Spring 2017 Meeting of the Illinois Section of the AAPT

"Solar Physics"

Apr. 7-8, 2017
Charleston, Illinois 61920

We are pleased to invite you to attend the Spring 2017 meeting of the ISAAPT. Come to learn more about physics, discover new tools and techniques for teaching physics, share your experiences via contributed presentations and Take Fives, and meet old and new friends. Note that this meeting includes the annual Student Research Symposium.

Call for 15 min presentations - title deadline: Mar. 28, all information: Mar. 31

Take Fives.  Anyone who registers for the meeting may take 5 minutes or less to share a favorite item related to teaching physics - a demonstration, a new website or app, announcement of an upcoming event, ...  Please use the registration form to tell us the title of your Take Five. There may be time for a few unannounced Take Fives after those that are scheduled in the program.

2017 Distinguished Service CitationThis will be given during the banquet on Friday evening.

Council Meeting.  The Council will meet on Saturday morning.

The registration fee for faculty is $40 (both days), $30 (Friday only), and $20 (Saturday only).
        It is free for students, guests, invited guests, and invited teachers.
        After Mar. 31, the registration fee for faculty will be increased by $5.
  •  Section dues:  $20 (faculty), $10 (K-12)
  •  Workshops (see below)
       W1. "Integrating Computation into Introductory Physics Courses", Friday morning, 9-noon, free
       W2. "Make and Take: Build a Sun Funnel", Friday morning, 9:30-noon, free
       W3.  Repeat of W1, Saturday afternoon, 12:30 - 3:30 pm, free
       W4. "IOLab - a multi-sensor device", 12:30 - 2:30 pm, free
  •  Friday evening banquet:  $25
  •  Saturday box lunch:  $9
  •  The deadline for banquet and lunch reservations is Friday, Mar. 31.

When you arrive at the meeting you may pay the total fees at the registration table by using cash, a personal check, a school or company check, or a credit card.

Host - Cherie Lehman, Eastern Illinois University, cblehman@eiu.edu
This webpage - Andrew Morrisonamorriso@jjc.edu

Invited Speakers

The Science of Space Weather, Friday, 1:15 pm
Ramon E. Lopez, Department of Physics, The University of Texas at Arlington

As our technological civilization becomes more dependent of space technology, we become more vulnerable to changes in the space environment in which that technology functions. These environmental changes are known as “space weather.” In this talk I will discuss what drives space weather and the history of the discovery of this part of the solar-terrestrial connection. I will include a discussion of how the scientific study of eclipses led to things such as the discovery of the hot corona and the first record of what is believed to be a coronal mass ejection. I will then discuss how space weather affects human activities both in space and on the Earth, and recent efforts to monitor and forecast space weather.    

Speaker's Bio: Ramon E. Lopez received his B.S. in Physics in 1980 from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. in Space Physics in 1986 from Rice University. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) where he leads a research group that is working in both space physics and science education. He is also a Co-Director for the UTA UTeach teacher preparation program. His current research focuses solar wind-magnetosphere coupling and the role of visual and spatial cognition in science education. Dr. Lopez is the author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, as well as the popular science book “Storms from the Sun.”  Dr. Lopez is active in promoting high quality science education and diversity in science at all levels. He has served as a consultant for school districts and state education agencies around the country, including the Texas Education Agency. Most recently he was one of the Co-Chairs of the writing team that produced the Next Generation Science Standards. He has also served on several scientific or education-related committees of the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Dr. Lopez has won numerous awards for his work in both space physics and science education.

Step-By-Step Through The Solar Eclipse: What to Expect and How to Prepare, Friday, 2:30 pm
David Linton, Eastern Illinois University

On August 21, Mr. Linton will stand for the fourth time on the centerline of a Solar Eclipse. He will discuss how to safely observe, what to expect from the experience, and how to take advantage of media coverage to assist members of the public (of all ages) in understanding and enjoying this event. He will also discuss the historical importance of ancient eclipse watching and record-keeping to the development of modern science.

Speaker's Bio: M.S. in Astrophysics - University of New Mexico, 1971. Mr. Linton has taught Astronomy in Central Illinois since 1971 – the last 13 years at EIU. He was named Illinois Professor of the Year in 1988, after public outreach activities associated with the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1985-86 – including 50 presentations to groups as diverse as pre-school children and senior citizens. He has lectured on cruise ships and in planetariums, led student groups to the Rockies, to Kitt Peak and to Mexico, taught for a semester in Japan, ridden a mule into the Grand Canyon and a camel into the Sahara Desert, visited the homes of Galileo and Einstein (twice!), and hosted a cosmonaut as his house guest. He enjoys traveling with his wife of 47 years, and playing with his two grandsons.

