Past Events!

Undergrad Research Panel! - Wednesday, November 13th - Broida 1640 - 8:00PM

SPS will be hosting an undergrad research panel on Wed. Nov 13th at 8 pm in Broida 1640! Tell all your friends! (And to answer the question I'm sure you're all wondering: yes there will be cookies) But come hear about how some of your fellow physics students got involved in research and get a taste for what undergrad physics research is like.

We will be having this panel IN PLACE OF our regular meeting-- so NO MEETING NEXT TUESDAY!

--Updated Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Observatory! -Friday, November 15th - Westmont College - 7:00PM

Contact for more details!

--Updated Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Meeting! - Tuesday, October 29th - Broida 3302 - 7:00PM

Hello hello all my lovely physics people! Hope midterms aren't treating you too harshly!

Next week, instead of a normal meeting, we will have our very own Dr. Philip Lubin of the cosmology department give us a tour of all the nifty devices they have up on the roof of Broida!

We'll be meeting at the same time, same place (Broida 3302, 7 pm Tuesday, Oct. 29), and from there we'll be heading up to the roof- So bring something warm to wear

--Updated Friday, October 25th, 2013

First Meeting! - Tuesday, October 15th - Broida 3302 - 7:00PM

We'll have a former VP of SPS come talk about his fancy new job as an engineer and how he did that. Fun stuff learning about how to make money in the future!

Deadline to submit shirt ideas is Mon. Oct 21! Submit them to

Start sending in your abstracts! If you don't send those in you won't be able to go on our SPS excursions, and no body wants that! (We're planning on going up to the top of Broida sometime soon to use the telescopes and hear Prof. Lubin talk about the research their doing with all that neat stuff up there- so submit your abstracts ASAP!)

One last thing: we'll be tabling next week at the Activities Fair in front of the SRB (Oct. 16th) and selling some kind of delicious food and hopefully having some sort of little physics game. So make sure to come by and support the group sometime between 10 am and 3 pm!

--Updated Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Welcome Meeting! - Monday, October 7th - Broida 1640 - 7:30PM

It's prabably going to be a short meeting (~30 min).

Tell your friends, whoever you think would be interested (again you DON'T have to be a physics major to be in the club, you just have to like physics). Hope to see you all there!

Field trip: Whale watching

We went with SB Sail for a two hour whale watching trip aboard the Double Dolphin! Although we didn't see any whales, we did enjoy the company of a playful pod of dolphins.

Post-Halloween Movie Night: Nov. 3

Relax after a busy Halloween weekend... I know everyone was working too hard, so it's definitely time for a break (right?). We're watching THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and eating pizza. There will also be candy (for all of us who miss trick-or-treating).

Welcome meeting: October 6th

This is our first meeting, and we don't have too much planned. We'll introduce the officers and the kinds of events that SPS does, and talk about a few events that we already have dates for. Hopefully, a representative from the Questboards outreach program will be able to give us a demonstration of what goes on our outreach events. Last, but certainly not least, there's free pizza. Come and here about our plans for this and get on the mailing list!

New Transfers meeting: September 29th

We had a great turnout to welcome new transfer students. Everyone participated in answering questions and giving advice, and all of us learned quite a bit from the other undergrads and grad students in attendance. Thanks everyone!

Overview: Weekly unofficial meetings

We've had a lot of fun hanging out every Monday at El Sitio. The turnout has ranged from one table to three or four, from note-copying to heart-felt discussions. Seriously, it's been really fun, and especially nice to have a a time set aside just for socializing.

Field Trip: VAFB

Long in the plannning and well worth it, we took several car loads of people up to Lompoc for a tour that was geared towards college physics majors. We first talked to a guy in the Air Force, who although wasn't a scientist was able to talk to us about policy and logistics of the missile defense program. He answered our questions without propoganda, of which there were many, and I, at least, felt like we learned a lot. We had a big disappointment after that: we were told we wouldn't get to see the rocket that was set to launch. We trudged along anyways, and had a really nice talk with the some engineers about the history and science of rocket launching. Then we were told we had about a 30 minute window in which to go see the rocket, so we rushed out, put on hard-hats, and braved the wind. I was pretty excited to get my picture taken in front of a rocket that was about to be blasted into space. It was definitely the highlight of our trip!

