April 26-27

Cal Poly
San Luis Obispo, California

The Northern California/Nevada Section would like to sincerely thank Ron Brown and his fellow staff members at Cal Poly for their wonderful hospitality last weekend. Also the officers of the Southern California AAPT Section did a great job on the arrangements for the meeting. All phases of the meeting were excellent and we look forward to returning to Cal Poly sometime in the future.
Local Host:Ron Brown

Local Host:Tom Bensky

Page of Photos from the Meeting

Friday Workshops

"New Teacher Workshop"
Paul Robinson, Lonnie Grimes, Dean Baird

This popular day-long workshop, presented on Friday by Dean Baird, Lonnie Grimes, and workshop leader Paul Robinson was attended by 18 participants from all over Northern California/Nevada. Activities included discussion of the defining the various course levels and the challenges they present (Dean Barid), the importance of teaching physics to a broad spectrum of students (Lonnie Grimes), and teaching tips/demonstrations (Paul Robinson). Teachers received many handouts.

"Getting the Most out of MBL"
Clarence Bakken, Gretchen DeMoss

14 participants spent the day learning how to use Vernier Software's LabPro to conduct and analyze physics experiments. During the day, the participants used computers, calculators and Palm handhelds to do a series of experiments. The sections appreciate the sponsorship of this workshop by Vernier Software and Technology.

"Newton is Not Just Numbers"
Cynthia Nielson

PASCO Scientific presented a workshop on current interfacing technology from the hardware company. New products were introduced to the participants.

Friday Evening Social

"Question of Ancient Life on Mars"
Richard B. Frankel, Cal Poly, SLO

Following a sumptuous dinner, Dr. Frankel, who had presented a talk five years ago on the evidence for life on ancient Mars coming from an Antarctic meteorite, talked about developments in the intervening years. Details on the meteorite's composition and some of the competing theories helped the audience to get updated on this current scientific controversy.

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Welcome and Announcements

Invited Talk 1

"What happens when a Professional Society forms an Educational Partnership"
Fredrick M. Stein, American Physical Society

Mr. Stein gave statistical information on numbers of high school physics teachers and physics enrollment in high schools. He presented the oncoming problem of lack of physics teachers vs. the need for additional physics teachers. One effort is a joint project between AAPT, APS and AIP called PhysTEC. The goal is to improve the preparation of physics teachers by working with the schools of education and physics. Ball State U, Oregon State U, U of Arizona, U of Arkansas, Western Michigan U and Xavier U of Louisiana are the initial six institutions in PhysTEC.

Contributed Papers

"Scientific Ballooning in the Classroom",
Steve Kliewer, Stu Briber, Joe Manildi, Paso Robles HS

A weather balloon was raised on a 1000-ft tether carrying barometer, relative humidity and temperature and a LabPro. Students are able to do a launch and recovery during a class period. Very hands-on. Photographs were also taken. SCIPP Teacher's Program 2002. Middle and HS Science Teachers 2-week program at UCSC.

"Did Roemer Measure the Speed of Light?",
Harry Manos, retired

"de Mora Luminis: A Spectacle in Two Acts with Prologue and Epilogue", AJP, Vol. 53, pp. 620-630, (1985). Roemer did not give a specific value for the speed of light. Huygens used Roemer's data to calculate c as 600,000 times the speed of sound.

"Applications of Physics Associated with Cataract Surgery"
Paul Peter Urone, California State University

Measurements are made on the shape of the cornea and the length of the eyeball. The lens is 1/3 of the optical power while the cornea is 2/3. Length of eye is primary determiner of myopia or hyperopia. Length measurements are made either with laser interferometry or with ultrasound.

"Anatomy of a Homer",
Paul Robinson, San Mateo HS

Favorite lab for many teachers and students is a horizontally launched ball hitting a target on the floor. A projectile at an angle is simply two projectiles launched horizontally hooked together (or mirror images of same). Friction has the effect of reducing speed by 1 mph for every 6 feet of travel. This allows students to calculate the real carry vs. theoretical given no air resistance.

"X-Ray and Radio Emmision from ESO 295-IGO22"
Edward R. Waluska

Studies of two galaxies that are merging. They are visible in the southern hemisphere. Radio studies were done and subsequent visible studies revealed further details. This was done as part of obtaining a masters degree in astronomy via the Internet.

Show & Tell

Paul Robinson - San Mateo HS - Why pigs can fly. Using a flying toy to do centripetal force calculation.

Dave Wall - San Francisco City College - Newton's Cradle demonstrations

Paul Peter Urone - CSU Sacramento - Demonstrations with large lenses.

Myron Mann - Demo with soap solution and a plastic 2-l bottle. Soap films for diffraction and interference demos.

Bob Sprague - Foothill College, Ret. - Stability issues for hanging a picture frame.

Harry Manos - Ret. - Forced resonance of a music box mechanism.

Myron Moysenfloy (aka Nick Brown) - Ret - Demos using balloon toys.

Boyd Mathias - Diffraction Pattern around hair, thread, etc. using slide projector and laser.

Lou Eptstein - San Francisco City College - Forces on the top of a convertible. Proposed a science fair project to study.

Bernard Cleyet - Naval Postgraduate School -

Invited Talk 2

"So what WOULD happen if a Magnet were Dropped Down a Superconducting Pipe?"
Ron Brown, Cal Poly, SLO

The talk resulted from a conversation that occurred in 1987 with a distinguished group of theoretical physicists. The explanation depends on the answers to several questions. Why does a magnet fall slowly through a normal conducting tube? What is different with a superconductor compared to a regular conductor? How does Ohm's Law get changed for superconductors? Faraday's Law? The London equation is also needed. And the Meissner Effect must be considered. The whole issue revolves around whether Faraday or Meissner is the dominant effect. Contact Ron for the answer!

Contributed Papers

"How an Airplane Turns",
Paul Robinson, San Mateo HS

Review of the basic concepts for turning an airplane. Banking is necessary in order to generate a centripetal force. Also noted the increase in engine speed as the plane turns and explained it. MPG Movie!

"Using Interactive Physics to Explore the Physics of Gases",
John Mallinckrodt, Cal Poly, Pomona

Several examples of gas molecules in a container were shown. Web site at http://www.csupomona.edu/~ajm/ip.html

"A Robotic 2.5-M Telescope at Mount Laguna for CSU"
Paul Etzel, San Diego State University

http://mintaka.sdsu.edu is the website for the San Diego State Astronomy Department. The talk was a general description of the Mount Laguna facility. New wireless Internet connection allows realtime connection and control of the telescope. Plans are in place for building a 100" (2.5 m) telescope that will be available for astronomers from thoughout the CSU system.

"The Science Niche of the 2.5-M Telescope at Mount Laguna",
Joseph Dolan, San Diego State University

Key research that can be done with the 2.5-m telescope will be stellar astrophysics: gravitaional lenses, pulsars, x-ray binaries, global network, robotic programs, ground testing of prototypes of satellite instruments.

"EM Wave Simulation"
Carl Rosenkilde, Bellarmine College Prep

A very interactive, participatory demonstration of electromagnetic waves as variations in magnetic field and electric field. Materials were dowel, styrofoam ball, drip irigation tubing, clear plastic tubing.

Submitted by: Clarence Bakken, webmaster, NCNAAPT 

Page of Photos from the Meeting

Updated 5/06/02