All the Colors of the Rainbow by Connor Richard Dexter Loken

eNNOUNCER March 2014

2014 Winter Meeting Highlights

The plenary and award talks presented at the 2014 Winter Meeting are linked in the meeting highlights.  Watch and share them with students and colleagues. Encourage them to participate in the 2014 Summer Meeting July 26-30 in Minneapolis, MN.


2014 AAPT Summer Meeting

Abstract submissions, will be accepted until Monday, March 3 for oral and poster presentations at the 2014 AAPT Summer Meeting.
This meeting will be held at the University of Minnesota from July 26-30, 2014.  Join over 1,000 of your colleagues from across the globe as you network and learn about a variety of topics and techniques to better equip yourself and your students. Learn more about the meeting and reserve your hotel room today!  Registration will open in April.


2014 David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award RecipientsChabay

Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood will share the 2014 David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching. This award is given in recognition of contributions to undergraduate physics teaching and awardees are chosen for their extraordinary accomplishments in communicating the excitement of physics to their students.

Chabay earned a Ph.D in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She is Professor Emerita in the Department of Physics at North Carolina State University and recently was Weston Visiting Professor, Department of Science Teaching, at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. She has also taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carnegie Mellon University. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Sherwood

Sherwood’s Ph.D is in experimental particle physics from the University of Chicago.  He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics at North Carolina State University.  He has also taught at Caltech, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Read more »


2014 Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award RecipientOlson

Donald W. Olson is the 2014 recipient of the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award. This award recognizes educators who have made notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics. The lecture and award will be presented during the AAPT Summer Meeting in Minneapolis, MN.
Read more »

AAPT Fellowships Announced

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) has announced the establishment of an AAPT Fellowship Program. Read more »

The Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment

The Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment provides grants to support special activities in the area of physics teaching. The deadline for applications to request funds is July 1, 2014.

PhysicsBowl Registration Now Open!

PhysicsBowlRegistration is  open for the 2014 PhysicsBowl taking place April 2 - April 16, 2014. The deadline for registration is March 3.
Read more online.


2014 High School Physics Photo Contest

PhotoContestThe 2014 contest will be open in early March. The contest is open to high school students in grades 9-12. Teachers register on the AAPT website and receive a confirmation code that their students can use to submit their entries (essay and photo). Photos may be entered in either the Natural photo or Contrived photo category. The top 100 entries will be displayed and judged during the 2014 Summer Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Learn more!

F=ma Semifinalists Announced!

U.S. Physics TeamThe semifinalists have been selected from those who took the 2014 F=ma Exam. View the list of semifinalists.


Women in Physics Pre-publication Sale

Women in Physics: A collection of reprints in honor of Melba Newell Phillips, is now available in a pre-publication sale.  The collection includes eighteen articles on women in physics, presented in four parts:

  • Gender Issues in Physics and Physics Education

  • Gender-related Physics Education Research

  • Biographical Articles

  • Analysis of the Role of Women in Science

Articles are reprinted from the American Journal of Physics, The Physics Teacher, Physics Today, and Physical Review Special Topics.  Proceeds from the sales will support the endowment of the Melba Newell Phillips Medal.

Order your copy at The Physics Store

Limited print run.  Order by April 30, 2014 to assure availability of your copy in June.

5th International Conference on Women in Physics

The American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Physical Society, and the American Institute of Physics are looking for volunteers to join the delegation representing the United States at the 5th International Conference on Women in Physics in Waterloo, Canada, from August 6-9, 2014. For more information on the Conference and application process, please visit

The Mary Beth Monroe Memorial Scholarship

In memory of Mary Beth, friends and colleagues have expressed interest in supporting an endowed scholarship in her name. SPS and AAPT members are now invited to contribute to the Mary Beth Monroe Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship recognizes the outstanding academic and leadership accomplishments of physics majors who began their studies at a regionally accredited community college and who intend to pursue a career in physics education.

