The University of Chicago News Office
Sept. 17, 2001 Press Contact: Steve Koppes
(773) 702-8366
s-koppes@uchicago.edu
 

Fall Compton Lectures to highlight ‘Invasions in Particle Physics’

Learn the significance of experimental results in particle physics, the methods by which the experiments are done, the problems encountered and the innovative scientific thinking involved in a series of free, public lectures at the University of Chicago beginning Saturday, Oct. 6.

The series of 10 lectures, titled "Invasions in Particle Physics," will be held Saturday mornings from 11 a.m. to noon through Dec. 8 in Room 106 of the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, 5720 S. Ellis Ave.

Maria Spiropulu, an Enrico Fermi Fellow at the University of Chicago, will deliver the lectures. Spiropulu received her Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 2000 and her Bachelor’s degree in physics in 1993 from Aristotle University in Greece. She has participated in particle physics experiments at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; at CERN, the European high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva; and at BESSY, the synchrotron laboratory in Berlin.

The talks are the 54th series of Arthur Holly Compton Lectures, sponsored each fall and spring by the University’s Enrico Fermi Institute. Compton was a University of Chicago physicist and a Nobel laureate, best known for demonstrating that light has the characteristics of both a wave and a particle. He also organized the effort to produce plutonium for the atomic bomb and directed the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago, where Fermi and his colleagues produced the first controlled nuclear chain reaction in 1942.

Of the 53 previous Compton lecturers, nine are now faculty members at the University of Chicago and many others hold faculty positions elsewhere. In addition, at least two books have grown out of the series: Robert Wald’s Space Time and Gravity (1977), and Nickolas Solomey’s The Elusive Neutrino: A Subatomic Detective Story (1997).

The lectures are intended to make science accessible to a general audience and to convey the excitement of new discoveries in the physical sciences. Previous topics have ranged from the smallest fundamental particles to the history of the universe. All of the lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call (773) 702-7823.

 

Arthur H. Compton Lecture Series

Tentative outline, Autumn 2001

Oct. 6, Basic concepts and the pre-history of particle physics (or the electron, the proton, the neutron and the photon).

Oct. 13, The cosmic invasion (and a cosmic joke). The pion and the muon in cosmic rays and cloud chambers.

Oct. 20, Fermi’s invasion–weak interactions and the neutrino(s).

Oct. 27, The accelerators invasion–devices and physics processes (Part I).

Nov. 3, The accelerators invasion–devices and physics processes (Part II).

Nov. 10, (Interlude), Particle physics invasions to other science/technology/industry sectors.

Nov. 17, Symmetries and the standard model–the quarks and leptons.

Nov. 24, The Higgs Bosons–symmetry breaking concepts and experimental clues.

Dec. 1, Super-symmetries–a hope for understanding gravity.

Dec. 8, Extra-fundamental, extra-ordinary invasions–(extra) hopes for understanding gravity. Strings and (extra or fewer) dimensions. The plans for building extra high energy futures.

 

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