Nobel Prize-winning scientist Eric Cornell, whose ground-breaking research resulted in cooling atoms to the lowest temperature that had ever been achieved, discusses his work and the bizarre things that occur at these extremely low temperatures in a Lawrence University Science Hall Colloquium.
Cornell presents “Stone Cold Science: Things Get Weird Around Absolute Zero” Thursday, Oct. 14 at 4:15 p.m. in Youngchild Hall, Room 121. The event is free and open to the public.
In 1995, Cornell and his research partner Carl Wieman, used laser light and the process of evaporative cooling to achieve a temperature a few billionths — 0.000,000,001 — of a degree above absolute zero, a temperature far colder than even the farthest depths of deep space. Cornell will explain how and why scientists reach such record low temperatures and the unusual ways atoms behave in this ultra-cold state.
Cornell joined the scientific staff at JILA, one of the nation’s leading research institutes jointly operated by the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in 1990. He holds Fellow status at JILA, is a senior scientist at NIST and has a faculty appointment in the physics department at the University of Colorado. A graduate of Stanford, he earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In addition to winning the 2001 Nobel Prize for Physics, Cornell was the recipient of the 2000 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics from the Franklin Institute, which recognizes outstanding achievement in science and technology, was awarded the 1998 Lorentz Medal by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of important contributions to physics and the 1997 King Faisal International Prize for Science for significant advances that benefit humanity. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Optical Society of America.