Thursday, March 18, 2010
Physics for Everyone
This was the title of an invited session yesterday at the APS meeting. Ivan Schuller put together a very interesting collection of talks, with subjects of broad interest to a large audience. Ray Orbach gave an updated version of his presentation about the global energy challenge, including a strong plea that the US re-start reprocessing spent nuclear fuel (an idea I've held for a long time, so clearly it has merit :-) ). Ted Postol spoke about his ideas on ballistic missile defense. Charles Falco presented his recent work on converting digital cameras from conventional visible light photography to infrared (and recently ultraviolet) wavelengths, and using those cameras to look at art works. Fascinating stuff. Eugenie Reich gave a half-hour talk to a packed room about Hendrik Schön (see this pdf for the whole megillah), based on her book. No revelations, and surprisingly little discussion of co-author/collaborator responsibilities. She did have some amusing graphs, like the one displaying Schön's publications vs. time next to the Lucent stock price vs. time. Finally, the session closed with a fun talk by Alan Nathan about the physics of baseball. These kinds of sessions are a great feature of large meetings, though they must be a lot of work to put together.
Posted by Douglas Natelson at 11:11 AM