Stephen Hawking Draws Crowds, Spotlight to Texas A&M Physics
COLLEGE STATION —
As Texas A&M University finalizes preparations for Parents’ Weekend, one of its biggest and busiest annual events, science is proving to be one hot ticket across the campus and beyond.
Days after announcement of University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking’s April 15 public lecture at Texas A&M — his second appearance in Aggieland in four years — all 2,500 seats in Rudder Auditorium were claimed, as nearly 3,000 people jumped at their opportunity to hear the world-famous cosmologist, widely considered to be the greatest scientific mind since Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.
Memorial Student Center Box Office officials report that less than 200 seats remain in one of two overflow rooms that will feature a live video feed of the 2:30 p.m. lecture, The Origin of the Universe, simulcast on overhead screens. They advise anyone interested in these remaining seats, priced at $3 for children and Texas A&M students with IDs or $5 for all others, to act quickly by calling (979) 845-1234 or, toll-free, (888) 890-5667.
“Once again, we have a fantastic opportunity that brings Texas A&M University to the forefront of international science,” said Dr. Edward S. Fry, professor and head of the Texas A&M Department of Physics and holder of the George P. Mitchell Chair in Experimental Physics. “We are exceptionally pleased that Stephen Hawking is coming and also with the long-term relationship we have built with Cambridge.”
Following Hawking’s talk, the public is invited to get up-close and personal with science at Physics Festival 2007, a hands-on exhibition featuring a homemade hovercraft, a square-wheeled bicycle, working models of historic artillery and other fun experiments and displays illustrating basic scientific concepts and principles. Admission is free for the show, which will run from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Rudder Tower Plaza. Middle and high school students are encouraged to participate in a related science contest to win cash prizes (online registration preferred at http://physicsfestival.tamu.edu).
Prior to Sunday’s events, leading astrophysicist Rocky Kolb of the University of Chicago will deliver a free public lecture, The Dark Side of the Universe, Saturday (April 14) at 6 p.m. in Room 102 Zachry Building on the Texas A&M campus. Tickets are not required, but Fry encouraged interested parties to arrive early, as attendance will be limited to the room’s 340-seat capacity.
“When Rocky Kolb was first here two years ago for a previous Mitchell Institute-sponsored conference, he gave a public lecture that was universally praised,” Fry added. “I anticipate a repeat performance in front of an equally packed house.”
All events are sponsored by Texas A&M’s George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy in conjunction with the Department of Physics and the Texas A&M College of Science.
The Mitchell Institute was established in 2002 by the well-known Texas businessman and his wife, both of The Woodlands, to provide insights into the cosmology of the Universe and the ultimate unification of the fields of nature.
For the latest details regarding Physics Festival 2007, including event directions and parking information, please visit http://physicsfestival.tamu.edu.
Contact: Shana Hutchins, 979-862-1237 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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