This scholarship will memorialize and honor Mary Beth Monroe’s inspiring lifelong commitment to the support and encouragement of physics students and her dedication to service at all levels in the Society of Physics Students and the American Association of Physics Teachers. Friends and colleagues are encouraged to assist in the endowment of the scholarship by donating through either SPS or AAPT, with the designation "Mary Beth Monroe SPS Student Scholarship."

For an article about Mary Beth, please see the fall SPS Observer,

AAPT and GIREP Agreement

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the Groupe International de Recherche sur l'Enseignement de la Physique (GIREP) have reached a cooperative agreement that will allow each group's members to attend the other organization’s conferences at the member registration rate. Thus, GIREP members will be able to attend AAPT conferences at AAPT member rates and vice versa.

Save the Date

Physics Department Chairs  Conference, June 6-8, 2014, College Park, MD. The American Association of Physics  Teachers and the American Physical Society  are pleased to jointly  organize the 2014 Physics Department Chairs Conference,June 6-8 at the American Center for Physics in  College Park, MD. Topics of interest to chairs representing the full range of  physics departments are planned for this event.  Register today!

Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop
Nominations are now open for the June 23-26 Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop to be held in College Park, MD.  Department chairs may nominate new tenure-track faculty members online at before March 14,2014.  Presenters at the workshop include national leaders in physics education.  In addition to sessions on physics pedagogy, the conference includes other professional development topics such as grant writing, time management, preparing for tenure and mentoring students.

NGSS for Physics and Physical Science: Forces and Interactions
Prepare yourself for the Next Generation Science Standards with the help of AAPT’s Physics Teaching Resource Agents, June 16-27, 2014 at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Take “Forces and Interactions,” the first of three courses focused on content and activities that meet the new NGSS criteria. The course may be taken for Continuing Education or 3 graduate credits.

The University of Maryland-College Park is hosting a symposium April 11-12, 2014 on 50 Years of Quarks and Color, recognizing the introduction of two of the most important ideas in particle physics in the 20th century.  The program features talks by many distinguished theoretical physicists including three Nobel Prize winners. More information about the symposium and registration procedures is available  here .»

The 2014 Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education will focus on “The Complex Intersection of Biology and Physics.”  The conference will be held at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA June 8-13.  The application deadline is May 11, 2014.  Read more ».

Reinventing the Physicist: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education for the 21st Century
APS is hosting a conference which will focus on strategies for implementing physics innovation and entrepreneurship (PIE) education into undergraduate classrooms.  The event will be targeted at physics department leaders, and will be held adjacent to the 2014 Physics Department Chairs' conference on June 5-6, 2014.  The conference is co-sponsored by Carthage College and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). For more details »


Announcing the AAPT-ALPhA Award

AAPT and ALPhA (Advanced Laboratory Physics Association) announce the AAPT/ALPhA Award for undergraduate physics students who have executed, mastered, and left as a legacy for future students an advanced laboratory experiment.  Do you have a student (or team of students) who might be interested in taking up the challenge to build an experiment new to their own department and possibly receive national recognition, a trip to a national AAPT meeting, an invited talk, and a check for $4,000? Nominations for this award must be submitted, with extensive documentation, by September 1, 2015.  If qualified candidates are proposed, we anticipate presenting the first award at the 2016 AAPT Winter Meeting in New Orleans.  For more details see Funding for this award, for the first five years, is provided by TeachSpin, Inc.

Consider Submitting an Entry to the Apparatus Competition

The AAPT Apparatus Competition recognizes, rewards, and publicizes worthwhile contributions to physics teaching through lecture demonstrations, instructional laboratory equipment, and interactive exhibits. The Competition is held annually during AAPT's summer meeting and is open to all members with entries targeting all levels of physics education from K-12 to undergraduates to the general public.  See the entry selection criteria. Entrants must notify the Apparatus Competition Director in June 2014 of their intention to enter the 2014 Apparatus Competition, including a statement about services required to display the apparatus. An official application packet with entry form, rules of eligibility and judging, safety guidelines, and competition requirements is available on the AAPT website.

