Zone 18 Spring Meeting

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SPS Zone Meeting

March 3, 2017 to March 4, 2017

Merced, CA

Meeting host:

Society of Physics Students


William Delmas

SPS Chapter:

Opening Remarks:

This year, the UC Merced SPS Chapter had the pleasure of hosting the annual Zone 18 meeting.  The event took place on the 3rd and 4th of March and was attended by a variety of schools up and down California.  The talks given by the professors were inspiring, the graduate school workshop was informative and Physics jeopardy was a down right good time. The following is a Logistical and Financial summary of the event.  Attached at the end of the document are the sign in sheets for the events and the copy of all receipts. 

Summary of the Event:

  The itinerary of the event on Friday March 3rd 2017 is as follows: a welcome lunch and registration from 1-3pm, a Physics talk with speaker Tom Ramos with the focus “A History of LLNL Weapons Program” from 3-4pm, lab tours of the Castle Research Laboratory with a focus on “Gravitational Waves” and the on campus laboratory with a focus on “Quantum Dots” from 4- 6pm, and then unstructured fun to conclude the night from 6-10 pm.

The itinerary for Saturday March 4th 2017 is as follows: breakfast from 9- 10:30am; Physics Talk #2 with Speaker Roland Winston with a focus on Solar Energy; pizza lunch from 12:30- 1:30pm; a talk on What SPS Can Do for You from 1:30-2pm; a Graduate School Panel from 2-3pm; Physics Jeopardy from 3-4pm; Closing Remarks from 4-4:30pm.

 The welcome lunch was catered by Subway and was an opportunity for the undergraduates, graduate students, and professors in attendance to mingle and get to know one another.  Following the welcome lunch, Tom Ramos, an esteemed scientist for Laurence Livermore National Labs (LLNL) gave a talk that focused on the history of the LLNL weapons program and its impact on WW2 and the Cold War. The talk was informative and awe-inspiring and encouraged the students in attendance to pursue degrees in Physics and the other sciences.  After the talk the students had a choice of touring Dr. Raymond Chiao’s Research Laboratory which focuses on Gravitational Wave Detection and Transition or Dr. Michael Sheibner’s Lab which focuses on understanding the interactions between quantum dot systems.  During the unstructured fun portion of the evening, students met at a local SPS member’s house for pizza and fun!  

The second day of the event began with a breakfast of muffins, bagels, fruit, orange juice, and of course, coffee.  Many people finished their breakfast early so a tour of the UCM campus was given.  The first scheduled activity of the day was the talk given by Dr. Roland Winston about his research in solar accumulators for energy production. After a lunch of Domino’s Pizza, a presentation on how the UC Merced SPS Chapter started and what opportunities the National SPS Organization offers.  We then transitioned into the highly anticipated Graduate School Panel, where 8 graduate students told us about their journeys to and answered questions from attendants. Some of the questions discussed were, “How do you know which graduate school is right for you?” and “How large a factor should the location play into your decision?”. The activity was eye-opening and informative for all. We ended the event on a fun note by playing Physics Jeopardy.  The students were split into 3 groups that competed for fabulous knickknack prizes.  The game tested everyone’s basic knowledge of physics and was a fun way to end the evening.

Physics talk with speaker Tom Ramos with the focus “A History of LLNL Weapons Program”

Graduate School Panel

Students from CSU Stanislaus