We are very pleased to announce that the annual Robert
Hofstadter Memorial Lectures have been scheduled for Monday, March 29,
2004 (an evening public lecture at 8:00 PM) and Tuesday, March 30
(an afternoon colloquium at 4:15 PM). Both lectures will be held
at Stanford University, and we hope that you will plan to attend.
This year we are honored that our distinguished lecturer will be
Professor Carl Wieman, who received his B.S. from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in 1973 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University
in 1977. He has been at the University of Colorado since 1984,
where he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Physics and a Fellow
of JILA. He has carried out research in a variety of areas of
laser spectroscopy, including using laser light to cool atoms.
This led to cooling atoms sufficiently to attain Bose-Einstein
condensation in a vapor, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in
Physics in 2001, as well as numerous other awards. He has worked on a
variety of innovations in teaching physics to a broad range of
students, including the Physics Education Technology Project, which
creates online interactive simulations for learning physics
(http://www.colorado.edu/physics/phet). He is a 2001 recipient of the
National Science Foundations Distinguished Teaching Scholar Award and a
member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Board of Physics and
Astronomy, the Committee on Undergraduate Science Education and the
National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics.
The twelfth annual Robert Hofstadter Memorial Lectures:
In 1924 Einstein predicted that a gas would undergo a dramatic
transformation at a sufficiently low temperature (now known as
Bose-Einstein condensation or BEC). In 1995, my group was able to
observe this transformation by cooling a gas sample to the
unprecedented temperature of less than 100 billionths of a degree above
absolute zero. The BEC state is a novel form of matter in which a
large number of atoms lose their individual identities and behave as a
single quantum entity, the "superatom". This entity is the atom
analogue to laser light, and, although large enough to be easily seen
and manipulated, exhibits the nonintuitive quantum behavior normally
important only at much tinier size scales. The study and use of
the curious properties of BEC has now become an important subfield of
physics. I will discuss how we create BEC and some of the
subsequent research we have done on it. Interactive applets as a
tool for teaching science will be demonstrated in the presentation.
Evening Public Lecture (8:00 PM on Monday, March 29, 2004)
"Bose-Einstein condensation: quantum weirdness at the lowest temperature in the universe"
Afternoon Colloquium (4:15 PM on Tuesday, March 30, 2004)
Bose-Einstein condensation in Rubidium 85 is a macroscopic quantum
system where the self interactions can be rapidly adjusted over a very
large range. This is done simply by changing a magnetic field near a
Feshbach resonance. Condensates near such a resonance show a variety of
interesting features, a few of which are actually understood. These
include BEC supernova-like explosions ("Bosenovas") and exotic coherent
superpositions of atomic and molecular BECs.
"Resonant BEC: a new macroscopic quantum system"
Both lectures will be held on campus in our Teaching Facility on Serra
Street (TCSEQ, Room 201). We are also planning a dinner on the evening
of TUESDAY, March 30, 2004 at the Stanford Faculty Club, requiring a
reply by March 26. If you have further questions, please contact
us by phone: (650) 723-4347, fax: (650) 723-1821 or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will plan to attend these
Hofstadter, winner of the 1961
Nobel Prize, was one of the principal scientists who
developed the Compton Observatory.
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