Eclipses as Heavenly Laboratories: Launching Revolutions in General Relativity and Exoplanets, Friday, 7:00 pm
Brian Fields, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The eclipsed Sun provides a unique laboratory to study fundamental physics and astrophysics. Almost exactly a century ago, Einstein published General Relativity, his relativistic gravity theory in which matter warps spacetime. We will discuss how Einstein's theory predicts that massive objects bend light, and how observations of the 1919 total solar eclipse spectacularly confirmed these predictions and made Einstein a household name. Today, gravitational lensing allows us to map dark matter from the scale of individual galaxies to the great cosmic web of structure.

We will turn next to the partial solar eclipse due to the passage of Venus across the face of the Sun. The 2012 transit of Venus served as a testbed for the method that has provided the most prolific means of detecting planets around other stars. Ingenious and ultra-precise transit observations of other stars encode an astonishing wealth of exoplanet information--their physical properties, orbital parameters and alignment, and even atmospheres and climate. We will conclude with a brief discussion of future transit methods to possibly detect signatures of extraterrestrial life.

Speaker's Bio: Dr. Brian Fields is a professor of Astronomy and of Physics at the University of Illinois. He is currently also the Chair of the Astronomy Department. His work in particle and nuclear astrophysics focuses on cosmology, supernova explosions, cosmic rays, gamma rays, and neutrinos. Brian's worldline passes through Williams College, the University of Chicago, and Notre Dame.

Growing Up at the Dawn of the Space Age, Saturday, 11:00 am
David Linton, Eastern Illinois University

Mr. Linton details the momentous events of the Moon Race, and how they intertwined with events in his personal life to lead him to pursue a career in teaching Astronomy and Physics.

All of these workshops are free.

W1. Friday, 9:00 am - noon
Integrating Computation into Introductory Physics Courses
Kelly Roos, Bradley University

The coordinator/leader of this workshop is a member of the Partnership for Integrating Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP), an informal organization of physics faculty from across the country who are dedicated to positively impacting the undergraduate physics curriculum through the inclusion of computation in physics courses. It is important to note that, though the name of the organization has the word “undergraduate” in its title, the PICUP materials and approach, especially with respect to introductory physics courses, are also entirely appropriate for high school physics teachers. Thus, all physics faculty, including high school teachers, are welcome to participate in this free workshop, and will greatly benefit from the experience.  

In this workshop participants will engage in three activities.

  Work through a computational activity from the PICUP collection
   2.  Consider and discuss ways to integrate computation into traditional and non-traditional formats of
        introductory physics courses
   3.  Begin to develop a practical strategy for exposing their students to computational activities

No prior computer programming or computing environment experience is necessary to participate in this workshop. It is necessary, however, to bring your own laptop computer. The workshop leader will guide participants through the process of building a basic computational model using a spreadsheet program; therefore, if you do not have any programming experience, or would like to learn how to implement a computational model using a spreadsheet, make sure you have a functioning spreadsheet program on your laptop.

If you do have a favorite programming environment, i.e. MATLAB, Python, Jupyter notebooks, Mathematica, Fortran, C/C++, etc., you can use it to work through the computational activity, instead of the spreadsheet.

W2. Friday, 9:30 am - noon Make and Take: Build a Sun Funnel
Carl Wenning, Illinois State University

Participants will learn about how to make and use a sun funnel for group viewing of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Participants are asked to bring a flat-headed screw driver, small hacksaw, medium to fine sandpaper, and a 12in/30cm ruler. All other materials are included. Supplemental information will include a copy of the presenter's 24-eclipse guide to the total solar eclipse. The materials and eclipse guide are paid for by a grant from the ISAAPT.

W3. Saturday, 12:30 - 3:30 pm, This is a repeat of Workshop W1.
Integrating Computation into Introductory Physics Courses
Kelly Roos, Bradley University

W4. Saturday, 12:30 - 2:30 pm
IOLab – a multi-sensor device
Morten Lundsgaard, Physics Department, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Developed by Mats Selen and the PER group at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the IOLab is a wireless data acquisition system which interfaces with a PC/Mac using a USB dongle from up to 100 ft away. It is small (3 cm x 7.5 cm x 13 cm) and light (less than 200 g), which makes it highly portable.

The most recent version of the IOLab contains more than twenty sensors or inputs, including a 3D accelerometer, a 3D magnetometer, a 3D gyroscope, wheels which record position, velocity, and acceleration, a force probe, and both analog and digital inputs. Data can be analyzed in the IOLab program itself, or can be output to a comma separated value file for analysis in a spreadsheet or other software.

Some of the many applications of the IOLab are measuring force, acceleration, velocity, and displacement in mechanics labs, measuring voltage drop, current, magnetic field in EM labs, and measuring light and sound in wave labs.

In the workshop, we will begin by giving a brief description of the IOLab by showing examples of how it has been used in courses from middle school through college. Next, participants will work with the IOLab in groups based on interest in their usage of the IOLab. At the end of the workshop, groups will share their ideas. Participants should bring a computer so they can work with the IOLab on their own computer.

For more information see the IOLab channel on YouTube and the IOLab website.