OSAPS Fall Meeting

2017 OSAPS Fall Meeting and SOS-AAPT at Miami University

Miami University hosted the 2017 Fall Meeting of the Ohio-Region Section of the American Physical Society (OS/APS) in conjunction with the Southern Ohio Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (SOS-AAPT).

Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14, 2017
Miami University
Kreger Hall, 500 E. Spring St.
Oxford, OH  45056

Theme: Quantum Information

Schedule of Activities (external link to APS Bulletin)

Friday, October 13

10:00 – 1:00 pm OS/APS Executive Committee Meeting, 317 Kreger Hall
12:00 – 4:00 pm Registration, Pendulum Commons
1:30 – 1:45 pm   Welcome Address, Gregory Crawford, President of Miami University, 319 Kreger Hall
1:45 – 2:30 pm   Plenary Talk: Elohim Becerra, University of New Mexico, Optimized measurements of states of light at low powers for communications, 319 Kreger Hall
2:30 – 2:45 pm   Break (light snacks, beverages) 3rd Floor Commons
2:45 – 3:30 pm   Plenary Talk: Katharina Gillen, California Polytechnic State University, The final steps towards neutral atom quantum computers - All you need is light, 319 Kreger Hall
3:30 – 4:30 pm   Lab Tours, Kreger Hall 1st & 2nd Floor
4:30 – 6:00 pm   Poster Session & Social, Kreger Hall 2nd Floor
6:00 – 6:30 pm   Banquet Check-in & Seating, Armstrong Student Center, Pavillion Room A/B
6:30 – 7:45 pm   Banquet, Armstrong Student Center, Pavillion Room A/B
7:45pm              After Dinner Talk: Shohini Ghose, Wilfred Laurier University, What if..., 319 Kreger Hall

Saturday, October 14

7:30 – 10:00 am   Registration (coffee and doughnuts) Pendulum Commons
8:30 – 10:30 am   Contributed Papers - OS/APS (3 parallel sessions) Kreger rooms 221, 222, 227
8:30 – 10:30 am   Contributed Papers - SOS-AAPT (1 parallel sessions) 224 Kreger Hall
10:30– 10:45 am   Break
10:45– 11:30 am  Plenary Talk, Tom Foster, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Explicit Content and Spoilers: What we know about solving problems, 319 Kreger Hall
11:30– 12:15 pm  Plenary Talk, Benjamin Schumacher, Kenyon College, Quantum flows of probability and heat, 319 Kreger Hall
12:15– 12:30 pm  OS/APS Closing Remarks, Adjournment, 319 Kreger Hall
12:30– 1:00 pm    Box Lunches (preordered, Saturday afternoon session guests only) 3rd floor Commons, Kreger Hall
1:00 - 1:30pm      SOS-AAPT Business Meeting, 319 Kreger
1:30 – 2:15 pm     Panel Discussion: Implementing AP Physics I with Doug Forrest & Kevin McChesney, Pickerington High School; and Kathy Harper, Ohio State University, 319 Kreger Hall
2:15 – 3:00 pm     SOS-AAPT Board Meeting, 317 Kreger Hall

Conference Program (external link to pdf)

Visiting Miami University - location, parking, wireless

Miami University is located in Oxford, Ohio.  The OSAPS 2017 Fall Meeting will take place in Kreger Hall, home of the Physics Department, 500 E. Spring Street, building #76 on the campus map. Follow the links below for detailed information on:

Directions and Drive Time


Parking e-Permit: Request your e-permit on the OSAPS pre-registration form if you plan to have a vehicle on campus. E-permits will be emailed to requestors one week before the conference. Please print the e-permit, add your license plate number, and place the permit, face-up, on the dash of your car (driver side). A limited number of permits will be available at the conference registration desk. Ample parking is available for this weekend. The closest lots to Kreger Hall are Cook Field (off Rt. 73), Williams Hall North & South lots, North Quad Parking Lot, and North Parking Garage (add'l fee required). Handicap parking spaces are available, with a valid e-permit, along Irvin Hall Drive and in the Warfield Hall parking lot.

Wireless: Conference attendees will have complimentary wireless access while on campus. Further, if the attendee’s home institution participates in eduroam, you may sign up at your home institution prior to travel.

Online registration is closed, but registration for the meeting is available at the door.

APS members - $50; $60 after September 15

Non-members - $60; $70 after September 15

High school teacher/retired/student - $0

SOS-AAPT members only - $10

Travel grants for student presenters

Registration for the Friday evening banquet is closed.

The deadline for abstract submission is September 15. For this meeting, select "2017 Annual Fall Meeting of the APS Ohio-Region Section." After you submit your abstract, you will also need to register for the event (see below).

Poster Presentations
The poster sessions will be held on Friday afternoon from 4:30-6:00 pm. Presenters are encouraged to stand by their poster during their assigned time to answer questions. Those with odd numbered poster sites should stand by their poster for the first half of the poster session.  Those with even numbered poster sites should stand by their posters for the second half. This allows presenters time to walk around and see other posters.

Posters should fit into a space of four feet high (48") by five feet wide (60"). Push-pins will be provided to mount your poster. Posters should be setup between 11:00am and 2:00pm on Friday, October 13, and removed before the Friday evening banquet at 6:30pm.

Oral Presentations
All talks should be presented using computer projection. Powerpoint is the standard format for talks. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your session to upload your talk to the computer which will be used for projection. You may choose to use your personal laptop; however, Mac users should bring their own adapter for connecting to the projector cable (VGA port). All contributed parallel talks will have a duration of 12 minutes, plus three minutes for questions. This includes any time necessary for computer switch over. Plenary talks will have a total duration of 40 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions.

