Time and Einstein in the 21st Century: The coolest stuff in the universe will be presented by Dr. William D. Phillips on Monday, March 3 at 3:30 p.m. at the KSU Alumni Center.
According to KSU,
At the beginning of the 20th century Einstein published three revolutionary ideas that changed forever how we view Nature. 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 Einstein’s ideas to cool the atoms to incredibly low temperatures. Atomic gases reach temperatures less than a billionth of a degree above Absolute Zero, without solidifying. Such atoms enable clocks accurate to better than a second in 60 million years as well as both using and testing some of Einstein’s strangest predictions.
Dr. Phillips received the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.
Dr. Dean Zollman, chair of the KSU Physics Department, has assured me that Dr. Phillips has been presenting all over the country and his talk is geared to the general public. It is billed as a “lively, multimedia presentation, including experimental demonstrations and down-to-earth explanations about some of today’s most exciting science.”
Dr. Phillips’ statement on receiving the Nobel Prize:
“I am thrilled to share in this prize along with Steven Chu
and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
. The joint award emphasizes that this work was not done in isolation. My colleagues in this field have influenced me profoundly and given me an enormous amount of help and stimulation. The research honored by this prize is the result of a huge effort by many other people. The vitality of the research environment at NIST and the scientific quality of my group have been essential to what we have accomplished.”
Along with an appreciation for teamwork, Dr. Phillips seems to have solid priorities:
Surely the Nobel Prize is the highest award a scientist could hope to receive, and I have received it with a sense of awe that I am in the company of those who have received it before. But no prize can compare in importance to the family and friends I count as my greatest treasures. – From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1997, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1998
Dr. Phillips will undoubtedly emphasize the importance of hard work and hard evidence in science. He’ll show what it really means to “follow the evidence where it leads.”