Program for the Spring 2010 meeting


Saturday, April 24, 2010
Cypress College

Meeting Room: Sciecnce, Engineering, and Math (SEM) Buillding, Room 1

Local Host: Ron Armale

Contribute a 15 minute talk or a brief demo for the Show'n Tell segment using the online submission form or communicate directly with the program chair, Jeff Phillips. The deadline for contributions for this meeting has passed.

Food is available at numerous restaurants just off campus. Ron Armale has provided this guide and map to help you make your choice and find it!

Online maps.

Park in Lot 8 and walk east to the SEM building. Important: Place this flyer on your dashboard since Lot 8 will be restricted to SCAAPT meeting participants. There is also open Swap Meet parking in all other lots.


Arbor Scientific
Vernier Software and Technology
John Wiley and Sons

Please take some time to check out the commercial workshops and exhibits at the meeting and especially to thank the representatives for their support of our organization.

"What volume of CO2 should a resting human produce with each breath?"
The person giving the median answer is the winner and gets first pick of the door prizes.

Program Schedule  
8:15 AM
Registration, Refreshments, Exhibits
8:30 AM

Workshop: "Construction of inexpensive momentum and energy collision carts and track."
Leader—Bill Layton (UCLA) & Bob Baker (University Senior High School)

The cost of the materials is $20. (Space is limited to 10 people. Please send a reservation to Bill Layton.)

Detaills about the construction of the carts can be found here.

10:00 AM

Welcome and announcements
10:15 AM

Contributed: "Problem Solving without the Problems"
Peanut McCoy, Azusa Pacific University

Training in problem solving techniques is a staple of physics classes. However, many physics departments teach nonmathematical classes such as physical science, earth science, or astronomy. A firm grasp of concepts still requires some problem solving techniques, but without the rigor imposed by math students easily lapse into rote learning. I present a 5 step problem solving strategy for solving conceptual “problems”. The essential elements of this process are “cause-effect statements”, which play a role similar to mathematical equations. Early applications of this problem solving strategy have shown large gains in student test performance in an Earth Science class. (Additional supporting materials.)

10:30 AM

Contributed- "Coupled Oscillator Model for the Low Frequency (50 to 250 Hz) Response of Guitars"
John Popp, Retired

A 4-mass coupled oscillator model for the guitar will be described. The calculated resonances, phases, and overall response curves match, reasonably well, what was measured for a Martin D28 folk and a Kohno classical guitar. Fundamental measured parameters such as stiffness, mass, and area of top and back plates and rose hole area and cavity volume are inputs to the calculations. A computer program that uses freeware to do the calculations will be demonstrated and/or described and made available to anyone interested in them. The program runs on Macintosh computers and allows one to vary parameters and see the changes in response in a matter of minutes; it is rather like doing experiments on a host of guitars and seeing what the outcome is. This feature makes it a useful tool for teaching and for research. (Those interested in my guitar model can email me for copies of my programs. They require MathPad which is available as freeware here.)

10:45 AM

Invited: "Neutrino Hunting using High-Altitude Balloons in Antarctica"
David Saltzberg, UCLA

Antarctica is the only continent reserved entirely for peace and science. NASA's long-duration high altitude balloon program is one example of unique science done on the continent. I will describe my experience working "on the ice" using the two programs. In particular we looked for high energy neutrinos striking the ice, which served as a 1 million square kilometer telescope for neutrinos. We also performed research in the Antarctic deep field, using resources provided by the United States Antarctic Program. I will describe how the program supports scientists need to go "into the field" in Antarctica.

11:45 AM

Business Meeting-Officer elections and announcements

12:15 PM


1:15 PM

Invited: "Planck Visualization Project: Seeing and Hearing the Cosmic Microwave Background"
Jatila van der Veen, UC Santa Barbara

The Planck Mission, launched May 14, 2009, will measure the sky over nine frequency channels, with temperature sensitivity of a few 10-6 K, and angular resolution of up to 5 arc minutes. Planck is expected to provide the data needed to set tight constraints on cosmological parameters, study the ionization history of the Universe, probe the dynamics of the inflationary era, and test fundamental physics. The Planck Visualization Project consists of two parts: The first is a Virtual Reality simulation of the mission, in which viewers can follow the satellite on its orbit around the second Lagrange point as it maps the CMB, and peer inside the instruments, following the path of a photon. In the second part, starting with the CMB power spectrum, we model processes in the very early universe using multi-dimensional visualization and sonification techniques, thus allowing the viewer to "observe" the earliest moments of the universe. References:

Prepublication copy of article by JvdV
US Planck home page
European Space Agency Planck Science Page
Planck pages in the UK
French Planck site

2:15 PM

"Show'n Tell"

James Lincoln: "Tuning a Tuning Fork - this is amazing," Ron Armale: "Poly Density Bottle," Peter Krumbein: "Determining the Amount of Charge on Styrofoam Balls, and many others!

If you wish to give a Show & Tell presentation, sign up at the registration table in the morning.

2:45 PM

Contributed: "Not the Usual Coupled Oscillators"
Bernard Cleyet, UC Santa Cruz (ret'd)

Commercially available teaching apparatus is easily modified to show the behavior of a spring oscillator and a magnetic hardening oscillator.   I will demonstrate the apparatus and show a video of the two normal modes, graphs of captured data, and numerical modeling with various amounts of Coulomb damping.

3:00 PM

Contributed: "iFly Indoor Skydiving – Field Trips"
Cailin Creighton, iFly Indoor Skydiving

A discussion of physics topics relating to skydiving, indoor skydiving, and the operation of vertical wind tunnels. Also, information on how to bring your students on a field trip to a vertical wind tunnel for an educational program including experiments, a lecture, a tour, and flying.

3:15 PM

Contributed: "Why Do We Use this Symbol for that?"
James Lincoln, Tarbut V’Torah HS

Why do we use h for Planck’s constant, or I for current? What does the “a” in ΣF=ma really stand for? Who decided, and when, to use c for the speed of light? I have done some historical research on several symbols and constants, tracking down when they first appeared in literature and what they actually stand for. The results have been enlightening and that they will help both teachers and students understand the meaning behind the choice for the symbols we use.

3:30 PM

Contributed: "Novel, Low-Cost, Side-Illuminated, Multi-Point Optical Fiber Sensor"
Claudio Oliveira Egalon, Science and Sensors Technologies and Loyola Marymount University

A novel low cost optical fiber sensor, ideal for the classroom, has been developed under NSF and USDA grants. This unique sensor uses side illumination to probe multiple points along an optical fiber length with a spatial resolution of up to 5 mm. It can be used to:

1. Demonstrate simple spectroscopic measurements using fluorescence, absorption and/or scattering.
2. Demonstrate light propagation at angles outside the critical angle in optical waveguides
3. Introduce students to opto-electronic devices and others.

Different parameters have been measured with this sensor including relative humidity, turbidity and concentrations of chloride, nitrate, phosphate and potassium ions.

3:45 PM
The World Famous "Order of Magnitude Contest" and Door Prizes
4:00 PM
Meeting Adjourns