Invited Speakers

Francisco Elohim Becerra
Shohini Ghose
Katharina Gillen

Benjamin Schumacher

SOS-AAPT Invited Speaker, Tom Foster

Francisco Elohim Becerra
Dr. Becerra is an assistant professor with The University of New Mexico (UNM) Physics and Astronomy Department. His research interests focus on the study of quantum-state superpositions from the interaction of light and matter for quantum information and communication protocols. He studies the technologies that can be enabled by these quantum systems and seeks to understand the limits of such quantum technologies. Applications of these studies include quantum and coherent communications, metrology, and quantum information processing. Very recently, Dr. Becerra received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for his proposal "Quantum Measurements for Optical Communications."

Title: Optimized measurements of states of light at low powers for communications
Abstract: Light is ideal for communications. We can use different properties of light to encode information, such as its phase, and send this information in light pulses to remote locations through optical fibers. Coherent states of light with different phases allow for efficient information transmission in communication. However, these states have intrinsic quantum noise, which sets fundamental limits on how well we can distinguish among different states. This fundamental property of coherent states can be exploited for enabling secure communication with quantum key distribution, but also generates errors in decoded information. We study measurements that can be optimized for distinguishing coherent states with different phases, which provide greater sensitivities than what could be achieved with our current conventional detectors at low powers. Such measurements could be used to increase the amount of information transfer, while being robust under loss and imperfections encountered in realistic communication links, such as in optical fibers.

Benjamin Schumacher
Dr. Benjamin Schumacher is a professor of physics at Kenyon College in Ohio.  He works in the emerging field of quantum information theory, studying the surprising relationships between quantum mechanics, information theory, computation, thermodynamics and black hole physics. Dr. Schumacher is credited with coining the word “qubit” for describing a quantum bit of information, and inventing quantum data compression (also known as Schumacher compression). For these, and his fundamental research on the information capacity of quantum systems, he was awarded the 2002 Quantum Communication Award, the premier international prize in the field, and was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Title: Quantum flows of probability and heat
Abstract: Textbook quantum mechanics uses a "probability current" to establish the "conservation of probability" for an evolving spatial wave function.  This idea can be adapted to simple quantum systems with finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces, including open systems that exchange energy and information with their surroundings.  Through a series of undergraduate projects at Kenyon over the last few years, we have used probability currents to study heat and work flows in quantum thermodynamic systems, including the tiniest possible heat engines.

Shohini Ghose
Dr. Shohini Ghose is a professor in the department of physics and computer science at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.  Her research interest in the area of quantum information science lies in exploring the fundamental connections between classical chaos theory and quantum physics, and has led to the first movies directly showing the effect of chaos on quantum entanglement. As a woman in science, she is also involved in research projects exploring gender issues and diversity in science. Dr. Ghose is a 2014 TED Fellow – one of 20 Fellows selected annually worldwide.

Title: What if...
Abstract: This talk is about a "what if" question that can transform physics.

Katharina Gillen
Dr. Gillen is an associate professor in the physics department at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly San Luis, Obispo). She is an experimentalist in the field of neutral atom quantum computing, and performs all her research with undergrads. Her research explores trapping of cold atoms behind pinholes and other diffraction optics, with particular interest in polarization effects and dipole traps, for use in a quantum memory for qubits. She has served on the steering board for the Southwest Quantum Information and Technology group (SQuInT) as well as on the Education Committee of the Division of American Physical Society Atomic and Molecular Optical Physics (DAMOP). She has co-authored a book "Light propagation in linear optical media", published by CRC Press (2017).

Title: The final steps towards neutral atom quantum computers - All you need is light
Abstract: Quantum computing will allow us to solve problems that are intractable on conventional computers by exploiting the quantum phenomena of superposition of states and entanglement between two or more quantum bits (qubits). Several directions for constructing a quantum computer are actively being explored, with significant progress in many of them. In recent years, large strides towards a fully functional quantum computer have been made using neutral atoms trapped by light. In this talk, I will discuss the ideas for physically implementing each individual requirement for a quantum computer in this approach, as well as show some of the latest experimental successes by leading researchers in this field. Finally, I will highlight what contributions our undergraduate researchers make to this puzzle at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. We are computationally and experimentally exploring laser light patterns that could be useful for storing atomic qubits, such as the diffraction pattern formed behind an array of pinholes.

SOS-AAPT Invited Speaker, Tom Foster
Tom Foster is a Professor of Physics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he has taught for 17 years.  His area of research interest is human problem solving in physics. He has provided numerous workshops at national meetings about problem solving and educational research in general. He completed a sabbatical at the National Academies where he shadowed program officers for both the Frameworks and DBER projects. His current research is driven by the interests of his undergraduate students. He is also cofounder of FosterLearning, LLC and the PathPlan learning platform.

Title: Explicit Content and Spoilers: What we know about solving problems
Abstract: Take a moment and recognize that you are among a very elite population of people: You are an expert at solving physics problems.  In that same moment ask yourself have you ever grappled with a problem that made you rethink how you thought about physics? If so, you have an innate talent for physics.  However, the students in introductory physics classes are not experts in physics, or physics problem-solving, or the connection between them.  There exists a huge gap between your problem-solving skills and those of your students.  Fortunately physics education researchers, cognitive scientists, science educators, and a host of other scientists have been studying student learning and we know how people learn.  We will take a few moments to discuss what is known about teaching students to become more competent problem-solvers.