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Cleveland State University Hosts SPS Zone 7 Meeting

By Stephanie Sears, Brenna Giacherio & Mark Little, Hope College

Photo Gallery


On October 14-15 of this year the zone 7 zone meeting was held at Cleveland State University in conjunction with the Ohio section of the American Physical Society and the Ohio Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. The conference opened on Friday with invited and contributed talks. The first official SPS event was “Pizza and a Movie” featuring the NOVA movie “E = mc2 - Einstein and the World’s Most Famous Equation”. The students “…thought the movie was quite interesting and educational with occasional humorous moments that made it all the more entertaining.”

On Saturday, there were several parallel sessions of contributed talks, including an SPS session. SPS student members from Eastern Michigan University and Otterbein College presented talks on undergraduate research projects they had conducted. The highlight of the conference were invited papers given by researchers in the area of statistical physics, as well as the invited paper "The Flying Circus of Physics" by Jearl Walker from Cleveland State University; a presentation of physics demonstrations from the everyday world. "The fluid effects demonstrated by tea leaves were cool," said Joshua Miller, a graduate student from West Virginia University, "and the part where he dipped his fingers in molten lead to demonstrate the Leidenfrost effect was awesome." The demonstration of the bed of nails was well received.

List of SPS events [with attendance numbers]:

Friday, October 14, 2005:
5:30 - 7:30: SPS Zone 7 - Pizza and a Movie

NOVA - E=mc2: Einstein and the World’s Most Famous Equation

Number of attendees: ~40

Saturday, October 15:
11:00 - 11:45: Student Contributed Session - SPS Zone 7

S1: Organic Solar Cells based on a Single Molecule Structure.
      Colin Gurganus, Eastern Michigan University
S2: Renormalization of Hamiltonians Using a Novel Similarity Scheme.
      Kellen Murphy, Otterbein College
S3: Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Study at UC-Davis.
      Stephanie Sears, Eastern Michigan University

Number of attendees: ~25

12:00 - 12:45 Jearl Walker, Cleveland State University
The Flying Circus of Physics, 37 years, start to finish

Abstract: The Flying Circus of Physics is a project that I began in graduate school---to collect real-world and curious examples of physics. The project grew into a book that has been in print for 30 years and that has been translated into 10 other languages. A new edition will be published in June. In the talk I shall explain how The Flying Circus got started and describe some of its most popular features.

Number of attendees: ~120

1:30 - 3:00 Tour of the Science Museum
Number of attendees: ~12


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