August 2010 e-Wave

Alabama Section of AAPT

President-Duane Pontius  dpontius@bsc.edu

President-Elect-Ali Yazdi   ayazdi@jeffstateonline.com

Section Rep-Stan Jones  stjones@bama.ua.edu

Secretary/Treas-Tommi Holsenbeck  eholsenbeck@alasu.edu

Past President-Marllin Simon msimon@physics.auburn.edu

Physics in Alabama for 2010-2011

PHYSICS is HERE!!—what better way to begin a school year.

This month’s e-Wave will share information to excite you, inform you and request from you.  Please check out the Alabama Physics Teachers wiki (A wiki {/ˈwɪki/ WIK-ee} is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language).  Ours is located at:


There is a page/place for everyone that teaches in Kindergarten through Graduate School to ask questions, share tips, post ideas plus anything else a physics teacher needs or wants.  You can join the wiki or just be an observer.  Recently there has been some more interest and I’m requesting you send me (eholsenbeck@alasu.edu) any items you would like to share.  You can join and send all members of the wiki an email, or post questions, suggestions, funny physics jokes, or great web site on the “Home” page or any of the other area pages.   Share this information with all your physics friends.

Try It, You’ll Like It!

Save the Date: 2011 AAPT Winter Meeting, Jacksonville, FL. January 8-12, 2011. Celebrating 100 Years of Nuclear Physics (1911-2011). http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/wm2011/

U.S. Physics Team Scoops 1 Gold, 2 Silver, and 2 Bronze Medals at International Physics Competition

The US top physics students are bringing home 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals from the 41st International Physics Olympiad, held this year from July 17 to 25 in Zagreb, Croatia.
The gold medal winner: Daniel Li, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA
The silver medal winners: Eric Spieglan, a sophomore at Naperville North High School, Naperville, IL and Anand Oza, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD
The bronze medal winners: Jenny Lu, a senior at Pomperaug High School in Southbury, CT and David Field, of Andover, MA, a senior at the Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, MA
The US Physics Team tied with Korea for 11th place. China, Taiwan, and Thailand tied for 1st place with five gold medals each.


2010 High School Physics Photo Contest Winners

Attendees at the AAPT Summer Meeting in Portland voted for their favorites from the top 100 photos selected by the judges and they were displayed during the summer meeting. The winning photos and the top 100 are at this site: http://www.aapt.org/programs/contests/winners.cfm?theyear=2010

For all high school teachers, think about entering in the spring of 2011.  Information will be posted in the fall for all those 1st semester physics classes on block schedule. 

Physics Classroom Calculator Pad

comPADREThree new sections have been added to the Calculator Pad section of the Physics Classroom. View problem sets with audio guided solutions in Electricity; Waves, Sound, and Light; and Ray Optics.

The Calculator Pad represents the effort of The Physics Classroom website to provide students with practice solving physics word problems. Approximately 30 problems of varying degree of difficulty are provided for each topic. Answers can be easily viewed by clicking a button. And an audio file (mp3 format) is provided which explains the solution to the problem in great detail. With problems, answers, and solutions, physics students can learn to practice good habits of solving physics word problems and improve their understanding of quantitative relationships in physics.

AAPT Membership Video Contest

The AAPT Membership and Benefits Committee in conjunction with the membership department will invite members to create original videos about why someone should join the association. Approved videos will then be posted on the AAPT YouTube Channel. Entrants will submit their videos together with copyright transfer/entry agreement form to AAPT between August 15 and November 15, 2010.

Length of Videos: 1- 5 minutes
Video Goal: explain, in a clear and entertaining way, why one should join AAPT.
The video itself should include the following:
1. The name(s) and affiliation of the submitter.
2. The category: University and Four Year College Faculty, Two Year College Faculty, High School Teacher, Pre-High School Teacher, or Student.
All content, including music, must be original. The video must contain only original material.
The prize for each of the 5 categories will be a $100 gift certificate to the Physics Store.

Judging Criteria
Each Judge will rate the video on each of the following criteria as (1) fair; (2) good; (3) very good; or (4) outstanding:
1. Relevance to Prospective Members—does the video make someone want to join AAPT?
2. Video Quality
3. Creativity


Northwestern University’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) announces the availability of four new high school lab activities utilizing remote online labs on http://www.iLabCentral.org, where students and teachers from around the world can access and share high-end lab equipment.

Rice University has posted the video of their 25th Distinguished Marlar Lecture, Mike Brown from Caltech, with the title "Why I killed Pluto and why it had it coming".  It was a delightful lecture, with an enthusiastic audience, from the scientist who discovered Eris and thus had to demote Pluto from the ranks of "planet".  To watch the show, go to


If you receive this e-Wave you dues are current through 2010-11.  Pass along this application along to a colleague. 


Alabama Section AAPT

Membership Application 2010-11


Name:  ______________________________________________

School Name: ________________________________________

School Address: _______________________________________


Telephone ( school):  ____________________________________

Home Address:  ________________________________________    _________________________________________

Telephone (home):  ______________________________________


Email:  (please print)__________________________________


Occupation:  _ K-8  _HS Faculty   _2-Yr Coll   _4-Yr Coll   _ Univ Fac_ Other

Send dues ($5 or check to Alabama Section of AAPT) to:

Tommi Holsenbeck,

2833 McGehee Rd

Montgomery, AL 36111