Meeting: May 1

We took sign-ups for the long-time-in-the-planning (aka, a lot of work on the Prez's side) tour of Vandenberg Airforce Bas (VAFB). The base is located a short-ish trip to the north, and we're gonna be their special guests. We've been trying to schedule it around a launch date and this is it! We also discussed GRE review sessions--to start next Monday!--and failed to get to DVD working.

AS Party: February 29th

One of our officers, Bay, hosted a LAN party, brought to you by the Associated Students. A lot of computers and good fun for all!

Meeting: January 9th

After watching TRON--a computer science classic, first watched by yours truly in the freshman dorms--we decided that a weekly "unofficial" meeting was in order. By unofficial, we mean, come hang out with us because we like you, but it's not a sanctioned event and there is thus no free food.

Meeting: November 9th

Liquid Nitrogen ice-cream social and a screening of "Hypercube". Unfortunately, I can't be there since I'm still in Scotland.

Meeting and Panel: October 29th

Information, general planning, and of course free food. But to start off we had a panel, hosted by the Women in Physics, on applying to grad school. Pretty important if you ask me, and I totally would have attended... except that I was thousands of miles away. Woops.

Meeting: September 25th

The movie of the night was, as always, a bad sci-fi film for us to laugh at. The film was "The Black Hole" in which a particle accelerator (presumably the LHC) goes boom and a black hole is created. Throw in a dimensional gateway, an intergalactic monster, stereotypical scientists, bad acting, and the One Nuke Solution and you have yourself a good time with fellow Physics majors rolling on the floor. Such bad/good times for those of us in attendance!

Overview: Circuit Board events

We've had several outreach events this year where we take the QuestBoards to local schools. We use the QuestBoards to teach the kids about electricity and magnetism! This year, we have several new boards that were created by UCSB students over summer; we've been taking these out recently. April 24th may have been our last outreach event for the year. We had only three volunteers and seven circuit boards, but also a constant (and large!) stream of interested kids and parents. We all agreed it was a great night.

Elections: June 7th

Elections! We elected a new set of officers, luckily no winners were Schrodinger's Cat, though he did run for three positions\C9 Following elections, we attempted to make geodesic domes out of twinkies. Sadly, my team didn't fare so well. Fortunately, none of us were planning to become twinkly architects.

Movie Marathon: Firefly

This Saturday SPS is putting on a Firefly marathon. We will watch all 15 episodes of Firefly (and Serenity if people are up for it). Although SPS is hosting the event all fans, fans to be, or interested persons are welcome! Tell your friends or forward them this email. The more the merrier.

Meeting: May 18th

We made liquid nitrogen ice cream sundaes (gourmet-style: we had chocolate sauce, cherries, and bananas). Then we watched "The Core"!
Favorite quotes included:
"Destiny: D-E-S-T-I-N-I." We all knew Hollywood writers could spell.
"The invisible microwaves..." As opposed to the visible kind?
"What is this? Nobel prize winners anonymous?"
"Now let's start at the beginning: Torque equals r x F."
"Unobtainium." Enough said.
"What the hell am I doing?" That's the question we all had...

Meeting: March 8th

1. Sign up for our tour of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab! The JPL field trip this year will be on Tuesday, April 10. We will be leaving SB at 9 in the morning and picnicing down in Pasadena. We are due at JPL for check in at 12:45. 2. Hope School Science Night tomorrow evening We're taking the circuit boards out tomorrow evening and need volunteers!

SPS in the News

We've got a little article in this year's departmental newsletter, Inside Physics .

February: Website Overhaul

After over a year of inactivity, our website is receiving an update. Accurate information and more pages coming soon. We're also starting the "archive" page up again, to record (some) past events and give people an idea of what we do.

Past Officers


We got new officers again, and yours truly is passing on the webmistressing to a Chem major! Best of all, new faces.
President: Ellie Newton
Vice President: Jason Disbrow
Secretary: Francois Hebert
Treasury Committee Chair: Ryan Hazelton
Outreach Coordinator: Clark Beech
Webmistress: Maddie Grossman


President: Susanna Kohler
Vice President: Ian McFarlane
Treasurer: Ryan Hazelton
Sigma Pi Sigma Coordinator: Kathryn McGill
Outreach Coordinator: open
Event Coordinator: Bay Gabrowski
Webmistress: Ellie Newton


President: Susanna Kohler
Vice President: Ellie Newton
Secretary: Sean Zumwalt
Treasurer: Ryan Hazelton
Sigma Pi Sigma Coordinator: Alan Mak
Outreach Coordinator: Ian McFarlane