Georgia Southern University

Nobel Prize Winner to Speak at Georgia Southern University

09-13 William PhillipsDr. William Phillips, a Nobel Prize winner and physics professor from the University of Maryland, will visit Georgia Southern University to present this year’s Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center (PAC). Phillips’ lecture entitled “Time and Einstein in the 21st Century,” is free and open to the public.

Phillips’ presentation explores the way Einstein changed the public’s thoughts about the subject of nature, and later how the scientist’s own thoughts influenced the technological wonder and future development of atomic clocks. Phillips will discuss the specifics of how atoms enable clocks to maintain their accuracy, test some of Einstein’s strangest predictions and relate ongoing improvements in the field that are necessary for industry, commerce and science.

In addition to Phillips’ association with the University of Maryland, he also leads the Laser Cooling and Trapping Group within the Atomic Physics Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The group is part of the Joint Quantum Institute, a cooperative research organization of NIST and the University of Maryland. The group has developed many of the techniques for cooling, trapping and manipulating atoms that are in general use in the cold-atomic-gas community.

Phillips is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow and honorary member of the Optical Society of America. Additionally, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. In 1997, Phillips shared the Nobel Prize in physics for his development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.

The Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series began in 2001. It is funded by an endowment in honor of the late Norman Fries, who was the founder of Claxton Poultry. In his more than 50 years in business, Fries built the company from a one-man operation into one of the nation’s largest poultry production plants.

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