS members presenting their research in oral and poster sessions at the American Physical Society (APS) April Meeting, April 14-17, 2007, in Jacksonville, FL. The local temperatures, however, were considerably cooler than usual.

Several undergraduates from Florida Institute of Technology used data from polar orbiting satellites and other sources to examine relationships among magnetic substorms, the auroras, and other electromagnetic phenomena. These students joined others at the meeting, presenting their own research and learning about diverse fields such as alternate energy directions, levee failure during hurricane Katrina, and the physics of NASCAR racing.

Other students from the University of Richmond and elsewhere presented work from large-scale nuclear and particle physics experiments (see photos), as well as several smaller, table-top efforts. Among the latter was Robert Barton from SUNY Oneonta, who built an air cannon on the family farm to make videos of the onset of turbulent flow for high-speed projectiles. While his presentation manner was quite staid and professional, his alarmingly pointed mohawk hairstyle added punctuation to the discussion of systematic errors in video-based motion analysis.

Several well-known figures in the physics world took time to attend the meeting, including David Kestenbaum, from National Public Radio, whose physics background served him well as he explained what went wrong when the 17th Street Canal levee failed during hurricane Katrina, and Ray Orbach, Science Undersecretary for the Department of Energy, who spoke on transformational science for energy.

Recent Nobel Prize winners John Mather and George Smoot packed the lecture hall as they told of their work on the cosmic microwave background, while condensed matter physicist Diandra Leslie-Pelecky told of her detour into the world of NASCAR in a well-received public lecture. Interspersed among these were many fascinating sessions on energy (with Nobelist Steven Chu), black holes, dark matter, dark energy, global warming, string theory and warped dimensions (with Lisa Randall).

There is no doubt that it is an exciting time to be a physicist!

Related Links

• APS Website

• First SPS Oral Session

• Second SPS Oral Session


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