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In Minneapolis or online, physicists can connect over the latest discoveries, “from quarks to cosmos.”
By Liz Boatman | March 16, 2023
Minneapolis, where the in-person APS April Meeting 2023 will be held.
Remember that old saying, “April showers bring May flowers”? After this year’s long, cold winter, Minnesotans will be lucky to see flowers in May — but in Minneapolis, the state’s largest city, folks are guaranteed to see physicists this April. Lots of them.
The APS April Meeting 2023 will bring physicists from across the country and around the world to Minneapolis from April 15-18 for an in-person extravaganza of scientific talks on topics ranging from nuclear physics to astrophysics — that is, from quarks to cosmos. Others will opt to join the virtual meeting, scheduled April 24-26. All attendees are welcome to participate in both.
“We have a fantastic slate of parallel and plenary sessions,” says Abhay Deshpande, chair of April Meeting 2023 and professor of physics and astronomy at Stony Brook University in New York.
Deshpande recalls his first April Meeting, in 2002: He says that he was “overwhelmed by the diversity and expertise in physics” showcased that year in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but that it also motivated him to pursue a career in physics. He hopes this year’s meeting will arouse that same excitement in more early career scientists.
April Meeting events in Minneapolis will kick off on April 14 with a public lecture on the physics of sport. During the scientific portion of the meeting, plenary talks will explore the impact of major facilities around the world on our understanding of physics, as well as the recent breakthrough in fusion technology and future steps toward introducing fusion-derived power into the U.S. power grid.
The meeting will also feature a range of events dedicated to enhancing diversity in physics. These events include the Kavli session on April 17, featuring Asmeret Berhe, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Berhe will share her vision for a more inclusive U.S. science and technology workforce.
If you’re headed to Minneapolis, note that the meeting will take place in the Hilton Minneapolis, which is also the meeting hotel. Special Hilton housing rates are available until March 20.
Many Minneapolis highlights are easily walkable from the conference venue. For art lovers, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden sits next to the Walker Center modern art museum and Loring Park, several blocks to the west of the Hilton. To the east is the U.S. Bank Stadium, designed for the Vikings football team in the image of a Viking ship. To the north, city hall boasts a 365-foot-tall historical clock tower that once rivaled Big Ben. Farther north is the Mill Ruins Park area, home to the Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum (where, in 1878, static electricity from wheat flour caused an explosion that destroyed the original mill). Visitors can also see Stone Arch Bridge, which spans 2,100 feet across the Mississippi river and boasts a beautiful view of St. Anthony falls, home to the University of Minnesota’s hydropower laboratory.
To Minnesotans (like myself!) coming out of a long winter, April will feel balmy, with typical daily highs in the mid 50s, averaging almost 80°F above our coldest winter temperatures this past year. But for those of you traveling from regions below the 45th parallel, make sure you pack appropriately for nighttime temperatures in the 30s and a high chance of rain. Snow is possible in April, so check the forecast before you leave home.
Joining the April Meeting virtually instead? Don’t worry about missing out — the virtual meeting platform will give you access to recorded sessions from Minneapolis, as well as an array of scientific talks delivered live online, selected from abstracts not presented in Minneapolis.
Honoring its commitment to serve as a united, inclusive “welcoming global hub” for the diverse, worldwide physics community, APS has rolled out a new, tiered registration fee structure. Although the April Meeting typically sees fewer international participants than the March Meeting, the initiative is an important step in removing barriers to attendance that disproportionately affect scientists and students in lower-income countries.
Whether you join virtually or in-person in Minneapolis, Deshpande hopes you’ll have a great experience. “When scientists come together and talk to each other, and convey the excitement of their own field to others,” he says, “something amazing happens.”
Liz Boatman is a staff writer for APS News.
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