February 22, 2007
Annual Donald B. Hamister Distinguished Lecture in Physics
Brandi Recital Hall, Storer Hall
Dr. Anthony Leggett will present a public lecture entitled: "Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics?" Dr. Leggett, 2003 Nobel Laureate, is with the Physics Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For more information about Dr. Leggett, please visit: http://www.physics.uiuc.edu/People/Leggett/. ABSTRACT: Quantum mechanics has been enormously successful in describing nature at the atomic level, and most physicists believe that it is in principle the "whole truth" about the world even at the everyday level. However, such a view prima facie leads to a severe problem: in certain circumstances, the most natural interpretation of the theory implies that no definite outcome of an experiment occurs until the act of "observation". For many decades this problem was regarded as "merely philosophical", in the sense that it was thought that it had no consequences which could be tested in experiment. However, in the last dozen or so years the situation has changed very dramatically in this respect. Dr. Leggett will discuss the problem, some popular "resolutions" of it, the current experimental situation and prospects for the future. Reception to follow in Storer Hall Lobby. The Hamister Distinguished Lectureship, begun in 2004, was made possible by a gift from the late Donald Hamister, a 1944 graduate of Kenyon and former CEO of the Joslyn Corporation, and his wife Margaret. Every year, the Hamister Distinguished Lecture in Physics features a presentation on campus by an eminent physicist.
February 23, 2007
Dr. Anthony Leggett, 2003 Nobel Laureate, Speaker
Higley Hall Auditorium
Dr. Anthony Leggett, 2003 Nobel Laureate, will present a public lecture entitled: "Superfluidity, Phase Coherence and the New Bose-Condensed Alkali Gases." Dr. Leggett is with the Physics Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For more information about Dr. Leggett, please visit: http://www.physics.uiuc.edu/People/Leggett/. ABSTRACT: The phenomenon of superfluidity was discovered in liquid helium nearly sixty years ago, and ever since, following the almost immediate suggestion of Fritz London, it has been the almost universal belief in the condensed-matter community that it is due to the onset of the phenomenon of Bose-Einstein condensation which is theoretically predicted to occur in that system at sufficiently low temperature. However, for various practical reasons, it is extremely difficult to even establish unambiguously that BEC is occurring in 4-He, let alone to test directly some of the ideas which connect it to superfluidity. The recent attainment of BEC in dilute atomic alkali gases opens a new arena in this respect, allowing us to do many experiments which we would have loved to do in 4-He but which are in practice unfeasible in that system. In this talk, Dr. Leggett will first review briefly the fundamental ideas developed in the helium context, then give a general introduction to the physics of the BEC alkali gases, and finally discuss some of the novel possibilities they open up, both already realized and still on the drawing-board. A reception will follow in the lobby of Higley Auditorium
March 23, 2007
"Physics of Toys," by Beverley Taylor
Hayes Hall, room 109
The Miami University physicist, Professor Beverley Taylor will deliver a colloquium titled "Physics of Toys" on March 23rd at 109 Hayes Hall at 3.10 pm. Professor Taylor has been involved in research in a number of different areas of physics from quantum field theory to computational plasma physics. Currently, her efforts are directed toward physics education. She will show how toys can be used as both demonstration and laboratory equipment to teach physics concepts. Toys are welcome too!
April 13, 2007
Mie Theory: Why is the Sky Blue?
Hayes Hall 109
Speaker: Nikhil Nagendra, '07
April 20, 2007
"Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Nanomaterials: Characterization, Processing, and Applications"
Hayes Hall 109
Speaker: Mark Hersam, Department of Material Science & Engineering, Northwestern University
April 27, 2007
"Exotic Phases in Bent-Core Liquid Crystals"
Hayes Hall 109
Speaker: Dave Wiant, Physics Department, Kent State University
May 4, 2007
"Lecture Demonstrations, New and Old -- For People of All Ages"
Hayes Hall 109
Speaker: Thomas Greenslade, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Physics Department, Kenyon College