Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe

Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
7 pm, CCIS Lecture Theatre 1-430

Nobel Laureate William D. Phillips gives a lively, multimedia presentation, including experimental demonstrations and down-to-earth explanations about some of today's most exciting science.

This event is suitable for all members of the general public. Tickets are free but seating is limited. Reserve your ticket through our Eventbrite page.

Abstract: At the beginning of the 20th century Einstein changed the way we think about Time.  Near the end of the 20th century scientists learned how to cool a gas of atoms to temperatures billions of times lower than anything else in the universe.  Now, in the 21st century, Einstein's thinking, and ultracold atoms, are shaping one of the key scientific and technological wonders of contemporary life:  atomic clocks, the best timekeepers ever made.  Such super-accurate clocks are essential to industry, commerce, and science; they are the heart of the Global Positioning System (GPS), which guides cars, airplanes, and hikers to their destinations.  Today, the best primary atomic clocks use ultracold atoms, achieve accuracies better than a second in 300 million years, and are getting better all the time.  Super-cold atoms, with temperatures that can be below a billionth of a degree above absolute zero, use, and allow tests of, some of Einstein's strangest predictions.

Biography: Dr. William D. Phillips is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, a Fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. In 1997, he shared the Nobel Prize with Steven Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji for the development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.

Sponsors: This event has been made possible with support from Quantum Alberta, the University of Alberta, the Faculty of Science, the Department of Physics, the Theoretical Physics Institute and the Hiroomi Umezawa Memorial Fund.