PhysCon 2016 Recap

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PhysCon 2016 Recap

Photos and quotes from the 2016 Quadrennial Physics Congress (PhysCon)

Approximately 1,200 attendees filled the ballroom and meeting halls at the Hyatt Regency-San Francisco Airport.

Sandy Spicer from Siena College takes questions from Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell at the poster sessions.

“By far the most valuable thing I took from PhysCon is the network of connections I built there. I am touched by the amount of support I received at PhysCon—support both for my project and for my future as a physicist.”
—Kristine Romich, City College of Chicago

Poster presentations gave students a chance to talk shop with mentors and colleagues.

Dr. Patrick Brady presents “The Dawn of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy.”

“During the weeks leading up to PhysCon, I was contemplating if physics was the right path for me. I was trying to find what my passion was, but I just couldn’t find a branch of physics that really intrigued me. It wasn’t until I attended Patrick Brady’s seminar at PhysCon that I realized how fascinating astrophysics was to me. Ever since I was young, I was always interested in space. I had always been mesmerized by the endless vacuum that our planet lies within, however the idea of merging both my passion for physics and astronomy had never crossed my mind. After listening to Professor Brady’s lecture on the scientific breakthrough of gravitational waves, I finally understood where my future as a physicist was headed.”
—Letrell Harris, Hampton University

AIP CEO Robert G.W. Brown hits the dance floor at “The Silicon Dance Party” sponsored by the American Physical Society.

Attendees engaged in discussions at various workshops, while moderators known as “Workshop Wizards” facilitated discussions.

“Looking ahead to what I might do with a degree in the theoretical aspects of astroparticle physics, the early highlight of PhysCon came with my tour of SLAC. Operated by Stanford University, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has made several remarkable breakthroughs in precisely the areas of physics I’m enthralled by! Although learning the history and touring the facilities were fantastic, the moment that really struck me was seeing a detailed Periodic Table of the Elements over the desks. Especially after I encountered another one hanging in a different cubicle area, I realized that these weren’t just ornamentation – they’re for reference as well. I always find it inspiring to see what we learn in school actually being used in our desired professions! Even more excitingly, I could be coming back to SLAC to conduct my own research someday!”
—Kathleen Hamilton, Howard Community College

Students toured the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, one of several tour options included in registration.

Dr. S. James Gates presents “L'arte della fisica (The Art of Physics), Accessing My Creativity App.”

PhysCon in Focus

  • 1,118 attendees
  • 34% female, 66% male
  • Representation from 45 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Canada, Hungary, and Mexico
  • Representation from 186+ colleges and universities
  • 349 poster presentations
  • 72 attendees from historically black colleges and universities or minority-serving Institutions received an NSF travel scholarship covering their registration, airfare, and hotel and all presented their research
  • $33,973 donated by individuals in the SPS/Sigma Pi Sigma community to support student travel

SPS President DJ Wagner (left) stands with her students from Grove City College.

Jordan Rice, Carthage College, is pictured with her piece “We are all made of starstuff,” which won first place in the Unifying Fields (Mixed Media) category.

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