Spring 2001 MEETING

Friday, March 30
Saturday, March 31

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley

Local Host: Andria Erzberger


Think Your Students are Bright? Check out the Advanced Light Source, the World's Brightest Light!

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2001


All workshop attendees are to meet in Building 50, foyer, for coffee 9:30-10:00. If you are late, please take the LBNL on-site bus to the listed building or call Andi (510) 486-6610. Lunch will be in the cafeteria. Teachers are welcome to contact our President, Dan Burns, for a letter of support to assist them obtaining funds and release time to attend this conference.

"New Teacher Workshop"
10 am-4 pm, Building 70A, Room 3377

Presented by veterans Paul Robinson, Lonnie Grimes, and Dean Baird, a day-long version of this popular workshop is being offered on Friday (instead of Saturday afternoon) so that participants don't have to miss out on the contributed papers. This workshop will include a make-and-take ramp displayed and demonstrated at previous AAPT meetings for the "Bull's Eye" experiment. It is intended for teachers who are either new to teaching physics and/or those who have been at it for a while but still feel like they're new! All new teachers will be networked with experienced teachers. The workshop includes valuable teaching tips, goodie bags, raffles where everyone wins, question and answer panels, popcorn, and more! Interested participants should email Paul Robinson at laserpablo@aol.com to register or for more information. The $30 fee for this workshop covers the costs of the items you will be taking home with you. If you wish to attend a NTW but can't make it Friday, email Paul Robinson at laserpablo@aol.com and he may offer an abbreviated 2-hour version on Saturday afternoon if there is sufficient interest.

"Computer/Calculator Interfacing in the Lab"
10 am-4 pm, Building 7, Room 211. 10-4 PM

Clarence Bakken and Mike Ugawa, area PTRA's, will offer a Computer/Calculator Interfacing Workshop that will feature hands-on work with the new LabPro from Vernier Software and CBL2 from Texas Instruments. Gain hands-on experience with computer and calculator interfaces in both familiar and new labs. There is no cost for this workshop as it will be covered by AAPT fund raising. To signup or more information, email Clarence at cbakken@pausd.palo-alto.ca.us.

"ABCs of Nuclear Physics"
10 am-Noon, Building 6, Room 2202

Howard Matis and Peggy Norris, Nuclear Science Division, LBNL. Learn many hands-on activities with radiation and geiger counters. Email Andi Erzberger at alerzberger@lbl.gov for more information and to sign up.

"Cosmic Connection"
1:00-4:00 PM, Building 6, Room 2202

Hands-on activities using detectors to measure star dust and particles coming from the sun. Participants will also measure antimatter in a detector that you can use in their classroom. Email Andi Erzberger at alerzberger@lbl.gov for more information and to sign up.

FRIDAY TOURS - 4:15-5:30

Please RSVP with your first choice to alerzberger@lbl.gov. If you do not RSVP, you will not be notified of any changes. These tours will be concurrent. Meet in the ALS-bldg. 6 at 4:15. Buses will take you to the tour sites.

A. The National Center for Electron Microscopy provides electron beam microcharacterization of materials. NCEM houses several of the world's most advanced microscopes and tools.

B. The 88-Inch Cyclotron is a versatile accelerator of beams from hydrogen to uranium. Forefront scientific research is carried in the areas of nuclear structure and reactions, weak interactions, nuclear astrophysics and chemistry. Many new elements were produced here.

C. The Advanced Light Source (ALS): As the world's brightest source of ultraviolet and soft x-ray beams, it uses synchrotron radiation to study electronic structure of matter, protein crystallography, ozone photochemistry, x-ray microscopy of biological samples, and optical elements.

D. Electrochromic windows: Electrochromic glazings promise to be the next major advance in energy-efficient window technology. The glazing can be reversibly switched from clear to a transparent, colored state by applying a low voltage, resulting in "smart windows".


