Gordon Research Conferences
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Conference Program
 
Physics Research & Education
Electromagnetism
June 11-16, 2006
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA

This conference is the fourth in a series of Gordon Research Conferences on Physics Research and Education. The purpose of these conferences is to help foster interactions between traditional physics researchers, physics education researchers, and undergraduate physics educators. Each conference focuses on a specific subfield of physics. Past conferences have emphasized thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and classical mechanics.

The 2006 conference will concentrate on electromagnetism and applications of electromagnetic phenomena in modern research. The goal of this conference is to promote cross fertilization between cutting edge physics researchers and undergraduate physics classroom instructors. Electromagnetic phenomena are pervasive in our everyday lives as well as in active areas of research. While the fundamental principles of electromagnetic interactions are well understood the application of these principles still occupies the minds of researchers including: atomic, molecular and optical physicists, electrical engineers, plasma physicists, astrophysicists and biological physicists to name only a few. In addition, as the field of physics education research has advanced, researchers have begun to apply what they have discovered about student learning to the teaching of electricity and magnetism at both the introductory and advanced levels.

Throughout the course of this one-week conference participants will attend sessions and engage in discussions with the goal of infusing new ideas from modern research into their teaching of electromagnetism.


Contributors
The organizers gratefully acknowledge the financial contribution of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Forum on Education of the American Physical Society, the Society of Physics Students, and Vernier Software and Technology.

SUNDAY
2:00 pm - 11:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmOPENING SESSION
Discussion Leader: Robert Hilborn (Amherst College)
7:30 pm - 8:20 pmDavid Griffiths (Reed College)
"The Charge Distribution on a Conductor"
8:20 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:20 pmBill Dorland (University of Maryland)
"Teaching Plasma Physics, Where E&M Mixes with Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:45 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmCURRICULAR APPROACHES TO ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM
Discussion Leader: Tom Moore (Pomona College)
9:00 am - 9:50 amRuth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood (North Carolina State University)
"Restructuring the Introductory Electricity and Magnetism Course"
9:50 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:20 amIgal Galili (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
"Teaching Electromagnetism as a Discipline-Culture"
11:20 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 12:20 pmBruce Patton (The Ohio State University)
"Why a Hands-on Active Learning Approach Works Best: Experiences with a "Jackson by Inquiry" Electromagnetism Course"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmAPPLICATIONS OF ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM IN BIOLOGICAL AND MATERIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH
Discussion Leader: Lars English (Dickinson College)
7:30 pm - 8:20 pmBrent Hoffmeister (Rhodes College)
"Magnetically Induced Electric Currents in the Human Body: Medical Implants and MRI"
8:20 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:20 pmLaura Clarke (North Carolina State University)
"Observing Rotational Motion in Molecular Structures by Dielectric and Fluorescence Spectroscopy"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmPHYSICS EDUCATION RESEARCH IN ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM
Discussion Leader: David Maloney (Indiana University-Purdue University)
9:00 am - 9:50 amPeter Shaffer (University of Washington)
"Student Understanding of Some Basic Concepts in Electricity and Magnetism"
9:50 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:20 amRobert Beichner (North Carolina State University)
"Assessing Student Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism"
11:20 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 12:20 pmStephen Kanim (New Mexico State University)
"Student Learning of Electrostatics Concepts: Research, Assessment, and Intervention"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmHISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ELECTROMAGNETISM
Discussion Leader: Joe Redish (University of Maryland)
7:30 pm - 8:20 pmDan Siegel (University of Wisconsin)
"The Uses of History in Teaching E&M: Maxwell and Others"
8:20 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:20 pmBob Morse (St. Alban’s School)
"From Franklin’s Experiments to Volta’s Electrophorus: History and the Pedagogical use of Historical Experiments"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmAPPLICATIONS OF ELECTROMAGNETISM IN ATMOSPHERIC AND ASTROPHYSICAL RESEARCH
Discussion Leader: Kristina Lynch (Dartmouth College)
9:00 am - 9:50 amMichael Brown (Swarthmore College)
"Undergraduate Plasma Physics Research at the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment"
9:50 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:20 amRamon Lopez (Florida Institute of Technology)
"Plasma Physics in Undergraduate E&M Courses"
11:20 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 12:20 pmE. Philip Krider (University of Arizona)
"Lightning - A Striking Phenomenon"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
(Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair)
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmAPPLICATIONS OF ELECTROMAGNETISM IN MODERN OPTICS RESEARCH
Discussion Leader: Charles Holbrow (Colgate University)
7:30 pm - 8:20 pmGabriel Spalding (Illinois Wesleyan University)
"Optical Trapping and Manipulation in the Single- and Many-body Limits"
8:20 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:20 pmEnrique (Kiko) Galvez (Colgate University)
"Gaussian Beams and the Orbital Angular Momentum of Light"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmCOMPUTER SIMULATIONS FOR TEACHING OPTICS AND ELECTROMAGNETISM
Discussion Leader: Wolfgang Christian (Davidson College)
9:00 am - 9:50 amJohn Foley (Mississippi State University)
"The Optics Project on the Web (WebTOP)"
9:50 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:20 amJohn Belcher (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
"The MIT Teal Simulations and Visualizations in Electromagnetism"
11:20 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 12:20 pmNoah Finkelstein (University of Colorado)
"Learning Virtually: Examining the Potential of Computer Simulations in Learning E/M"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmTHEORETICAL AND MATHEMATICAL CHALLENGES TO LEARNING ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM
Discussion Leader: Chandralekha Singh (University of Pittsburg)
7:30 pm - 8:20 pmRachel Scherr (University of Maryland)
"Student Resources for Problem-solving in Electricity and Magnetism"
8:20 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:20 pmCorinne Manogue (Oregon State University)
"Easing the Transition to Upper-Division E&M"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

 
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