Meeting Schedule with Abstracts - Our Meeting Room will be Rm 128 of the Science Hall

8:30 am to 9:00 am - Check in and Social Time

9:00 am to 9:10 am - Welcome by David Slaven, Morningside University and Kristen Thompson, Loras College


9:10 to 9:40 - 30 Minute Presentation

Title of Presentation: Newtonian Particle Dynamics Alone can Result in Wide-Ranging Oscillations in Eccentricity of a Simulated Binary Stellar System due to the Perturbation of a Distant, Orbiting Third Body.

Presenter(s):  Kenneth McLaughlin, Loras College

Abstract:  As a test for the minimum perturbation required to explain recently observed variations in the orbital parameters of spectroscopic binary 57 Cygni, we have pursued the numerical integration of particle dynamics under non-relativistic conditions.  We show that wide-ranging oscillations in the eccentricity of an inner-binary can be induced, over mere decadal timeframes, by the pure Newtonian gravitational influence of a more distant, orbiting third body without the need to incorporate tidal effects.  These oscillations were observed over a restricted range of distances for the third body where the specific range depended upon its mass: too close disrupts the inner-binary stable periodicity while, at far enough distances, variations in the orbital motions of all three bodies are negligible.  The oscillations were more pronounced with the third body orbiting at high inclination to the inner-orbital plane where the perturbing torque as a significant vector component perpendicular to the inner-orbital angular momentum akin to the maechanism for the precession of a spinning top. 


9:40 to 9:55 - 15 Minute Presentation

Title of Presentation:  At Home Constellation Labs

Presenter(s):  Ian Spangenberg, Pleasant Valley H. S. 

Abstract:  How can students learn the constellations without a planetarium?  This presentation will demonstrate a series of at home lab activities to help students learn the night sky.  Students first learn to use a free downloadable program called Stellarium and then use that program to find constellations on their own.


9:55 to 10:15  Morning Break


10:15 to 10:45 - 30 Minute Presentation

Title of Presentation:  Homework Problems in Moodle Homework

Presenter(s):  Kristen Thompson, Loras College

Abstract:  The presentation addresses lessons learned from nearly a decade of using Moodle (course management system) to administer homework in physics and engineering courses.  Addressed will be techniques to capabilities and limitations of the system.  Also addressed will be techniques to scaffold problems, mixing problem types, and providing hints for solving problems.


10:45 to 11:00 - 15 Minute Presentation

Title of Presentation:  Using Audacity to Demonstrate Sound Phenomena

Presenter(s): David Slaven, Morningside University

Abstract:  The sound editing software Audacity can be used to illustrate a number of principles and phenomena associated with sound waves.  Some of those will be described in this talk.  The software is free and there are versions for both Mac and Windows.


11:15 to 12 Noon - Tour: The New Loras College Planetarium


12 Noon to 12:20 - Tour: Loras College Wind Tunnel 


12:30 to 1:30 - Lunch - See Info Below


1:30 to 2:00 pm - IAAPT Business Meeting and Election of Officers

Additional Info:  The Planetarium is a short walk away from the meeting room. While everyone is there, we should do at least a short show, at least ½ hour. Once people get to campus, we can make a decision to either order lunch or go to the cafeteria. The planetarium is on the way to the cafeteria (The Café), so we can stop there on the way to lunch or on the way back.  We also have an Einstein’s Bagels location on campus. It is right next to the cafeteria, so people can choose where they want to go. I believe the charge for the cafeteria is $8.  The web site for food on campus is

 We also have a new wind tunnel that we are just getting instrumented, so should be ready to show. We can spend 20 minutes in that room as well. 

The main meeting room will be 128 (lower lecture hall) of Science Hall. This room is on the south end of the building and goes between the middle and lower floor.  Below is a link to the campus map. Science Hall is building 25. People may park on the street or in the lot just to the south of the building (13a).  The planetarium is building 19 and the cafeteria is in building 2.    I’ll take care of getting snacks, pastries, muffins, and such from Sam’s.  

Kristen Thompson, PhD

Associate Professor of Engineering

Division of Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science



Saturday, November 19, 2022 - 9:00am to 2:00pm