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XV Meeting of the Northwest Section of the American Physical Society
May 1-3, 2014, Seattle, WA

Meeting Poster

The XV Meeting of the Northwest Section of the American Physical Society will be held in Seattle starting Thursday evening May 1 with a Physics Colloquium open to the general public, and ending Saturday, May 3, 2014, in late afternoon. The meeting is hosted by the Department of Physics of the University of Washington (UW). The scientific meeting sessions will be held in the UW Alder Commons conference center on Friday and Saturday; they will follow the format of previous NWAPS meetings.
The Program Committee for the meeting is chaired by Prof. Jo-Anne Brown, University of Calgary (Canada). 
Alder Commons is a recently built, new, compact venue for relatively small conferences (a plenary or up to five parallel sessions, with a commons area for posters and refreshments), adjacent to the main UW Campus. Conference facilities can be seen by following this link, then going to Conference Facilities, Alder Commons.
A public lecture is planned for the evening of Thursday, May 1, to be sponsored by the Department of Physics. A banquet will be held in the Walker-Ames room of Kane Hall, inside the UW Campus, on the evening of Friday, May 2. A regional to campus map can be accessed via the following link:
Additional information can be found below. This web site will be frequently updated.


Some deadlines have passed, and others are approaching fast. Please register, reserve hotel if needed, purchase dinner tickets and request Student Travel Award (if qualified) as soon as possible. A quick link to the following deadlines can be found in the APS web site:
March 24, 2014. Housing dealine (passed). See below for housing options near Alder Commons.

March 21, 2014. Abstract submission deadline (passed). Program for meeting being assembled.

April 10, 2014. Deadline to apply for Student Travel Awards.

A limited number of funds for student travel assistance is available. 
April 18, 2014. Deadline for on-line Meeting Registration and Banquet Tickets at standard rates, see APS site below.

Registration, Abstracts, Invited Speakers, Program Information

Registration and the purchase of buffet dinner tickets is now open through the American Physical Society web site:
On-site registration may be available at a higher fee (options being explored. See update if implemented). Conference fees for early registration are $70 for non-students, $ 40 for graduate students and $20 for undergraduate students. Late registration fees are respectively $90, $50 and $20. The buffet dinner cost is $ 45 for non-students and $35 for students, see below. 
The Program Committee of the NWAPS Section is arranging for the invited plenary and parallel session speakers, poster times, and contributed taloks. The following Public Lecture, Plenary Sessions and Buffet Dinner Speakers, with preliminary tittles for their talks. are as of this date:
Physics Colloquium/Public Lecture
Thursday, May 1, 7:00 pm, Anthea Coster (Haystack Observatory), "Lise Meitner, Her escape from Germany and the discovery of fission", Physics-Astronomy Building, Room 102. Coffee and tea time prior to talk, 6:30 pm.
Invited Plenary Speakers (Friday, May 2, Saturday, May 3, times to be posted)
Mark Freeman, "Nanomechanical Magnetometry" (U. of Alberta, National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton)
Makoto Fujiwara, "Casting Light on antimatter with Project ALPHA" (TRIUMF/U. of Calgary)
Jens Gundlach, "Nanopore Sequencing of DNA" (U. of Washington)
David Kaplan, "Axions and BICEP2" (Institute for Nuclear Theory, U. of Washington)
Rob Knapp, "The Physics of Sustainable Designed Buildings" (Evergreen State College)
Larry Lee, "Electron-Proton Parity Violation and the QUEAK Experiment" (U. of Manitoba/TRIUMF)
Nicholas Loebel, "Non-antibiotic Anti-infective therapies for Broad Spectrum Infections" (Ondine Biomedical)
Robyn Millan, "Dynamics of Radiation Belt electrons and the BARREL Ballon Experiment" (Dartmouth College)
Laura Peticolas, "Space Science Education and Public Outreach" (The Center for Science Education, U. C. Berkeley, Space Sciences Laboratory)
Anne Trehu,"Physics of earthquakes and tsunamis: implications for the Pacific Northwest", (Oregon State U.)

Buffet Dinner Speaker
Julian Voss-Andrae, "Sculptures Inspired by Physics, Proteins. and People" (Portland, OR)


There are four hotels located on the University District.The deadline for using the rooms reserved at the Conference rate in the top two hotels listed has passed. Nevertheless, these hotels may still have rooms available at the going rate. The hotels are:

The University Inn, 4140 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98108. Complimentary continental breakfast is available.

Watertown, 4242 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. Coffee shop on site (average continental breakfast $7 or so)

To book a room in these two hotels, if available:

1. Call toll free, 1-866-866 7977, mention the APS Northwest meeting and ask for the University of Washington rate.

2. Reserve online. For the University Inn, go to, and for the Watertown go to; type the promo code UNIVERSITY. The best available rates will be shown.

The other two hotels in the district are: Hotel Deca on Brooklyn Ave NE and NE 45th St (about 7 blocks away) and the Silver Cloud Inn on the University Village shopping mall on the other side of campus (about a mile away, they have a periodic shuttle to the campus and it is very easy to bicycle from there to the conference venue).
We encourage everyone to make the reservations as soon as possible. The weekend of the meeting is also opening day of the boating season, right next to the UW campus, and there will be many visitors

Banquet, Lunches, etc

The Conference Banquet will be held on Friday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. It will be a buffet-style catered dinner in the Walker-Ames room located in Kane Hall on the main “red square” of the UW Campus. The price of the buffet is $45 for registered non-students and $35 for registered students. Banquet tickets can be purchased via the APS registration link. For detailed banquet information or special needs please contact the organizing committee via

For other lunch and dinner options, Alder Commons is located on University Way NE and NE Campus Parkway. University Way NE has a large number of inexpensive restaurants within four blocks. Alder Commons has a grocery store, a takeout food counter, and a specialty coffee and pastries counter. On the other side of campus (about 3/4 miles away) at the University Village Shopping Center there are several good, not overly expensive restaurants.


