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minutes of September 27, 2008 Physics Theorynet meeting

Physics Theorynet meeting, September 27, 2008,
Room 218 DA, Northeastern University, Boston
minutes/action items:
Participating Teachers:
Rick Dower, Roxbury Latin School
Jesus Hernandez, Lawrence H.S.
Michael Hirsh, Needham H.S.
Nancy Najmi, Reading H.S.
Farhad Riahi, Commonwealth School of Boston
Chris Thomas, Reading H.S.
Mike Wadness, Medford H.S.
Participating Theorists:
Albion Lawrence, Brandeis
Brandon Murakami, Rhode Island College, Providence RI
Ken Olum, Tufts
Tomasz Taylor, Northeastern
Per Berglund, University of New Hampshire
Jose Juan Blanco-Pillado, Tufts
Scott Goelzer, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (NH)
Brent Nelson, Northeastern
Nick Nicastro, Wachusett Regional High School, Holden
Xi Yin, Harvard

1. (Re)introductions:
We welcome two new teachers, Nancy Najmi and Chris Thomas from Reading H.S. Nancy has already
interacted with Larry Ford (Tufts). She is looking forward to hosting physicists on a more regular
basis. We also have two new theorists: Brandon Murakami from Rhode Island College and Xi Yin from
Harvard, both starting Assistant Professors in the Fall.
2.  Update on high-school visits since last meeting in May 2008:
Albion visited Needham H.S. (Michael Hirsh) for a Q&A session. Tom visited Wachusett R.H.S. (Nick
Nicastro) with a general talk on elementary particles.
Jose visited Medford H.S. (Mike Wadness) several times.
3. Flyers and Advertising: Flyers are ready for distribution. There was a discussion what is the
most effective way of advertising Theorynet. After the meeting, Ken suggested a massive campaign by
using teachers' mailing lists. For the moment, flyers will be distributed by Scott at Lowell
meeting and at the Fall NES APS/AAPT meeting at UMass Boston. We will see what is the response and
plan accordingly. Brandon Murakami, new Assistant Professor at Rhode Island College, will try to
recruit teachers from Providence area -- if he succeeds, we will contact Brown University to supply
more theorists and will start a southbound expansion.
4. NES APS/AAPT Meeting. Tom gave an update on the 2009 NES AAPT/APS Spring Conference
(Northeastern, May 8-9, 2009). See http://neu.edu/nesaps/nesaps.pdf for the latest info. We have a
first-class lineup of plenary speakers, so if properly advertised, this conference may become a big
hit just when the LHC wakes up from winter hibernation. Tom asked for help with organizing
teachers' workshops -- please make concrete proposals as soon as possible, to nesaps neu edu (Tom
will use this address for all related business).
5. Demonstration equipment: contact Mike Wadness for cloud chambers and the electron diffraction
tube. Ken mentioned the availability of Tufts' radio telescope for students' projects constructing the galaxy rotation curves (evidence for dark matter) -- please contact him if interested. Farhad suggested purchasing a Van der Graff generator.
6. Pairings:
Rick Dower -- Albion Lawrence
Scott Goelzer -- Per Berglund
Jesus Hernandez -- Xi Yin
Michael Hirsh -- Brent Nelson
Brandon Murakami will recruit teacher(s) from Providence RI area
Nancy Najmi/Chris Thomas -- Tom Taylor
Nick Nicastro -- Tom Taylor
Farhad Riahi -- Ken Olum
Michael Wadness -- Jose Juan Blanco-Pillado
7. The next meeting is (tentatively) scheduled for January 17, 2009.