PKAL Summer Leadership Institute

Applications Due March 24

The PKAL Summer Leadership Institute is designed for both early and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. The Institute curriculum is grounded in a carefully coordinated blend of theory and practice related to the politics of institutional transformation, and aims to empower STEM faculty to act as agents of change in their home institutions and/or professional societies.

PKAL Summer Leadership Institute for STEM Faculty
Institute I: Pendle Hill, Wallingford, Pennsylvania, July 18–23, 2014
Institute II: Baca Campus of Colorado College, Crestone, Colorado, July 25–30, 2014

Chautaugua Short Course

Research-Based Active Learning in Introductory Physics

Chautauqua Short Course, June 15-17, 2014, Portland, OR -- Designed for those who teach introductory physics at universities, colleges and high schools. Up to two hours of graduate credit will be available from the University of Oregon.

This hands-on course is designed for those interested in making learning in their introductory course more active either within a traditional course structure  (lectures, labs, and recitation hours), or by re-structuring their course (e.g., into a workshop or studio course).

For more information and to register go   here or contact David Sokoloff, Department of Physics, 1274 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1274, E-mail:, Phone: (541) 221-6543, Fax:  (541) 346-5861.

PARTICLE FEVER Documentary Opens across the country in March

Particle Fever follows the inside story of six brilliant scientists seeking to unravel the mysteries of the universe, documenting the successes and setbacks in the planet’s most significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough. Visit for cities and theaters.

The History of the Universe from Beginning to End

Dr. John Mather, the Chief Scientist of the Science Mission Directorate of NASA and the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Physics delivered the Davidson College Smith Lecture titled “The History of the Universe from Beginning to End.” Wednesday, February 12th. 2014.   Thank you to NCS-AAPT for sharing the link:

Physics Teacher Wins Technology Award

High School Physics Teacher, Michael Flood, has received the Instructional Technology Featured Teacher award from Central New York Regional Information Center, CNYRIC. He received this award for his “flip class” method of teaching in which he posts lectures online for students to watch before attending class. The class spends more time focusing on interactive problems instead of taking notes. Read more »

NSF Seeks Physics Program Director

The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidates for a permanent full-time Physics Program Director position in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Arlington, VA. The ideal candidate will have expertise in physics, physics undergraduate education and knowledge of physics education research.  For further information about the position and the procedures for application, please go to »

Free Online Access to APS Journals for Public Libraries and High Schools in the U.S.

As a public access initiative, the American Physical Society (APS) provides free online access to its journals to all public libraries and high schools in the United States.  Librarians and high school teachers can obtain access to the APS journal collection by accepting a simple online site license and providing valid IP addresses for the computers in their libraries.   Sign up online at:

Science in the Classroom

"Science in the Classroom" is a collection of annotated research papers and accompanying teaching materials designed to help students at the advanced high school, community college, and undergraduate level understand the structure and workings of professional scientific research.   Read more

Modeling Workshops nationwide

Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry,  physical science, and biology will be offered this summer. Modeling Workshops are peer-led. Modeling Instruction is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an Exemplary K-12 science program.
More Information »
Workshop descriptions

ASU Modeling Workshops in Physics and Chemistry

Four Modeling Workshops (June 9-27, July 7-25) for high school physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers nationwide are offered by Arizona State University in Tempe. The program can lead to a Master of Natural Science degree. Low-cost family housing is available.
More Information

Advanced Technology Education (ATE) Workshops for Physics Faculty

The ATE Workshops for Physics Faculty is offering a new workshop in March 2014.  Information about the workshop, application, and the program can be found at the  project's website. You can also contact Tom O'Kuma or Dwain Desbien.

More from your Membership!

Did you know that you can connect with your collegues by joining an AAPT Email Discussion List?   There are more than 20 different lists/communities available. Find the list that matches your career interests at  Contact your Member Services  Department at 301-209-3333, or  by e-mail at if  you need assistance, or have further questions.

