Making Waves and Breaking Boundaries

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Making Waves and Breaking Boundaries


Steve Feller, Co-Chair of PhysCon 2019

Rhode Island is officially known as the Ocean State. That is appropriate for the nation’s smallest state, one that has over 400 miles of beach but is only 37 miles wide, east to west. PhysCon 2019 is almost ready to make waves in Providence, the state capital.

When most people think of Rhode Island, they imagine salty air, the sounds of the waves, sandcastles, beach food, seaweed, and gulls squawking. But from now on, you should also think of CERN, LIGO, neutron stars, the cutting-edge labs at MIT, Brown, and Harvard, the world-class facilities at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Naval Submarine Base New London, hands-on workshops, engaging demos, and all of the camaraderie we know happens at our fantastic conferences. All this and more awaits you at PhysCon 2019.

The theme of the November 2019 conference, Making Waves and Breaking Boundaries, is a perfect play on words. Besides conjuring the Ocean State, “making waves” has a wonderful connection to physics. Think of light, sound, X-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, electron diffraction, MRI, refraction, telescopes, optical and electron microscopes, interference, de Broglie waves, earthquakes, DNA, radar, sonar, RNA, standing waves, music, and holograms. The list could go on.

Breaking boundaries is exactly what we like to do in physics. What physicist doesn’t dream of challenging paradigms, inventing new techniques, or discovering novel materials? We live in one of the most active periods in the history of physics, and breaking boundaries is possible for any physicist, no matter what field you specialize in.

Please join us in Providence. In the pages that follow, you’ll learn more about our plenary speakers and get a sneak peek at some of the highlight events and activities for PhysCon 2019. You’ll also find information about how you can and should start fundraising now to make the trip to Providence financially possible for as many students as possible. We look forward to seeing you at PhysCon 2019, November 14–16!The author and his spouse enjoying a beach vacation.  Photo courtesy of Steve Feller.

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