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NSHP & NSBP at their best: Cosmology, Classical and Quantum Gravity January 28, 2009

Posted by CGR Section Chair in : Cosmology, Gravitation, and Relativity (CGR) , add a comment

It’s true. On February 12 and 13, the three best sessions of the joint annual meeting of NSBP and NSHP will take place. The Dr. Beth Brown Memorial Cosmology, Classical and Quantum Gravity sessions will be happening at 2 PM and 4 PM on the 12th and at 5 PM on Friday the 13th. Okay, okay, so the cosmologist writing this blog might be a little biased. Maybe all of the sessions at NSHP/NSBP are fantastic. But let me tell you why I think ours are the best!

Our sessions focus on questions about the origins of the universe, its fundamental make up and its evolution. We also study some of the most exotic objects in the universe, from strings to black holes and even stringy black holes.

Speaking of black holes, this year we will be celebrating the life of an extraordinary woman in astrophysics who studied black holes and who died in late 2008. Dr. Beth A. Brown will be honored in a number of ways, and the 4 PM 12 February session will be devoted to her final work. Professor James Lindesay and Dr. Tehani Finch of Howard University will be presenting, along with an introduction by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Other invited speakers this year include Dr. Neil Turok, Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Professor Jorge Pullin of Louisiana State University, Professor S. James Gates of the University of Maryland, and Professor Edmund Bertschinger, chair of MIT.

Talk titles this year include the tantalizing:
“Addressing a Crisis in Fundamental Physics: Probing the Nature of Dark Energy with Supernovae and Galaxy Clusters”
“Loop Quantum Gravity: What it is and some recent results”
“Formation of black holes and the onset of cosmic acceleration”

Want to know who is giving what talk? Come to our sessions and find out! Check the NSBP schedule and look for the CGR I, II and III sessions.

See you there!

Acoustics For The iPod Generation January 28, 2009

Posted by Acoustics (ACOU) Section Chair in : Acoustics (ACOU) , add a comment

All acoustics (ACOU) events at the annual joint NSBP/NSHP conference are outreach efforts sponsored by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) through its Committee on Diversity in Acoustics. These events include musical and hands-on acoustics demonstrations, technical session, and an acoustic poster competition.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is very concerned with the low percentage of under-represented minority students and professional members. How best to attract current and future generations of students to Physics?

Today’s students, known as the iPod generation, may be attracted to Physics by leveraging their musical passions. Acoustics demonstrations and tutorials explaining the physical mechanisms responsible for the unique sounds of musical instruments offer very tangible means to help them comprehend many physics concepts such as stationary waves and frequency shift.

Acoustics is more than music. Acoustics subfields also include atmospheric, underwater, structural, and architectural acoustics. Acoustics subfields span beyond physics with subfields such as biomedical ultrasound, animal bioacoustics, speech communication, psychological and physiological acoustics, audio engineering, noise control, and signal processing.

Professors interested in teaching an acoustics course may start by reading an Acoustics Today article by Ilene Busch-Vishniac and Jim West entitled “Acoustics courses at the undergraduate level: How can we attract more students?” available as a free download here (http://www.nsbp.org/en/art/?29).

Acoustics resources include:

Acoustics.org (http://www.acoustics.org)
Discovery Of Sound In The Sea (http://www.dosits.org)
Acoustics Tutorials & Demos (http://www.gmi.edu/~drussell/Demos.html)
Education & Career Resources (http://asa.aip.org/map_education.html)
Student Project Resources (http://asa.aip.org/resources.html)

Do you know of another source of acoustics resources? Please share it here with a comment to this blog.

Earth and Planetary System Science (EPSS) Sessions at NSBP/NSHP January 27, 2009

Posted by Earth and Planetary Systems Sciences (EPSS) Section Chair in : Earth and Planetary Systems Sciences (EPSS) , add a comment
The Earth and Planetary System Sciences (EPSS) sessions have been organized at the Joint Conferences of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) since 2006. The sessions are intended to promote Earth Sciences (geophysics and seismology) Atmospheric Sciences (atmospheric physics) and Space Sciences. These are sessions traditionally held at the American Geophysical Society (AGU) (American Meteorological Society (AMS) meetings.
The sessions are intended to expose minority physics majors to career opportunities in geosciences and show them how a strong physics background can prepare students for careers in geosciences. To meet this goals session invited speakers have been carefully selected and encouraged to show students how their training in physics can help them tackle problems in geosciences.

The need to create a new generation of students who combine a rigorous disciplinary depth with the ability to reach out to other disciplines and work in interdisciplinary teams is urgent. Interdisciplinary research preparation and education are central to future competitiveness, because knowledge creation and innovation frequently occur at the interface of disciplines. The Earth and Planetary System Science sessions will focus on issues related to land (geophysics, seismology, geomorphology, geochemistry, and hydrology), weather and climate, and space. These sessions will educate physics majors to get out of their box and work with scientists in other disciplines on interdisciplinary projects by showing them that major issues in society—energy, the environment, health, and climate change—require a collective effort of different disciplines working in interdisciplinary groups

In 2009, the following invited talks are organized:

· Earthquake and volcanic hazard mitigation in East Africa; Cynthia Ebinger University of Rochester, editor in chief: Geophysical Journal International, Editor-in-Chief

· ADVANCES AND CHALLENGES IN NUMERICAL WEATHER AND CLIMATE PREDICTIONS; Tsann-wang Yu, Howard

· GEOPHYSICS IN THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY – DRIVING NEW TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION, Mary Feeley, Exxon

· CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE NEED FOR IMPROVED CLIMATE NORMALS; Anthony Arguez; NOAA-NCDC

· Passive Microwave Remote Sensing Theory and Applications; Hilawe Semunegus, NOAA-NCDC.

And many more. come and listen to these exciting talks.

Solomon Bililign
Professor of Physics
Director: NOAA-ISET Center
North Carolina A&T State University