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APS NW May 24, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in physics life.
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Each year the North West regional division of the American Physical Society (APS) holds its meeting: APS North West. The APS talks are great — everyone can talk. It is a very low pressure setting, and everyone sees everyone else year after year. This year two fellow bloggers gave plenary talks. Old-time Quantum Diaries blogger, Makoto Fujiwara, from TRIUMF, gave a great talk on his anti-hydrogen capture experiment. Local UW fellow, David Bacon (who mentions APSNW here), also gave a talk (and thanks again, David, for helping me out recently!). Sadly, that was on Friday morning and I had to miss that due to teaching. But everyone I talked to said it was very good. I wish they recorded these talks! On the other hand, in the particle physics section of the conference I did record a few talks. Andrew Larkoski (undergrad) and Kyle Amour (grad) talked about their work on LHC Olympics, Matt Strassler talked about Hidden Valley models, and Amanda Grey talked about some asymmetry work she’d done with DZERO a while back. I’ve got video (ha!), and I’ll post that as soon as I have a chance to edit it. On Saturday morning Paul Gilbert gave a talk titled Appreciating the Roll of an Engineer in Building Science Research. What a fantastic talk. He was involved (in many cases leading) the civil construction of some of the largest particle physics experiments around — the SLAC linear collider and the ill fated Superconducting Super Collider. His story about “accidentally” blowing up the rock below the SLAC computing center while digging the tunnels was great (air quotes: it was really intentional)! It took place this year on the University of Puget Sound campus. It was a rather idyllic campus setting; the grounds were perfectly kept. Some of the buildings were almost 100 years old — I found an inlay that claimed to be from 1849, though I don’t believe it. Beautiful small college. Who would have thought it was just out side Tacoma!? (OK, I shouldn’t make too much fun of Tacoma). I took a few pictures (sorry, it was just too dark to take pictures w/out a flash in the talk room).

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