Career Learning Center

Professional development is a work in progress, and constantly gaining new skills and knowledge is essential to the success of any career. The latest enhancement to the AAPT Career Center - the Career Learning Center - is a career-guidance companion to searching the latest science teaching jobs. Equipped with four career-centric seminars, the AAPT Career Learning Center is a user-friendly virtual platform that satisfies the professional needs of AAPT members at all points on the career spectrum.
This helpful content is ONLY available to registered users with the AAPT Career Center, a free job seeker service provided by AAPT. Quickly login or create your job seeker account, and take control of your future by building a stronger presence among our industry's top employers.

Free Internship Job Posting on AAPT Career Center

AAPT has an online jobsite that offers free 60-day internship job postings.  To post internships online at AAPT visit Locate the best fit for your organization by reaching the future of the science community – AAPT members. Valid intern-level opportunities are defined as limited-term (up to 12 weeks) employment for current undergraduates or recent bachelor degree recipients with financial compensation (if any) in the form of a modest salary or stipend. "Internship" Job Level must be selected when posting to access this offer.

Social Media @ AAPT

AAPT wants to connect with you on social media! Stay abreast of the latest AAPT and physics-related news. We invite you to like us, follow us, connect with us, and pin us. You can find us here:
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SPS and ComPADRE Undergraduate Research Database

The SPS and ComPADRE partner each year to make available a list of research opportunities and internships for undergraduate students. This year there are more than 150 research sites listed from across the country and around the world. We encourage you to direct your students to the database at Deadlines for applications are approaching.

ComPADRE Digital Library

The ComPADRE Digital Library is a network of free online resource collections supporting faculty, students, and teachers in Physics and Astronomy Education.
Each ComPADRE collection contains a catalog of materials for teaching and learning that are selected by the editors for the target user community. The collections also provide information resources and community collaboration tools to support the needs of our users, usually in collaboration with partner physics and astronomy education projects.

Physlet Quantum Physics 2E on ComPADRE

ComPADREPhyslet Quantum Physics contains a collection of exercises covering modern physicsand quantum mechanics topics at the sophomore to senior levels. These interactive exercises use computer animations generated with Physlets (Physics content simulated with Java applets). This is a companion site to Physlet Physics 2E, a collection of over 800 exercises spanning the introductory physics sequence.

The second edition of Physlet Quantum Physics represents a major change in how these 200 Physlet-based interactive materials are delivered to teachers and students alike. Instead of accessing materials off of the CD that came with the printed first edition, now users simply access the Physlet Quantum Physics 2E ComPADRE site at This new edition is compatible with Java 6 and 7 and offers improved speed and security. The materials will be updated as needed to provide the best learning experiences.

Section News

March 2014

Physics of Sustainable Energy III
Mar 8-9, 2014, University of California- Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 
AAPT and APS Forum on Physics and Society, Topical Group on Energy Research and Applications Email: Barbara Levi

Kentucky Section Spring Meeting
Mar 15, 2014, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY
KAPT Email: Richard Gelderman

Southern Ohio Section Spring Meeting
Mar 15, 2014 , Bishop Hartley High School, Columbus, OH 
SOS-AAPT Email: Kathleen Harper

Texas Section Spring Meeting with APS and SPS Zone 13
Mar 21-22, 2014 , Abiline Christian University, Abliline, TX 
TSAAPT Email: Jess Dowdy or Email: Karen Jo Matsler

Mar 21-22, 2014, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA 
SACS-AAPT Email: Natarajan Ravi

Tennessee Section Spring Meeting
Mar 21-22, 2014 , Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN 
TAAPT Email: Matthew Perkins or Email: Spencer Buckner

Central Pennsylvania Section Spring Meeting

Mar 21-22, 2014 , Misericordia University, Dallas, PA 
AAPTCPS Email: Lynn Aldrich

Illinois Section Spring Meeting
Mar 28-29, 2014 , Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 
ISAAPT Email: David Renneke

To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to See the December 2013 Section News.


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© 2014, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue


Featured Journal Articles

The Physics Teacher

Physics Almost Saved the President! Electromagnetic Induction and the Assassination of James Garfield: A Teaching Opportunity in Introductory Physics               Read online

American Journal of Physics


The torque on a dipole in uniform motion                  Read online

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Women in Physics

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