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July 2009 Newsletter


Debut of LaserFest Booth at CLEO

LaserFest made a debut appearance at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/IQEC), June 1-5 in Baltimore, MD. The reaction from the CLEO/IQEC community was overwhelmingly positive.

The LaserFest booth at the conference's PhotonXpo was one of the trade show's most popular exhibits. People could be seen wearing the light up LaserFest giveaways throughout the convention hall. By the end of the conference, nearly three hundred people had signed up for the LaserFest e-newsletter.

The booth featured stickers, posters, light-up pins and other giveaways emblazoned with LaserFest logos and information about the LaserFest website. As 2010 approaches, the booth's focus will expand further as events and programs start to take off. It will travel to scientific and teaching conferences featuring information and demonstrations on how to convey to the public the importance of lasers.

"Anything to interest young people in lasers is a good thing," said Andy Bayamian of the National Ignition Facility. "We don't have enough young people going into laser technology."

Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary in 2010 of Theodore Maiman's demonstration of the first working laser, LaserFest will highlight the importance of lasers through history and their potential for future innovation. Throughout the year a variety of programs and events nationwide will raise public awareness about the laser and its applications in today's world. Planned programs include public demonstrations, traveling lectures, videos, and educational materials for schools across the country.

LaserFest on the Road Outreach Program: Request for Proposals

The American Physical Society and the Optical Society are happy to announce that they will award several grants of up to $10,000 to encourage outreach activities among APS and OSA members during LaserFest 2010.

This program is designed to encourage APS and OSA members to undertake physics outreach initiatives in their own communities and institutions during the 2010 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser, LaserFest. Innovative ideas and experimental approaches are encouraged particularly if they have the potential to lead to sustained activities beyond the duration of the grant.

Because this program is for APS and OSA members, the main contact person for the grant must be an APS or OSA member. In addition, the extent to which the grant activity involves other APS and OSA members will be a factor in the funding decision.

Proposal information may be obtained at www.laserfest.org. Send application materials or questions to Rebecca Thompson-Flagg at laserfest@ aps.org, or mail to the American Physical Society Headquarters, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740-3844 no later than September 30th, 2009, by midnight. Recipients will be notified in October 2009.

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PhysicsQuest 2009

In the coming months, PhysicsQuest 2009 will be featured on the LaserFest website and on PhysicsCentral. PhysicsQuest is a middle school competition that consists of four physical science experiments centered on a mystery. The experiments are designed to be done by small groups in a classroom or after-school setting. Each of the experiments gives students a clue that they need to solve the mystery. Classes can submit their answers online and be entered into a random drawing for prizes. PhysicsQuest kits are provided free to registered classrooms.

In "Spectra's Power" PhysicsQuest 2009, students will follow the ordinary school girl Lucinda Hene, as she transforms into the powerful Spectra, a superhero with the powers of a laser. To unlock the mystery of her origin and her powers, Spectra must defeat the evil super villain, the deadly Miss Alignment. As Spectra learns about her past, students will learn about why lasers are one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. They will do experiments that highlight why lasers are extraordinary tools for unlocking the mysteries of our world. Meanwhile, students will be helping Spectra and her team save the world from the clutches of Miss Alignment. Registration for PhysicsQuest is now available on the LaserFest website and on PhysicsCentral.

July 2009

In This Issue:

LaserFest Posters

Request the New LaserFest Posters for your Classroom or Lab. Discover the answers to these "laser teaser questions" on www.laserfest.org.



Make sure you register your LaserFest events on our website, so they can be posted on our Events Calendar.

Downloadable logos are now available, to be used publicly for LaserFest-related events and activities.

Did You Know?

The world's first laser beam lighthouse was at Point Danger, on the border between Queensland and New South Wales, Australia in 1971. It became the first lighthouse in the world to attempt to use laser technology to aid in navigation.

Support LaserFest

To make LaserFest a truly spectacular event, we need your help! Organizations, individuals, or corporations who contribute to the exciting LaserFest projects and programs planned for 2009-2010 are ensuring that the wonders of the laser and the importance of scientific innovation will reach the public to the fullest extent.

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