Spring meeting at PASCO in Roseville

We’re excited to announce that PASCO will host our spring 2009 meeting at their facilities in Roseville, CA. The date of the meeting is Saturday, March 28, 2009. Mark your calendars!

In addition to great presentations by PASCO (not strictly focused on their equipment), we’ll also offer our ever popular Show ‘n’ Tell–everyone is invited to bring a five minute presentation of your favorite lab, handout, website, or other teaching resource.

More details will be posted here shortly.

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Modeling Instruction and Workshops

Over the years, the Modeling Instruction program at Arizona State has created materials and a pedagogical approach that focuses on (and seems to get) deep student understanding of basic physics concepts. And they’re branching out into other disciplines.

It takes a commitment of time, energy, and possibly a willingness to be in Phoenix for a few weeks in the summer, but it’s worth learning more. Visit http://modeling.asu.edu for more background.

Their national workshop list is at http://modeling.asu.edu/MW_nation.html.

More Great Summer Programs for Teachers

You can learn cool summer stuff and earn money while you’re doing it.

  • In the IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Mathematics Education) Summer Fellowship Program, you work in a technically-oriented workplace or research lab, contribute to what goes on there, and translate your experience into improved instruction. Summer 2007, you could earn up to $8200!
    Check out http://www.iisme.org/AboutSummerFellowships.cfm.
    You can read sample postings from previous summers at http://www.iisme.org/samplejobs.cfm.
    Applicants must currently teach K–16 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara or Santa Cruz County.
  • The Edward Teller Education Center (ETEC) of the UC Davis School of Education in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), is offering two new programs this summer for the Teacher Research Academy and an option for an advanced degree. You can learn more at http://etec.ucdavis.edu. These may be related to other LLNL offerings, below.
  • Once again, Lawrence Livermore is hosting a series of summer opportunities for teachers. You can work in biotechnology, fusion/astrophysics, or energy technologies and environment. Summer programs starting in 2007 can lead to internships as part of a research team. The idea is that your new knowledge and skills will enhance your instruction. There is money for stipends, lodging, and travel.
    Check it out at http://education.llnl.gov/doeacts/.

Brentwood Debrief

Our Spring 2008 Meeting took place April 18–19 at Heritage High School in Brentwood. Check out the program! The SNAAPT petition (you can download it here) was voted upon by the 50 or so attendees and passed unanimously. We wish them luck!

Dean Baird, documentor and presenter extraordinaire, has assembled some cool stuff here. In includes links to:

  • Skepticism in the Classroom (a page of mini-lessons in critical thinking)
  • The Amazing Meeting (hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation)

And photos, of course! [camera]

Help from AAPT: finding faculty, finding jobs

The AAPT Online Career Center is now associated with the AIP, APS, and AVS Career Centers. You can submit a resumé free of charge on our site and your resumé is automatically entered into a searchable database to which employers have easy online access. Visit the AAPT Online Career Center at http://careers.aapt.org/search/.

[pdf]Here is a flyer (400K, pdf) that describes the Career Center. You could give to the administrator at your school who is responsible for hiring new faculty.

K–12 engineering newsletter available

Go Engineering! is the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)’s free, bi-weekly electronic newsletter that goes out to thousands of K–12 science and math educators across the country. Go Engineering! reaches into America’s classrooms to promote the importance of engineering and technology education and explores the many ways engineering and technology can help teachers meet the challenge of making mathematics and science come alive for students. Subscribe for free at http://www.engineeringk12.org.

Spring 2005 Meeting Invited Speaker

>California State University at Fresno
Saturday, April 9, 2005
Don’t miss this talk!

Invited Speaker: Michael Nauenberg, UC Santa Cruz

Einstein’s quantum theory of radiation revisited

In 1916 Einstein published a remarkable paper entitled “On the Quantum Theory of Radiation” [1]-[3] where he derived Planck’s formula for black-body radiation by a new statistical hypothesis for the emmision and absorption of electromagneic radiation based on discrete bundles of energy and momentum which we now call photons. Einstein radiation theory replaced Maxwell’s classical theory by a stochastic process, and in this talk I will show that it also gives the well known quantum statistics of massless particles with even spin [2]. These statistics however, were not discovered by Einstein but communicated to him by Bose in 1924. Like Boltzmann’s classical counterpart, Einstein’s statistical theory leads to an irreversible approach to thermal equilibrium, but because this violates time reversal, Einstein theory can not be regarded as a fundamental theory of physical processs [2]. Apparently Einstein and his contemporaries were unaware of this problem, and even today this problem is ignored in contemporary discussions of Einstein’s treatment of the black-body spectrum.


[1] A. Einstein “On the Quantum theory of Radiation” Phys. Zeitschrift 18 (1917) 121. First printed in Mitteilungender Physikalischen Gesellschaft Zurich. No 18, 1916. Translated into English in Van der Waerden Sources of Quantum Mechanics (North Holland 1967) pp. 63-77.

[2] M. Nauenberg, ” The evolution of radiation towards thermal equilibrium: A soluble model which illustrates the foundations of statistical mechanics” American Journal of Physics 72 (2004) 313

[3] D. Kleppner, “Rereading Einstein on Radiation” Physics Today, February 2005 , p. 30

Last modified 15 March 2005.