APS April 2015 FHP sponsored meeting sessions

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By: Amanda Nelson, Associate Archivist

AIP April 2015 meeting logoThe APS April meeting is coming up this weekend in Baltimore, MD from April 11-14. The Forum on the History of Physics (FHP) has arranged to sponsor five sessions including the staged reading of a play. Below is information on the sessions and please check your APS April meeting program for dates and times, and they hope to see you there.

Session J5: History of Physics

Session P20: A Staged Reading of the Play: TRANSCENDENCE: Relativity and Its Discontents by Robert Marc Friedman

TRANSCENDENCE explores aspects of Einstein's life and his general theory of relativity at the time of the theory's creation and initial reception. While being faithful to historical scholarship, the play creates its own theatrical reality aiming to engage emotions and intellect. Those who strive for transcendence must nevertheless also confront the harsh realities of living in specific time-bound social contexts. Universal constants that anchor physical theory in an objective reality, as Einstein believed, do not readily have equivalents in notions of identity, duty, loyalty, and excellence. In November 1915 after toiling for years in Zurich, Prague, and now Berlin, Einstein achieved his general theory of relativity. When in 1919 British astronomers announced evidence for the bending of starlight by the sun as Einstein had predicted, he soon surprisingly found himself an international celebrity. Expectations arose that he would be called to Stockholm. But the Nobel Committee for Physics refused to acknowledge ``speculations'' such Einstein's. The dismissal of relativity entailed principled and biased opposition, and not simply mistakes in evaluation. Several committee members agreed that Einstein must not receive a Prize. Join us for a dramatic staged reading of TRANSCENDENCE, a play by the science historian Robert Marc Friedman and directed by James Glossman, Lecturer in Directing and Shakespeare, Johns Hopkins University. After the performance, the playwright, director and actors will be available for a talk-back audience discussion.

Session R12: Three Perspectives on the Supercollider

  • James Decker: DOE Perspectives on the Supercollider
  • Robert Crease: The Disappearing Fourth Wall: John Marburger, Science Policy, and the SSC
  • Michael Riordan: A Bridge Too Far: The Demise of the Superconducting Super Collider, 1989-1993

Session X8: APS and Public Engagement in Historical Perspective

Session Y12: History of Relativity