Pragalv and Andrew with Dr. Dan Green, senior scientist at Fermilab, the PhysCon 2012 Image courtesy: The MSUM Society of Physics Students © 2012 Shouvik Bhattacharya

Physics majors Pragalv Karki and Andrew Larson attended the 2012 Quadrennial Physics Congress in Orlando, Fla. during the week of Nov. 8-10. The Physics Congress (PhysCon) was hosted by Sigma Pi Sigma, the Physics Honor Society. The meeting brought together nation’s 800 physics undergraduate students at the same place for the very first time, which made it the largest gathering of physics undergraduates in the U.S.

The Congress featured plenary talks by distinguished scientists such as Dr. John Mather (shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Dr. George Smoot in the year 2005), Dr. Freeman Dyson; acclaimed scientist and author, Dr. John Grunsfeld, astronaut and former chief scientist of NASA; Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, world-class astrophysicist known for discovering pulsars and many more. Karki and Larson joined Kennedy Space Center tours of their facilities with other congress attendees. The meeting arranged various workshops on science policy, Sigma Pi Sigma’s involvement in science and public outreach, art and poster session.

Karki (senior) presented a poster on his senior project, “Creating a Helmholtz Coil and Quantifying the magnetic field along the Central Axis” on Saturday, Nov. 10, the last day of the PhysCon 2012. Both Karki and Larson said that they had a great education experience in the Physics Congress. In Larson’s words, “Overall, the experience was a bit overwhelming at first, with all of the information and different events going on. However, it was a great opportunity to meet important people in physics, talk with fellow students, and hear what professors had to say about research opportunities. I would wholly recommend it to any physics student who may be thinking of going to seize the opportunity, as it is likely only going to occur once in their student life.”

The entire trip was financed by the MSUM Society of Physics Students.