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MEETING INFORMATION

 

» Meeting Program

On March 3 - 5, 2011, Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, will host the Spring 2011 Joint Meeting of the Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (TSAAPT), the Texas Section of the American Physical Society (TSAPS), and Zone 13 of the Society of Physics Students (SPS). The meeting will feature general sessions on the Frontiers of Physics and Innovations in Physics Teaching. There will be sessions of APS, AAPT, and SPS contributed papers on a wide variety of topics.


MEETING OVERVIEW 
  • On Thursday evening March 3, 2011, registration and a welcoming reception will be held from 6:00-9:00 PM in the Kennedy Auditorium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.
  • The Friday morning plenary session will include a presentation by Dr. G. Fritz Benedict titled "Recent Adventures with the Hubble Space Telescope."  His talk will be followed by Dr. David Lambert who is the director of the McDonald Observatory.
  • Before lunch on Friday, we will have a special plenary session on "Physics Demonstrations."  We invite all meeting attendees to bring their favorite physics demonstration to share with everyone.  This session will be lead by Dr. Walter Trikosko who will present several demonstrations that he and the SFA Physics Department have developed. 
  • The Friday evening banquet presentation is titled "Low Temperature Physics Extravaganza" by Dr. Glenn Agnolet.  "Using simple but exciting demonstrations, we will explore how everyday materials change when cooled to liquid nitrogen temperatures." 
  • Meeting participants will be able to take a tour of the SFA Observatory or watch a Planetarium Show after the banquet on Friday evening.
  • The Saturday morning session will begin with a plenary presentation titled "Radio Tracking Transmitters" by Philip Blackburn - manufacturer of the world's smallest radio transmitters.  These transmitters are primarily used for tracking snakes, birds, and other wildlife.
  • A program of hands-on workshops for physics teachers will be presented during the meeting.  Tentative topics for the workshop strand include energy (conservation, transformations) and magnetism (magnetic fields, magnets, poles).  Exhibitors will display their products/programs in the break area.
 
THURSDAY EVENING

The Society of Physics Students at SFA invite all SPS members and their advisors for a feast and fun on Thursday, March 3rd at 7:00 pm in the Kennedy Auditorium. The "feast and fun" consisting of a free fajita dinner, a movie, and door prizes.  Registration and a welcoming reception will be held from 6:00-9:00 PM in the Kennedy Auditorium (Building 47) on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.  TAAPS and TSAAPT executive officer meetings will take place in rooms 125 and 127 of the Science Building  (Building 62).

FRIDAY EVENTS

On Friday registration will be held from 8-11 am outside of Kennedy Auditorium and from 1-5 pm in room 322 of the Science Building. (Buildings 47 and 62).

The Friday morning plenary session will include a presentation by Dr. G. Fritz Benedict titled "Recent Adventures with the Hubble Space Telescope - Some that Made Headlines, Some that Did Not"

Abstract: "While producing some of the most beautiful and stunning images of our Universe (and I will show you many!), Hubble Space Telescope has also, quietly, done some research you may not have heard much about. We use this most modern of instruments to carry out one of the most ancient activities of astronomers, measuring star positions. With HST we assess the dances of stars and their companions, some of which turn out to be planets. We want to find out if any other planetary systems are like our own?  With HST we detect another star dance, again, tiny circles in the sky, this time caused by the motion of the Earth around the Sun. Obtained for Cepheid variables, those parallaxes provide a yardstick with which to measure the extent of the Universe. I'll end with a brief look at a future that holds the promise of hundred-fold improvement over what we can do today."

Dr. Benedict's talk will be followed by Dr. David Lambert who is the director of the McDonald Observatory.


Physics DemonstrationsBefore lunch on Friday, we will have a special plenary session on "Physics Demonstrations." We invite all meeting attendees to bring their favorite physics demonstration to share with everyone. This session will be lead by Dr. Walter Trikosko who will present several demonstrations that he and the SFA Physics Department have developed.







The Friday evening banquet presentation is titled "Low Temperature Physics Extravaganza" by Dr. Glenn Agnolet. "Discover the intriguing world of low temperature physics. Using simple but exciting demonstrations, we will explore how everyday materials change when cooled to liquid nitrogen temperatures (-320° F).  Racquet balls shatter like glass and rubber becomes hard as nails. A soft metal like lead (Pb) can be made to ring like a bell whereas tin becomes brittle. By evaporation, liquid nitrogen is converted into a solid nitrogen slushy. See oxygen condensed out of the air and learn the color of liquid oxygen and whether it is magnetic. Watch as a supercooled liquid transforms into a solid in seconds. Learn how superconductors can be used to levitate high speed trains."

Meeting participants will be able to take a tour of the SFA Observatory or watch a Planetarium Show after the banquet on Friday evening.







SATURDAY EVENTS

The Saturday morning session will begin with a plenary presentation titled "Radio Tracking Transmitters" by Philip Blackburn - manufacturer of the world's smallest radio transmitters. For many years Mr. Blackburn has been constructing microscopic transmitters that are used by the SFA Biology Department for snakes, birds, and other wildlife. He has become an expert in the construction of these tiny circuits. The smallest transmitter that he has constructed has a mass of 0.25 grams. Comparatively, the mass of a penny is about 2.5 grams. All of the transmitters are soldered by hand using a microscope.

A program of hands-on workshops for physics teachers will be presented during the meeting. Exhibitors will display their products/programs in the break area. 


 
» Pre-registration Deadline: February 25, 2011
» APS Paper and Poster Submission Deadline: February 11, 2011 
» AAPT Paper and Poster Submission Deadline: February 11, 2011 
» SPS Paper and Poster Submission Deadline: February 11, 2011 

On March 3 - 5, 2011, Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, will host the Spring 2011 Joint Meeting of the Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (TSAAPT), the Texas Section of the American Physical Society (TSAPS), and Zone 13 of the Society of Physics Students (SPS). The meeting will feature general sessions on the Frontiers of Physics and Innovations in Physics Teaching. There will be sessions of APS, AAPT, and SPS contributed papers on a wide variety of topics.



SOCIETY PAGES

 

» TSAPS and APS
» TSAAPT and AAPT
» SPS

LOCAL LINKS

 

» Department of Physics and Astronomy at SFA
» Stephen F. Austin State University
» The Azalea Trail
» Visiting Nacogdoches
 

ABOUT NACOGDOCHES

Nacogdoches - the oldest town in Texas - is named for the Caddo family of Indians who once lived in the area. There is a legend that tells of an old Caddo chief who lived near the Sabine River and had twin sons. When the sons grew to manhood and were ready to become leaders of their own tribes, the father sent one brother three days eastward toward the rising sun. The other brother was sent three days toward the setting sun. The twin who settled three days toward the setting sun was Nacogdoches. The other brother, Natchitoches, settled three days to the east in Louisiana. The two brothers remained friendly and the road between the two communities was well traveled. This road became a trade route and the eastern end of the El Camino Real. *

FURTHER INFORMATION, contact:

 

Dan Bruton
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches, TX 75962-3044
Phone: 936-468-3001
FAX: 936-468-4448
astro@sfasu.edu