Reception and Featured Speaker

Cafeteria, Bldg. 54, 6:00-8:00 PM

"Neutrino Astronomy at the South Pole"

Robert Stokstad, Head of the Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics, LBNL

AMANDA is a detector being constructed at the South Pole, whose purpose is to observe high-energy neutrinos from astrophysical point sources. Strings of widely spaced photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are placed into deep water-drilled holes in the South Polar ice cap. High energy neutrinos will occasionally interact with the Earth and create a muon, which emits Cherenkov light. http://amanda.berkeley.edu/

See Astronomy, May 1997, "Going to Extremes, by Beth Livermore

Scientific American, Feb. 2000, "Seven Wonders of Modern Astronomy: The Weirdest"




Morning Session, Bldg. 50 Auditorium

7:45   Registration, Coffee, Donuts, and other culinary delights.
        Bldg. 50 Auditorium

8:45   Welcome and Announcements

9:00   Show & Tell

Share your favorite demonstration or teaching tip. Since new teachers and section members will be at this meeting, you are encouraged to dust off some of your oldies but goodies. If you have handouts, please bring 100 copies. Time limit is 5 minutes per person.

10:00   Invited Talk

"Exploring the Universe"
George Smoot, Group Leader of CMB, LBNL

We use light to understand the early and middle ages of the universe - what it is made of and how it is evolving. Cosmic microwave background radiation shows how galaxies and other structures could form, and supernovae give evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Cosmic Microwave Background, http://aether.lbl.gov/

Wrinkles In Time, George Smoot and Keay Davldson. William Morrow & Co. COBE: http://aether.gov/www/projects/cobe

Max, Maxima, and Boomerang: http://aether.gov/www/projects/max

11:00   Invited Talk

"ATLAS, a Particle Detector at the Energy Frontier"
M. G. (Gil) Gilchiese, Group Leader of ATLAS, LBNL

The ATLAS particle physics experiment is the largest collaboration ever. It will study proton-proton interactions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics CERN, starting in 2005. The primary purpose will be studies of the origin of mass, that is the search for Higgs. It will also be used for studies of top quark decays and supersymmetry searches. ATLAS: http://www-atlas.lbl.gov/, http://pdg.lbl.gov/atlas/atlas.html

12:00 - 1:30   LUNCH

Attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase box lunches at registration.

1:30   Raffle/Business Meeting
        Bldg. 50 Auditorium


Bldg. 50 Auditorium

2:00   "Depleted Uranium: Activity and Dose Calculations"

Paul Peter Urone, California State University, Sacramento

There has been much in the news about the military use of depleted uranium (DU) both as amour and as a component of amour-piercing shells. Additionally, the biological hazards of DU in the Gulf War and the former Yugoslavia theater have been widely speculated upon. In this talk I will present calculations of the activity of the DU involved and of the radiation doses that might be encountered. These calculations are suitable for introductory courses and can generate great interest among students. I will carefully define the limits of these calculations and the confidence level with which they can be presented.

2:20   "Calculus-based Introductory Mechanics"

Mary Murphy-Waldorf, Department of Physics CSUC,

As a part of an ongoing joint project with The Ohio State University and Rutgers University, an investigative science learning environment has been implemented in a calculus-based introductory mechanics class at California State University, Chico. This system is intended to help students understand physics concepts in a scientific way: They construct the understanding of physics themselves following the same general pattern for each concept -devising and experimentally testing qualitative and quantitative explanations of the phenomena that they observed. In this paper, we will report in detail on how students design their own experiments and test their hypotheses in a laboratory setting.

2:40   "So you thought a glass thermometer measured temperature?"

Phil Gash, Physics Department, CSUC

The thermal properties of a glass thermometer will be discussed along with the influence the thermometer has on a sample's initial temperature. A few specific cases of temperature measurement will be discussed.

3:00   "The Shaken Soda Syndrome"

David Kagan, Department of Physics CSUC

Two identical soda cans released at the same time on an incline will roll down at the same rate. However, if one of the cans is shaken, it will lose the race. Experimental evidence is presented that points to the presence of bubbles as the cause of the greater energy transfer to the fluid in the case of the shaken can.

3:20   "Illustrating Elementary Physics with Three Dimensional, Ray Traced Computer Graphics"

Tom Bensky, CSU Hayward Physics Dept.

