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Southeastern Pennsylvania Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers 2011 Spring Meeting


April 1-2, 2011


University of the Sciences
600 S. 43rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Campus Map and Directions


Tarlok Aurora, Professor of Physics
Department of Mathematics, Physics and Statistics
t.aurora@usp.edu | 215.596.8911 (direct), 215.596.8593 (department)

Tentative Meeting Program

Friday, April 1, 2011

McNeil Science & Technology Center (STC)

5:30-7 PM Registration and Dinner
Location: STC Atrium
7-8 PM Invited Talk, Open to Public (no charge)
Prof. Philip Nelson, University of Pennsylvania
Title: "Human vision and the nature of light"
Location: STC 145
Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pharmacology Toxicology Center (PTC)

8 AM Registration, Breakfast
Location: PTC 140
9-9:15 AM Welcome
9:15-10:15 AM Invited Talk
Dr. Dorjderem Nyamjav and Dr. Sergio Freire
University of the Sciences
Topic: Nanotechnology
10:30-11:30 AM Demonstrations, Contributed Papers
11:30 AM–12:30 PM Business Meeting and Prize Giveaway
12:30-1:45 PM Lunch, Poster Session
2-4 PM Workshops
4–4:30 PM Tour of the Department and adjournment


There is no additional charge for workshops, but pre-registration (either by email or regular mail) is required. Both workshops run from 2-4 PM in McNeil Science & Technology Center. Registration information is given below.

Session A, STC 202

Nanotechnology workshop (limit: 25 participants)
Drs. Julie Nucci and Jim Overhiser (Cornell University)

Session B, STC 204

Probeware (Pasco and Vernier) Workshop (limit 20 participants)
Mr. Barry Feierman, Bill Berner (UPenn)


Human vision and the nature of light, Dr. Philip Nelson, University of Pennsylvania
When we introduce quantum ideas to students, traditionally one of the first phenomena we offer them is blackbody radiation. But that is pretty abstract as an opening gambit. I've found that students respond well when shown the remarkable fact that their own eyes contain receptor cells capable of detecting single photons. Early experiments demonstrated that fact in indirect ways, but recently it has become possible to measure the tiny currents from individual rod and cone cells as they are stimulated with flashes of light, and in this way to measure their complete spectral response curves. Remarkably, such single-cell measurements allow us to make concrete predictions about our perception of color, putting Thomas Young's 3-color theory on a quantitative footing almost 200 years after he proposed it.

Nanotechnology, Dr. Dorjderem Nyamjav and Dr. Sergio Freire, USciences
Nanoscience is a relatively new scientific field that encompasses multiples of different fields of science and engineering. Nanoscience is interested in understanding the effects of scaling and properties of matter at scales of nanometers. The challenges are numerous, starting from how to scale down a laboratory experiment (matter) to such small scales and how to observe the experiment (matter). This leads to another new field that is nanotechnology. This talk is designed to provide a brief overview of Nanoscience and technology, the challenges, the successes and breakthroughs, and how it can affect our daily lives or the future.

Nanotechnology workshop, Drs. Julie Nucci and Jim Overhiser, Cornell University
This two-hour nanotechnology workshop will include two short activities that help students better relate to the Nanoscale and powers of ten, a lecture on scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), and an AFM lab activity developed by the CNS Institute for Physics Teachers (CIPT) at Cornell University. For the AFM lab activity, teams of teachers will simulate a topographic scanner by using a platform mounted LASER probe to attempt to discern the structure of an unknown block of Legos® built by another team. Upon completion of this workshop teachers will be qualified to borrow the AFM lab activity hardware free of charge for use in their classrooms via the CIPT equipment lending library.

Probeware workshop, Mr. Barry Feierman and Bill Berner, UPenn
This two-hour “probeware” workshop will cover the use of a variety of Vernier and Pasco probes with computers to augment the laboratory experience. It will also include hands-on participation. We will demonstrate and you will work with motion sensors, force sensors, rotary motion sensors, smart pulleys, accelerometers, photo gates, microphones, voltage and current, sound level meters, spectrophotometers, and video.


Click here to download the registration form (pdf)

  Members Non Members Students

Friday Lecture (Open to public, no cost)

Friday Dinner $30 $35 $25
Saturday (Breakfast, Lunch, Registration and Workshops $40 $45 $20
Friday and Saturday $60 $70 $40
Registration deadline

Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Late registration will be charged an extra $10. Make checks payable to "SEPS AAPT". Please mail your registration fees/ information to Mr. Art Zadrozny, 1229 Gail Road, West Chester, PA 19380.  artzadrozny@gmail.com.  Include the following information with registration: name, phone, e-mail, and whether you need vegetarian meals and would like to attend a workshop.

Contributed Papers or Demonstrations

If you would like to present a paper or demonstration, please email the title and a brief abstract to Tarlok Aurora at USciences (t.aurora@usp.edu). A Contributed paper will be scheduled for 10 minutes due to time constraints. The contributed abstracts that are received first will be scheduled for oral presentations (if so requested) and latter submissions will be placed in a poster session. Deadline March 21. Late abstracts may be accepted if space is available.


Free parking is available on campus during meeting times. You may park in the lots in front of or behind the Athletic Recreation Center (ARC) building both on Friday and Saturday during meeting times.

Public transportation

The University is accessible by car and by public transportation. SEPTA trolley route numbers 11 and 36 have stops on campus (- on Woodland Avenue). Route 13 stops on Chester Avenue and route 34 stops on Baltimore avenue, both within 1 or 2 blocks of campus.


University City Hilton and Sheraton are about 1 mile from the university.

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