APS April 2016 FHP sponsored meeting sessions

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APS April 2016 meeting logoBy Amanda Nelson, Associate Archivist

The APS Forum on the History of Physics (FHP) has arranged five invited sessions for the April 2016 meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 16-19. Here is some information about the sessions, check the APS April meeting program for dates and times. To listen to past meeting session recordings, including March 2016, contact the nbl [at] aip.org (Niels Bohr Library & Archives reference desk) to request them.

Hermann Minkowski, courtesy of ESVA.

Session M11: History of Physics from Pythagoras to Higgs

  • Dwight Neuenschwander: Value Added: History of Physics in a “Science, Technology, and Society” General Education Undergraduate Course
  • Michael Riordan: The Curious Ontology of a Light Higgs Boson
  • Richard Staley: Revisiting Einstein’s Happiest Thought: On Ernst Mach and the Early History of Relativity
  • Felix T. Smith: Sommerfeld’s influence on Einstein’s evaluation of Minkowski, 1908 to 1916
  • Clayton Gearhart: James Franck and the Experimental Discovery of Metastable States
  • Demetris Nicolaides: The Quest for the Primary Substance of Matter
  • Philip Fisher: Proprietary Manned Space Flight Proposals, 1973 to 2013

Session P20: Staged Reading of the Play: Delicate Particle Logic

The play explores the relationship between science and art through the story of the discovery of nuclear fission. Under the harshly male-dominated science elite of the time, Lise Meitner broke through to become the leader of a major scientific institute, and the first woman to have the title of “Professor” in all of Germany. Along with her long-time partner, chemist Otto Hahn, she began a series of experiments that led to the discovery of nuclear fission. The play presents a meeting between Dr. Meitner and Hahn's wife, Edith, who was a painter. The complicated swirl of their intertwined lives, two women and one man, mixes with the violent upheavals in the world, as the Nazi's take over Germany and everything changes. Edith Hahn and Lise Meitner discuss the bomb, the Nazis and Otto Hahn's Nobel Prize as an imagined friendship blossoms between the scientist and the artist. The playwright is Jennifer Blackmer who is a faculty member in theatre at Ball State University {http://www.jenniferblackmer.com/} and the staged reading is performed by the Pioneer Theatre Company, {http://www.pioneertheatre.org/} of Salt Lake City. After the performance, the director and the actors will be available for a talk-back audience discussion. Produced by Brian Schwartz, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Sidney Coleman, courtesy of ESVA.

Session R7: Sidney Coleman Remembered – Correspondence and Commentary

  • Aaron Wright: ‘Dear Nino: Aargh!’ Frustrations and friendships of Sidney Coleman’s Erice lectures
  • Erick Weinberg: Memories of Sidney Coleman
  • Howard Georgi: Sidney Coleman’s Harvard (’64-’67 and after ’71)

Session U6: Pais Prize Session – Some History You Won’t Find in Physics Textbooks

  • Allan Franklin: Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics: Physics Textbooks Don’t Always Tell the Truth
  • George Smith: Newton’s Principia: Myth and Reality
  • Jed Buchwald: Historical Examples of Misrepresentation, Innovation, and Morality in Physical Science and Technology

L-R Myron Salamon, Robert S. Beach (Ph.D 1993), Brenda A. Everitt (Ph.D 1995) Kevin Pettit (Ph.D 1996) at National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory; courtesy of ESVA.

Session X6: The New Big Science and the Transformation of Research

  • Catherine Westfall: The New Big Science: What’s New, What’s Not, and What’s the Difference
  • Robert Crease: The New Big Science at the NSLS
  • Thomas Kaiserfeld: European Neutrons from Parasitic Research to Global Strategy: Realizing Plans for a Transnational European Spallation Source in the Wake of the Cold War