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Tools of the Physicist
Tools of the Physicist
A pencil and paper. A rock and a feather. These are some of the simplest tools of the physicist. You probably used them when you were a student: You dropped objects off a tall building, registered the results, repeated the experiment until the data were sufficient, and shared your results—as you learned about the state of physics back then.
Today, the physics community knows far more about the matter, energy, and forces that make up the universe. And the physicist has an incredibly sophisticated toolbox to work with. Ever since physics went Big Science, larger and larger tools have allowed larger and larger teams to ask new questions and think of new ways to seek answers. Computers now play a central role in physics, and new textbooks contain concepts that were still unverified when you were a student and, in some cases, a completely new view of how the universe works. But students are still going up on top of tall buildings and letting objects fall, doing the hard work of learning for themselves how nature works. The developments in physics that they are learning about reflect the contributions of you and your colleagues, and there is much they can learn from you about participating in the community of scientists.
Sigma Pi Sigma and the Society of Physics Students have more than 500 active chapters across the United States and beyond. Chapter and zone meetings, outreach events, and research experiences are taking place around the clock. All of these activities benefit from the participation and input of alumni. This season, consider reaching out and supporting some students near you:
- Volunteer to share your story at a local chapter meeting
- Host a tour of your workplace for chapters in your area
- Help a chapter write and submit an award-winning SPS grant proposal
- Donate to the SPS scholarship fund
The opportunity to connect with students is at your fingertips, literally! Just type www.facebook.com/SPSNational into your browser, or visit twitter.com/SPS_physicsnews or linkedin.com/grp/sigmapisigma to find out what is going on. If social media is not your thing, contact the National Office and we will connect you to your local chapters. We still read mail in paper form (Sigma Pi Sigma – 1 Physics Ellipse – College Park, MD 20740). We also respond to electronic mail (sps [at] aip.org), we answer the phone (301-209-3007), and we would love to talk with you in person at a meeting. We would be delighted to connect you to current students—and promise that you will be delighted, too!