The University of Chicago News Office
Sept. 12, 1996 Press Contact: Steve Koppes
(773) 702-8366

"Myths and Misconceptions About Nuclear Science":

Fall Compton Lecture Series Begins Sept. 28

Nuclear physics will be the subject of a series of free public lectures at the University of Chicago, beginning Saturday, Sept. 28. The series of 10 lectures, titled “Prometheus’ Return: Myths and Misconceptions About Nuclear Science,” will be given Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. through Dec. 7, in Room 115 of the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, 5720 S. Ellis Ave. There will be no lecture Nov.30.

Physicist James Connell, who will be delivering the lectures, said he will try to dispel some of the popular myths and misconceptions that surround nuclear science and radiation in the public’s imagination and in the media. “I hope people will come away with a better understanding of what has become an important public policy issue,” said Connell, “and also of the many small ways that nuclear science plays a role in our lives every day.”

Connell will discuss topics ranging from the physical structure of the nucleus of an atom to the energy released when it is split to generate nuclear power. Related topics include nuclear safety, radioactive waste and nuclear weapons.

Connell received his Ph.D. in physics from Washington University in 1988. A Research Scientist in the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics & Space Research, Connell studies cosmic rays and the chemical evolution of the galaxy.

The talks are the 44th series of Arthur Holly Compton Lectures, sponsored each fall and spring by the Enrico Fermi Institute. Arthur Holly 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 was also a member of the research team that in 1942 produced the world’s first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction.

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 of matter to the history of the universe.

All of the lectures are free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call (773)702-7823.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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