DAMOP Day 1

Tuesday at DAMOP was dominated by my talk. Well, in my mind, at least. I suppose people who aren't me saw other interesting things.

OK, fine, I did go to some other sessions. I would link to the abstracts, but the APS web site is having Issues this morning.

In the Prize Session that always opens the meeting, Gerry Gabrielse from Harvard gave a really nice talk about his work on measuring the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron. This is the "g-factor" that I've cited before in calling quantum physics the most precisely tested theory in the history of science. Gabrielse is the guy behind those measurements, and gave a very nice history of the experiment, which he characterized as "pursuing fundamental physics through precision, not energy." Before him, Cheng Chin gave a pretty good talk on their work on scaling laws in ultracold gases, which would've been better if the A/V system had worked from the beginning. The third speaker, Peter Delfyett was very enthusiastic about his work on pulsed diode lasers, but tended to direct his enthusiasm in directions away from the microphone, so I left to go fret about my own talk.

My talk went very well, I think, though it would've been a good idea to take some water up to the front of the room with me. The room was pretty full, including a surprising number of people who have been to more DAMOP meetings than I have. The people I've talked to about it have said nice things, but then, I'm sure that people who hated it wouldn't bring it up.

The undergraduate speakers in the session-- Muir Morrison, Matthew Ware, Catherine Klauss, Bethany Jochim, and Ben Shields were excellent. Three of the five were theorists, which made me feel a little bad that all the examples I cited in my talk were experimental, and the two experimental talks were given by the two women in the group, which I don't think means anything, but was sort of interesting.

After lunch, I went to the two talks about antihydrogen production, which were good, but didn't provide much information beyond what I had gotten from reading their papers to prep for my talk (though Paul Bowe from Aarhus, who gave the ALPHA talk, has a fabolous accent). After that, I went to hear a talk by Hans Jakob Worner on using high-harmonic generation to follow some molecular dynamics. This one did benefit significantly from the in-person explanation, as what they did made considerably more sense to me after the talk than before.

The afternoon poster session was very crowded, and the poster boards were too close together, so I mostly hung out and talked to people I haven't seen since last DAMOP.

Today's distraction from physics is the reception scheduled for 5:30 tonight, but there are some very good sessions on the program.

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