Two physics majors give talks at AAPT Winter Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.

Michael Hinton and Anneliese Spaeth present the results of their summer research to the physics community. | January 14, 2005

Two physics majors, senior Michael Hinton and sophomore Anneliese Spaeth, travelled to Albuquerque, NM in early January to deliver talks to the 2005 Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). Both talks were based on research done during the summer and fall of 2004 and sponsored by the John Hauck Foundation.

Mr. Hinton's talk entitled, "Square Orbits," explored the unusual orbits that can result from a regular two-dimensional arrangement of like charges. In particular, arranging four like charges in a square can, under certain circumstances, lead to a fifth charged particle having an orbit with square symmetry. Likewise, arranging five particles in a regular pentagon can result in a sixth particle orbiting in a pentagonal path, and so forth. Michael plans to submit his work to "The Physics Teacher" in the very near future.

Ms Spaeth spoke on, "Rotationg Bacteria Using Optical Tweezers with an Elliptically-Shaped Focus." In the talk, Ms. Spaeth details how she and faculty advisor Dr. Heidrun Schmitzer used laser light trap and then rotate living shigella bacteria.

While they were attending the meeting, Mr. Hinton, Ms. Spaeth, and faculty member Dr. Stephen Yerian took time out to visit Dr. Stephen Tobin (Xavier physics class of 1988) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and tour the town and facilities.