Physics to Host PPC 2007, Two Lectures by Nobel Prize Winners
COLLEGE STATION —
Two Nobel Prize-winning physicists will visit Texas A&M University next week to deliver public lectures on two of the hottest topics in science — particle physics and cosmology.
Dr. George F. Smoot, an astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and professor of physics at the University of California-Berkeley, shared in the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for his co-discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) — in essence, the cooling afterglow of the Big Bang. On Monday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Rudder Theater, Smoot will present The Echoes of Creation, in which he will discuss recent discoveries related to this afterglow and how these insights are helping to define the origins of the Universe.
Dr. Leon M. Lederman, director emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Pritzker Professor of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, shared in the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics for work done in the 1960s with neutrinos — veritable ghost-like building blocks of matter — that led to major breakthroughs in the study of weak forces as well as the overall structure and dynamics of matter. In Sputnik, Frogs and Science Education, scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Rudder Theater, Lederman will address some of the biggest advances in science and their relevance to our current knowledge base and educational efforts.
Tickets are not required for either of the free lectures, which are sponsored by the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy and the Texas A&M Department of Physics as part of Particle Physics & Cosmology (PPC) 2007, a weeklong international investigation into potential connections between new fundamental particles and their impact on the early Universe and its evolution.
Smoot and Lederman are but two of the nearly 50 internationally eminent physicists participating in the landmark event, the first under the umbrella of the recently endowed Cambridge-Texas A&M Collaboration in Cosmology. Established in 2006 with a gift from George P. Mitchell, a 1940 petroleum engineering graduate and longtime benefactor of Texas A&M, along with matching funds from Texas A&M, the 10-year partnership will support a biannual conference as well as a physicist/scholar exchange between the two universities.
The collaboration is the latest in a series of gifts by Mitchell and his wife, Cynthia, intended to bolster Texas A&M’s scientific development and help position the University as a national leader in physics, astronomy and related focus areas. The Mitchells’ contributions to physics, which include funding for two buildings, 10 academic chairs and two professorships as well as initial support for Texas A&M’s membership in the $500 million Giant Magellan Telescope project, total nearly $50 million since 2002.
“This has been a great spring for fundamental physics, with the recent visits of world famous cosmologist Stephen Hawking and renowned astronomer Rocky Kolb and now, this remarkable gathering on our campus,” said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science.
For more information on PPC 2007, either public lecture or other Mitchell Institute activities, please visit http://ppc07.physics.tamu.edu/.
Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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