Physics Nobel Laureate to speak at U-M

DATE: 4:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m., March 30, 2011

EVENT: Dr. William D. Phillips, a Nobel Laureate in physics, the leader of the Laser Cooling and Trapping Group in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Physics Laboratory, and a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland will give the eleventh annual Ford Motor Company Distinguished Lecture in Physics, “Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe.”

Dr. Phillips will present a multimedia presentation, including experimental demonstrations and down-to-earth explanations about some of today's most exciting science.

ABSTRACT: At the beginning of the 20th century, Einstein changed the way we think about Time. At the beginning of the 21st century, Einstein's thinking is shaping one of the key scientific and technological wonders of contemporary life: atomic clocks, the best timekeepers ever made. Such super-accurate clocks are essential to industry, commerce, and science; they are the heart of the Global Positioning System (GPS), which guides cars, airplanes, and hikers to their destinations. Today, atomic clocks are still being improved, using atoms cooled to incredibly low temperatures. Atomic gases reach temperatures less than a billionth of a degree above Absolute Zero. Super-cold atoms are at the heart of Primary Clocks accurate to better than a second in 100 million years. Such atoms also use, and allow tests of, some of Einstein's strangest predictions.

Dr. Phillips is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, a cooperative research organization of NIST and the University of Maryland that is devoted to the study of quantum coherent phenomena. His is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Gold Medal of the U.S. Department of Commerce (1993), and the Michelson Medal of the Franklin Institute (1996). In 1997, Professor Phillips shared the Nobel Prize in Physics “for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.”

PLACE: 1800 Chemistry Auditorium

SPONSORS: Ford Motor Company; presented by the U-M Physics Department

WEB LINK: For more information about the lecture, visit: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/physics/newsevents/special_lectures or contact the U-M Physics Department reception desk, (734) 764-4437.


Contact: Carol Rabuck
Phone: (734) 763-2588

Related Categories: U-M Physics Department.  Ford Motor Company.