Ray tracing is an approach to creating computer generated images using the principles of elementary ray optics, such as the law of reflection and refraction. In this technique, a large number of simulated light rays are reflected and refracted by geometrical objects placed in the desired scene. The resulting images are often fantastically photo-realistic, containing reflections, shadows, and even the perception of full three-dimensional depth. In this talk, I'll discuss how this method of computer image creation can be used to illustrate lecture material in elementary physics. The resulting images easily rival those found in textbooks, and can provide stunning visual impact to lecture discussions.

3:40   "When Do Bubbles Cause a Floating Body to Sink?"

Bruce Denardo, Department of Physics, Naval Postgraduate School denardo@physics.nps.navy.mil

The introduction of bubbles into a liquid might be expected to cause a relatively large floating body to sink when the average density of the fluid is less than the average density of the body. However, the rising bubbles could entrain motion of the liquid, which would produce an upward drag on the body and thus lower the fluid density required to sink the body. Due to this drag, it is in fact not clear whether any amount of bubbles can cause a floating body to sink. In addition, there are other effects that could alter the requisite fluid density. We describe qualitative lecture demonstrations which show that bubbles can indeed sink a body, including the case of ice in water. We also describe a quantitative experiment to determine the density of bubbly water required to sink a spherical body. The specific gravity of this body is varied from 0.99 to 0.75, and the results are compared to a simple theory.

4:00   Particle Physics Opportunities"

Andria Erzberger, LBNL

Through QuarkNet local teachers will do research at LBNL and UC Davis this summer. In April high school students will greet the upgrade at Fermilab with a webcast. All students can learn general physics topics through cutting-edge activities and real particle physics data on the web.


Registration fee for this meeting will be $10. Registration is waived for first-time attendees and students.


Ask for the LBNL rates and show your program

Marina, 975 University, 510-841-7410, $65+tax,

Holiday Inn Express, 1175 University, 510-548-1700, $109

Berkeley Travel, 1461 University, 510-848-3840, $60

Capri, 1512 University, 510-845-7090, $65 (LBNL rate)

Campus, 1619 University, 510-841-3844, $65+tax.

Travelodge, 1820 University, 510-843-4262, $85

For more information try the following link:



Friday (before 4 PM):
Parking is impossible at LBNL during working hours, so take BART or park "down the hill" and take the LBNL "off-site bus" up to LBNL. See map below.


Exit at the downtown Berkeley exit -- not the North Berkeley exit, and not the Ashby exit, just the Berkeley exit. Go up to the street level and find LBNL shuttle bus stop. It is on the N side of Center Street at its intersection with Shattuck Avenue next to the bank ATM. You can then take the shuttle bus to the Lab; wave at the driver to have him stop. It goes every 10 min. until 5:40, then every 20min. Last one leaves LBNL at 6:50.


Take I-80 to the Berkeley. About 4 miles N of Berkeley take the University Avenue exit, going E. Proceed up University Avenue for 2 miles. Park at UC Berkeley garages shown below (you are allowed to, since it is Spring Break). Catch the LBLNL "Offsite" bus at the signs with the blue squares. At LBLNL transfer to the "on-site" bus. If you take the bus to LBNL Friday morning, I am sure that we can arrange a ride for you back to your motel or car after the Friday evening talk. See offsite bus route (weekdays):


Friday Night or Saturday:
Take I-80 to Berkeley. Take the University Avenue exit, going east. Proceed up University Avenue for two miles until it deadends at the campus. Go left on Oxford and then a couple blocks later, right on Hearst Avenue. Head straight up Hearst, which above the campus, climbs steeply and makes a horseshoe turn before arriving at the main gate at the Lab. Building 50 is above and to the right after the first stop sign. For parking go left at the next curve after the stop sign to lots J, K1 or Z.

For more directions:

For lab parking map:




2001 Summer Meeting AAPT
July 21-25, 2001
Rochester, NY

2001 Fall Meeting, NCNAAPT

Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey
October 26 & 27th

2001 Spring Meeting, NCNAAPT

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Spring, 2001

Posted 3/4/2001

Direct program questions to Program Chairman
Direct web questions to Webmaster