OAPT Ontario Association of Physics Teachers

Conference Report 2010

University of Toronto

Department of Physics

29 April - 1 May 2010


As delegates approach the conference venue there is little doubt as to the identity of the surrounding city.



The McLennan Physical Laboratories beckon to those whose heart is Physics.




Excellent signage directs delegates through the labyrinth to the registration area.




Conference organizers John Caranci and Shawn Brooks simplify arrival formalities.




A colourful new poster welcomes delegates.




Jason Harlow selects appropriate discrepant demonstrations to illuminate the philosophy behind the University of Toronto Physics Department Practicals approach to teaching introductory physics courses.




State of the art equipment abounds in the new laboratories.




Dr. Stephen Morris talks about his research into the growth of icicles, the formation of washboard roads, and the curious behaviour of poured syrup.




After the talk, Stephen offers a tour of his research lab, including the famous icicle machine.




Pensive delegates ponder the advantages of the Practicals approach presented by Dr. David Harrison.




Vendors display a wide selection of cutting edge textbooks and apparatus for teaching physics.




Dr. Micah Stickel demonstrates Faraday's Law as part of a workshop in electrical engineering. Delegates left with a modified Canadian Tire LED electromagnetic flashlight and a circuit board for demonstrating its operation.




Shaking the flashlight causes an LED on the circuit board to flash. A second LED has a capacitor in the circuit to ensure that it remains on until the capacitor discharges.




What more appropriate T-shirt could be worn to an electromagnetics workshop?




Delicious packed lunches from The Pickle Barrel helped to recharge delegates after an intellectually demanding morning of doing physics. OAPT President Dave Doucette helps delegates find their orders.




Ontario Power Generation (OPG) offers Teacher Resource Kits for teaching Grade 9 electricity generation.




Damien Pope and Dave Fish challenge workshop participants to disguise their chosen location in the world as GPS time signals, which the other team must decipher. The indispensible roles of special and general relativity in the operation of the GPS network amazed delegates.




The Great Physics Giveaway brought smiles to the many lucky winners of prizes donated by vendors and others.




A beaming James Ball walks away with his selection.




Jim Hunt presents a slide show of useful but surplus equipment available for the asking from the University of Guelph.




The lobby and halls contain fascinating displays of vintage physics equipment as well as more up-to-date information. Delegates enjoyed trying to deduce the function of the apparatus before reading the accompanying sign.




John Caranci emphasizes the importance of starting with sufficient altitude before teaching students to fly.




Delegates risk exploding ear drums while slamming a coat hangar into a solid object.




Maestro John bows artistic Chladni figures on a flat surface.




The "Jupiter Effect" appears on a soap bubble formed on an overhead projector.




Specially sharpened nails are part of the Bed of Nails demonstration.




Not content with stretching out on the Bed of Nails for a power nap, John invites not one, but two of the participants to stand on his torso to increase the weight on the nails.




An invitation to "come and play" is met with unbridled enthusiasm.




Bryan White of the Canadian Nuclear Society demonstrates Ionizing Radiation and Geiger Counter kits donated to schools by the society.




Specially designed software lets the user record counts on a laptop computer.




The kit uses a number of easily available household products as sources, including cat litter. The "atomic red" Fiestaware saucer racked up an impressive 30 000 counts per minute.




Jim Hunt dazzles participants with three-dimensional effects in anamorphic images. The viewer does not need to don a strange pair of glasses, just look into a mirror with the proper curvature.




Dave Doucette improvises a podium to wrap up the conference, including a hearty invitation to become more involved in the operation of the OAPT.