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Nobel Physicist Lecturing

Nobel Physicist Lecturing

Professor Carl Wieman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from the United States, will deliver the Sir Douglas Robb Lectures at the University of Auckland in October.

He helped create a new form of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) by cooling atoms to a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero.

BEC is now a major international field of physics research. It could bring revolutionary applications in such fields as precision measurement and nanotechnology as well as developing faster and smarter electronics.

Professor Wieman, who is Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Colorado, has as his theme Two breakthroughs in physics research: New forms of matter at ultracold temperatures, and engaged students with deep understanding.

Professor Geoff Austin, who is organising the lectures, says the subject is highly topical given that 2005 has been designated the World Year of Physics

"It celebrates the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's 'Miraculous Year' while raising public awareness of physics. In 1905 Einstein, arguably the most famous physicist, wrote his legendary articles which provided the basis of three fundamental fields in physics: the theory of relativity, quantum theory and the theory of Brownian motion."

The first two lectures will cover Professor Wieman's groundbreaking research, and the third his efforts over many years to improve the teaching of physics and make the subject understandable, useful and interesting to more people.

The lectures, starting at 7pm in B28, Library Basement, 5 Alfred Street, are free and open to all.
Monday 10 October: "Bose-Einstein condensation: Quantum weirdness at the lowest temperature in the universe".
Tuesday 11 October: "Bose-Einstein condensation: A decade of surprises, spin-offs, and potential applications".
Thursday 13 October: "Science education in the 21st century: Using the tools of science to teach science".

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