The Chicago Section of the American Association 

of  Physics Teachers

Spring Meeting 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Schedule Overview
8:30 am - 9:00 am      Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:00 am - 12:00 pm    Invited and Contributed Talks

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm    Lunch and Business Meeting

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm      Workshop

Click HERE to register for the Spring 2018 Meeting. 

Click HERE to submit an abstract for a poster. 
Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Rhett Allain

Title: The Physics of Star Wars and Science Fiction

Abstract:  Of course we all know that Star Wars isn’t real.  However, that doesn’t stop us from using the fundamental ideas in physics to explore and model different situations we see in the Star Wars movies.  Consider the way R2-D2 flies by pointing his thrusters backwards in order to move with a constant velocity.  The only way for this motion to agree with Newtonian mechanics is to include an air resistance force.  Using the thrust angle and estimations for the speed, the mass of R2-D2 can be determined.

There are many other estimations from the Star Wars movies.  How fast are blaster bolts?  How can you push a Star Destroyer?  This talk will focus on the analysis of questions such as these and also from other science fiction movies.

Workshop:  Numerical Calculations in Introductory Physics Using Python (presented by our Keynote Speaker)

Abstract: Whether you like it or not, numerical calculations are a standard tool in just about every technical field (physics including).  In recent years, there have been significant improvements that remove student barriers to coding in python and I suggest that it should be included in all introductory physics courses.


In this workshop, I will guide you through the python-based materials that I use in my own introductory classes for students without any prior coding experiences.  These exercises can be completed on a laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone - feel free to bring your own device