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Among the technical highlights was a talk by Montana State University’s Neil Cornish on recent results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).
Al Meldrum of the University of Alberta discussed the potential of silicon nanoclusters. These nanocomposites emit a broad luminescence spectrum in the red to near infrared. Meldrum’s group has been able to "tune" the emission spectrum to specific colors in the visible and near infrared.
Dean Karlen (University of Victoria and TRIUMF) discussed plans for the International Linear Collider, which the worldwide particle physics community has agreed should be a linear electron-positron collider operating at the center-of-mass energy of 500 GeV.
Another talk focused on the design and scientific potential of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), to be launched into low earth orbit in 2007. It will scan the sky for gamma-ray bursts and analyze their spectra.
Among the education-related topics was Oregon State University’s John Gardner’s presentation on his experiences teaching physics to blind and dyslexic students. Gardner demonstrated several new computer technologies that permit students with print disabilities direct access to electronic materials.
Finally, to mark the World Year of Physics, Andrea Damascelli of the University of British Columbia discussed the legacy of Einstein’s Nobel-Prize-winning work on the photoelectric effect, which marked the beginning of photoelectric spectroscopy.
A special Friday evening reception and banquet featured a presentation by Inge and Werner Israel on the unwritten letters between Einstein and his first wife, Mileva.
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