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minutes of April 28, 2007 meeting

Physics Theorynet meeting, 28 Apr 2007
Room 218 DA, Northeastern University, Boston

minutes/action items:


Participating Teachers:
  Rick Dower, Roxbury Latin School
  Scott Goelzer, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (NH)
  Michael Hirsh, Needham H.S.
  Jesus Hernandez, Lawrence H.S.
  Nick Nicastro, Wachusett Regional High School, Holden
  Farhad Riahi, Commonwealth School of Boston
Participating Theorists:
  Albion Lawrence, Brandeis
  Brent Nelson, Northeastern
  Ken Olum, Tufts
  Tomasz Taylor, Northeastern

Fred Cooper, NSF
Mike Wadness, Medford H.S.
Per Berglund, University of New Hampshire
Emanuel (Ami) Katz, Boston University (newborn baby: congratulations!)
Jose Juan Blanco-Pillado, Tufts (newborn baby: congratulations!)

1. Introductions: We welcome new participant, Nick Nicastro from Wachusett 
Regional High School, Holden, who is also the President of the New England 
Section of American Association of Physics Teachers. For more than 20 
Nick has taught at Wachusett R.H.S., where he developed a very interesting 
course on Topics in Modern Physics. Nick is familiar with high energy 
and cosmology: he spent the summer of 2001 at CERN and is a regular 
participant of KITP (Santa Barbara, CA) teachers' conferences. He 
them as very inspiring events where teachers' can hear first-hand reports 
from Nobel Prize winners and celebrities like Stephen Hawking about the 
recent cutting edge research. See 
http://www.kitp.ucsb.edu/activities/teachers/  for more info.

2. Update on high-school visits since last meeting in February 2007:

-Roxbury Latin (Rick Dower) Brent Nelson revisited Rick's classes --in 
case, we can safely say "at students' request", based on the survey after 
first visit. He spent whole day (4 periods) talking about LHC, strings, 
answering students' questions.
-Commonwealth School of Boston (Farhad Riahi) Per Berglund made two 
presentations, in a room packed with seniors and all students who attended 
this special event with the permission of their teachers. One student took 
very nice photographs (I could see some of Per's slides!) -- we will use 
in the flyer.  The next person to visit Commonwealth will be Ami Katz, 
in May. 
-Medford (Mike Wadness): -- [after the meeting] Jose Juan Blanco-Pillado 
is the new faculty member at Tufts, visited Medford H.S. According to 
"they (students) thought you (Jose) were great". After the visit, Mike ran 
survey, with one questions asking "What the students were surprised by, 
didn’t know already, or found interesting". Indeed, there were many things 
this list:
Scale of universe
Data that supported big bang and expanding universe
How Einstein could have predicted the big bang
Isotropic and homogenous
Picture showing huge number of galaxies
Comp. Simulations
String theory applied to cosmology
How much was actually known about the universe
Radiation can still be detected from the big bang
Didn’t know what cosmology was until the talk
Jose could not make to our meeting this time (newborn baby -- 
congratulations!), but we are looking forward to meeting him next time.
-Needham H.S. (Michael Hirsh) Albion visited Michael's classes -- here, my 
memory ran short of details, but I am sure that it went very well.

3. Flyer -- We are in process of collecting photographs for the flyer. 
make sure to take as many as possible. We also need "students' and 
comments" -- I've got some from Farhad, but we need more...
Jesus Hernandez promised to help Tom in putting it all together. 
4. Equipment: This summer, Tom will purchase a "no-dry-ice" cloud chamber 
a tube for demonstrating electron diffraction.

5. Pairings for 2007/8:

Ami Katz -- Farhad Riahi
Jose Blanco -- Mike Wadness
Ken Olum -- Jesus Hernandez
Tom Taylor -- Nick Nicastro
Albion Lawrence -- Michael Hirsh
Brent Nelson -- Rick Dower
Per Berglund -- Scott Goelzer

6. The next meeting is (tentatively) scheduled for September 8.