Seattle is served by all major airlines, Amtrak, several bus services, ferries, etc… and is located at the western end of Interstate 90, with Interstate 5 going through it North-South. Interstate 5 goes by the western edge of the UW Campus (exit on NE 45th St, go eastbound). The UW campus is 7 miles north from downtown, and 25 miles north of Seatac International Airport. The UW Campus is served by Metro transit buses with service to downtown via express busses approximately every 10 minutes during the work week, and the local #70 bus also running frequently. Seaplanes service from Vancouver Island and Gulf and San Juan Islands of Canada and the USA is available via Kenmore Air, to the lake Union terminal between downtown Seattle and the UW Campus.
To reach the Campus from Seatac airport the most economical way is to take the Link light rail train at the airport, get off in its last station (Westlake, about 45 minutes), and transfer in the same tunnel station platform, a few feet towards the front of the train, to a Metro 71, 72, or 73 express bus (about 20 minute ride). The first UW bus stop is at Alder Commons. It is also possible to take the Link light rail towards downtown but exit in the Mount Baker Station (half way to downtown), then walk down to the street level and take the Metro bus 48 at the Mt. Baker transit center (it starts there). The bus will eventually (30 minutes) go by the southern and western edges of the main UW campus. Of course there are taxi and airport shuttle services. Approximate prices will be posted closer to the conference time.
The newly renovated King Street Station serves Amtrak trains, as well as Amtrak buses from Vancouver, BC, Eugene and Portland, OR, Spokane and Vancouver, WA and other locations. Besides taxi service from there to the University, it is possible to walk north out of the station, up the stairway to Jackson Street, then turn right (eastbound) on Jackson to the transit tunnel (very short walk) and catch in the tunnel the northbound express busses to the University district (#71, 72 or 73, all follow the same route to UW). You have to buy a ticket for each provider, the Link light rail (buy at the airport or downtown going the other way from automatic vending machines), and the Metro bus (pay with cash, exact fare only; current fares are $2.25 non-commuting hours and $2.50 from 6 to 9 am and from 3 to 6 pm). Current rates will be posted closer to conference time.
There is Greyhound service into Seattle. The Greyhound bus depot is currently located downtown on 9th Ave and Stewart St. In addition to taking a taxi, it is possible to walk southbound on 9th Ave two blocks and go down to the Convention Place tunnel bus station, where one can catch the express buses to UW.
Finally, if you drive, parking is available on the UW Campus (currently $15 until 6 pm, with an additional $5 for the evening. Parking on Saturday morning is $5, free in the afternoon unless there is a big sports event). Check the location and rates at:
The hotels near the university have some (limited) parking. Parking tickets are high, and towing is common and very expensive (over $200 to get the car back), so follow all city and UW parking signs!


Make it a long weekend for yourself and companions!
While only some of the schedules are currently known, Seattle hosts the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, the Pacific Northwest ballet, several theatre companies, the Seattle Art Museum, etc…plus many artistic events on the UW campus. The Seattle Symphony will be "out of town", it plays at Carnegie Hall in New Yourk City on May 6! The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) will have a large exhibit of Miro's work during the time of this meeting, buy tickets in advance for "timed" entrance. The Seattle Mariners of the baseball American League will be out of town the weekend of the meeting. The Seattle Sounders, of Major League Soccer (schedule not posted yet) may be playing. Great family entertainment can be found at the Seattle Aquarium, the Zoo, and the Museum of Flight (located in Boeing Field, half way to Seatac airport). The Pacific Science Center, located in the Seattle Center grounds (where the Space Needle is) offers temporary and permanent hands-on exhibits for all ages! Located on their grounds there are two IMAX theaters. One can take a monorail ride from the Seattle Center to downtown, or vice versa. There are relatively inexpensive eating venues at both ends of the monorail, at the Seattle Center House and at the Westlake Mall.
Attention: Saturday, May 3, 2014, will be opening day of the boating season. Starting in the morning, crew races with boats from UW (the current Intercollegiate Racing Association champions and ranked first amongst Division I universities) and other major national and international teams will be racing across the Montlake Cut, the ship canal connecting lakes Washington and Union, along the southern edge of the UW Campus. There will be tens of thousands of spectators lining up the shore of the cut, just a few blocks away from Alder Commons and the conference hotels. The crew races will end around 11 am. They are immediately followed by a gigantic boat parade going from lake Union to lake Washington. For family companions to conference attendants this spectacle will be one of a kind experience.  If the weather cooperates, it is an occasion for a great picnic and party.

Organizing Committee

The current organizing committee consists of David Cobden, Marcel den Nijs, Alejandro García. Marjorie Olmstead, Peter Shaffer, Oscar Vilches (coordinator) and Gordon Watts, with the assistance of Jennifer Raines, Physics Department administrator, and Blayne Heckel, Department chair.  Conference reservations, sites and banquet management are handled by UW Conference Services. For further information, please send email to:
Oscar Vilches,
Updated March 27, 2014