SPS Zone 2 Meeting

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SPS Zone Meeting

April 15, 2023

Rochester, NY

Meeting host:

Society of Physics Students


Lysa Wade

SPS Chapter:

Rochester Symposium for Physics (Astronomy and Optics) Students (RSPS) 2023 Report

On the morning of Saturday, April 15th, 2023 the Forty-First Rochester Symposium for Physics (Astronomy and Optics) Students (RSPS), which also served as a Northeast Regional Zone 2 Meeting for the National Society of Physics Students, was held at the University of Rochester.  Ninety three registrants consisting of presenters, advisors, non-presenters, and guests, from Adelphi College, Colgate University, Cornell University, Hamilton College, Houghton College, Manhattan College, RIT, Roberts Wesleyan College, Siena College, St. Lawrence University, Stonybrook University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY College at Brockport, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Potsdam, Union College, United States Military Academy West Point, University of Buffalo and University of Rochester. All ninety-three attendees enjoyed the conference luncheon served in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees library, followed by a presentation and workshop activity about Physics Careers provided by Professor Matthew Wright, SPS Zone Councilor. Brad Conrad, SPS Director gave the welcome talk to begin the conference. Conference guests received a breakfast, mid-morning refreshment break during the poster session and refreshments again at the time of departure. 

Founded in 1981 the RSPS symposia has endured and strengthened to become a conference that undergraduate students, faculty, visitors, and guests look forward to each Spring that joins northeastern regional institutes in the field of physics and related fields of science.  As of 2006, the RSPS research conference began a new tradition with Houghton College, of hosting the symposium at other northeastern regional colleges every third year. The RSPS was another great success held at West Point, 2009 and Siena College, 2012 and at SUNY Oswego in 2015 and at SUNY Brockport in 2018. As of 2007, the RSPS conference registration is available online. 

The Symposium is a one-day meeting at which undergraduate students give fifteen-minute papers and/or poster session on research projects, library study projects, independent laboratory work, senior thesis, or summer projects, in fields of physics, astronomy, optics, and other related fields.  The abstracts that have been submitted by students have covered the subject matter quite diversely, such as condensed matter, astronomy, nuclear physics, environmental, medical and biological physics, particle physics, quantum optics, instrumentation and techniques, and educational physics.  The RSPS research conferences are less formal than American Physical Society Meetings, however, the format is the same.

The 2023 conference options for supporters and colleagues to attend offered a diversification in levels of knowledge and wide range with 21 presentations and 14 posters for the poster session in the fields of all related fields of physics.  The symposium consisted of three separate parallel sessions (Session I, III and IV) and a poster session (Session II). One can see from the list below the various fields of physics, astronomy and optics applied from the presentations given by the undergraduates who participated in the symposium.

The conference continues to make modifications to improve efforts and support giving undergraduates opportunities to work with their advisors and present their work in the fields of physics, astronomy and optics, while maintaining the origination of being one of the best Regional Zone 2 conferences offered annually.

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