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minutes of January 12 meeting

Physics Theorynet meeting, January 12, 2008,
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
 Mike Wadness, Medford H.S.
Participating Theorists:
Per Berglund, University of New Hampshire
Brent Nelson, Northeastern
Tomasz Taylor, Northeastern
Jose Juan Blanco-Pillado, Tufts
Albion Lawrence, Brandeis
Ken Olum, Tufts
1.  Update on high-school visits since last meeting in September 2007:
-Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (Scott Goelzer). More than 100 students went on a field trip to a large lecture
room, to hear Per's presentation on particles and strings.
-Needham H.S. (Michael Hirsh) Albion visited Michael's classes two times, for Q&A sessions sprinkled with
mini-presentations on the related topics.
-Medford H.S. (Mike Wadness) Jose gave a presentation on the expanding Universe, background radiation,
Hubble telescope and in general, how do we know what we know about the Universe.
-Roxbury Latin School (Rick Dower) Brent gave a presentation focussed on LHC and talked about some general
things: his daily schedule, distinction between theorists and experimentalists etc. Rick ran a questionnaire
afterwards: it is clear that students learned a lot from Brent's visit.
-Lawrence H.S. (Jesus Hernandez) Ken gave a Big Bang, 1 and 1/2 hour presentation for 140 students. According
to Jesus, students liked it and learned a lot.
-Wachusett R.H.S. (Nick Nicastro) Tom expanded on wave topics recently taught in class and then moved to
particles and strings, starting from "String Ducky", the winner of String Theory in Two Minutes or Less video
contest. Students asked many good questions about extra dimensions, how can we tell if string theory is right etc.
2. Flyer:
In general, everybody liked the flyer, although we agreed with Rick's point that is seems a little bit overloaded
with information. Rick took the task of simplifying the content.
3. Demonstration equipment:
We've got two brand new sets: No-dry-ice cloud chamber and electron diffraction tube. It turns out that the cloud
chamber still needs running cold water, so it is not yet clear if it is really simpler to use than those with dry ice.
Rick will test it and will send out his evaluation to the mailing list. Then whoever is interested will contact him,
and after using it, will send another announcement. In this way, we can keep track of the equipment. Similarly,
Michael Hirsh will test the electron tube and will make it available to the next person.
4. Pairings
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
Since there are some teachers who could not come to our meeting, but are interested in inviting a physicist, Per
and Tom will contact some newcomers to see if they want to join us.
5. The next meeting is (tentatively) scheduled for May 3.