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Physics breakthroughs on tap at New Orleans conference

The March Meeting of American Physical Society will take place March 10-14, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 7,000 scientists are expected to be on hand. The principal topic areas will be condensed matter physics, industrial applications, new materials, chemical and biological physics, fluids, polymers, and computation.

The March meeting is both a great showcase for fundamental physics research and an engine for producing the kind of practical devices and phenomena that characterize our technological society.

Below are some selected topics that will be presented at the meeting.

  • Optical lattices, which trap atoms in a grid of light, are bringing us much closer to the realization of quantum computers that will solve problems that no conventional computer can tackle.

  • Race cars, motorcycles, superheroes and major league steroid abuse all have at least one thing in common: theyre among the unusual topics in materials physics being addressed at this years APS annual meeting.

  • Tin buckyballs may not sound as elegant as their gold cousins, but they are likely to result in new materials with unusual properties that the gold versions cant match.

  • Physicists are getting closer to making artificial nerve cells, potentially leading to neuroprostetics to repair or replace damaged nerves.

  • The Sandbot a robot built specifically to walk on sand offers insights into the locomotion of creatures that walk on shaky ground or even on water.

  • Econophysics is a hot new field that can help us understand the seemingly impenetrable shifts in stock markets, the transmission of newly emerging cell phone viruses, and even the struggles on military battlefields.

  • Nanoparticles, tiny spheres billionths of a meter across, are leading to new technologies to track and treat cancer and other diseases.

  • The next step in microelectronics may have less to do with shrinking components than reducing power consumption with tiny switches.


Contact: James Riordon
American Physical Society

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