Nobel Laureate to Discuss ‘Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe’

Posted: November 27, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

In 1905, Einstein had his “miraculous year” when he published three revolutionary ideas that changed forever how we view nature. As part of a special presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 29, Nobel laureate William D. Phillips will discuss how Einstein’s thinking and view of time have led to the best clocks ever made. His presentation, “Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe,” will begin at 1 p.m. in Research Building I, Room 163.

William D. Phillips
William D. Phillips

The talk will kick off the Aharonov Distinguished Lecture Series, a program coordinated by Mason’s new Center for Quantum Studies and quantum physicist Yakir Aharonov, who joined the Mason faculty this fall. The lecture series was initiated to communicate the relevance and importance of quantum studies to the broader public.

Atomic clocks are essential to industrial, commercial and scientific interests. The presentation will use multimedia suitable for a general audience, with live demonstrations and down-to-earth explanations about some of today’s newest and most exciting science.

President Alan Merten, Provost Peter Stearns, College of Science Co-Dean Menas Kafatos and Aharonov will make introductions.

Phillips received his BS in Physics from Juniata College in 1970 and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976. In 1997 he won the Nobel Prize in Physics with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and Steven Chu for their contributions to laser cooling, a technique to slow the movement of gaseous atoms, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is also a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception with light fare will follow.

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