Spring Meeting 2004

Northern California/Nevada Section AAPT

Friday & Saturday, March 26 & 27, 2004

Lawrence Livermore Lab ~ Las Positas Community College

Local Hosts: Dick Farnsworth & Eric Harpell

email: farnsworth @ llnl.gov and eharpell @ laspositascollege.edu

LLNL Web Site for this Meeting:

Go to this web site to register for the workshops and tours on Friday. A security registration must be completed to go on the Friday tours. If you have difficulty getting through and wish to send in a hard copy registration, click here to download an MS Word registration form.

The deadline for registering for the Friday workshop and tours has been extended to March 16. If you haven't registered yet but wish to, there's still time!

No registration is needed for Friday night or Saturday portions of the meeting. To submit abstracts for talks, see the next item. Maps are at the bottom of this page.

Call for Papers

We solicit contributed papers of 15 minutes in length. Suitable topics include teaching ideas, research projects, laboratory techniques, novel demonstrations, computers and instruction. Please submit an abstract of your talk, with title, your name and affiliation, AV and equipment requests, and other requirements at to the Program Chairman, Paul Robinson, at laserpablo@aol.com. Deadline is March 16, 2004.

Friday Workshops

Teachers are welcome to contact our President, Peter Urone, for a letter of support to assist them obtaining funds and release time to attend this conference.

All Friday participants must register for entry to LLNL. Parking is limited!

Schedule and Directions for the Friday Workshops and Tours

"New Teacher Workshop" (10 am - 5 pm) Paul Robinson, Dean Baird and other Vets

This workshop 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! Although there is no fee, interested participants should email Paul at laserpablo@aol.com for more information.

Workshops sponsored by Lawrence Livermore staff members. These workshops include a tour of workshop-related facilities at LLNL and the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world's largest laser. Click here for online registration to cover workshops and tour. Deadline: March 16.


Presenters:  Dr. Chris Ebbers, Physicist,, Mr. Joel Speth Laser Technician

The optical revolution in communication is taking place literally right now within your home. Where only 200 years ago it took weeks to transmit information in letters carried by foot, horse, or boat, the new transit of information takes place at the speed of light using lasers propagating down shards of glass. This tremendous increase in the speed of information transfer takes place due to the merging of two sciences: optical physics and materials science - understanding the nature of how light works and the discovery and perfection of glass fiber optics. We will explore the developments in these two branches off science that have merged at this historical moment.


Biophotonics is the science of generating and harnessing light (photons) to image, detect and manipulate biological materials. It is used in biology to study molecular mechanisms, function and structure. It is used in medicine to study tissue at the macro and micro level to detect, diagnose and treat disease.

Biophotonics is a fascinating topic which involves many science disciplines including physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and engineering, providing an excellent avenue for introducing students to the truly interdisciplinary nature of much of scientific research. It is a critical emerging technology providing an exceptional career path.

The Symposium will provide teachers with three sets of information:

Environmental Science - Radiocarbon Dating

Presenters:  Dr. John Knezovich, Director, Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

Mr. Stan Hitomi, Director, Edward Teller Education Center

The environmental group will focus on radiocarbon dating. Following a tour of the facility where radiocarbon measurements are made (Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry or CAMS), participants will receive a lecture - "Radiocarbon Dating 101" - and partake in a discussion of how radiocarbon dating can be used to help meet the California Science Standards. Later in the day, participants will be engaged in problem solving activities where they will interpret actual 14C data sets from volcanic eruptions and earthquake faults. Supporting documents will be provided such that all of the activities will be of immediate use in the classroom.

Tour Only

A special group has been set up to tour the National Ignition Facility. The tour will begin with badging about 2:45. Go to the web site above to enroll in this group. Deadline: March 16. Be sure to see the page of directions, including the directions to obtain your badge and then join the tour if you're doing the tour only. 

Friday Evening Social

A speaker is being lined up as we speak. A tentative plan is to hold the Friday evening program at a local winery so the teachers can study the various physical properties of this fascinating liquid.

Saturday Featured Speakers

Speakers are being arranged as we speak. Check back for more information.

Call for Demonstrations

Bring your favorite 5-minute demonstration for the popular "Show 'n Tell". Handouts describing your demonstration are encouraged.

Dues and Don'ts

Section dues are $10 per year, due each Fall. If you cannot attend the meeting, remain an active member which will ensure you'll receive all our mailings by sending dues to our treasurer Dennis Buckley, Liberty High School, 850 Second St., Brentwood, CA 94513.

Upcoming Events

o Spring Meeting, SCAAPT, UCLA, April 3 2004

o Summer Meeting, National AAPT, CSU Sacramento, July 29-August 4, 2004

For more information, check it out online at: www.aapt.org

o Fall Meeting, NCNAAPT, Santa Rosa Junior College, Nov., 2004


To get to Las Positas, take Highway 580 East from San Francisco, or West from the Central Valley.

Take the Airway Boulevard exit from Interstate 580. Turn north towards the hills at the stoplight at the end of the exit ramp. Turn right at the second stoplight, at North Canyons Parkway. Proceed for about a mile, until Collier Canyon Road. Turn left and drive a short distance to the Las Positas College entrance on the right.

Larger version upon clicking map above.
Updated 2/28/04