Posted on Jan 30, 2002
Schenectady, N.Y. (Jan. 30, 2002) – William D. Phillips, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, will
speak on “Almost Absolute Zero: The Story of Laser Cooling” on Thursday,
Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Union College's Nott Memorial.
His talk, free and open to the public, is part of the College's “Perspectives at the Nott” lecture series.
Phillips, a leading researcher in ultra-low temperature atomic physics at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, received the 1997 Nobel Prize.
The cooling and trapping of atoms, a discipline that emerged in the mid-1970's with the advent of laboratory lasers, have allowed scientists to observe and measure quantum
phenomena in atoms that seem to defy the physical principles governing our
tangible room-temperature realm.
Contrary to intuition, we can cool a gas by shining a laser on it. We can now do this down to less than a millionth of a degree above absolute zero. Atoms this cold exhibit weird and wonderful properties and are being used in applications ranging from super-accurate atomic clocks to new quantum devices like atom lasers. Phillips' lecture, aimed at the nonscientist, describes how laser cooling works.
For calendar listings:
Speaker: William D.
Phillips, winner of Nobel Prize in physics, and researcher in ultra-low
temperature atomic physics at the National Institute of Standards and
Topic: “Almost Absolute
Zero: The Story of Laser Cooling”
Date: Thursday, Feb. 7
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Union College's Nott Memorial.
Cost: Free and open to public