This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage.
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page

Nobel laureate in physics to give lecture
October 19, 1998

William D. Phillips, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, will deliver the Second Annual Katzenstein Distinguished Lecture on Friday, October 23, in the Edward V. Gant Science Complex, Room 103, starting at 4 p.m.

Phillips, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md., shared the award with Steven Chu from Stanford University and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris for developing methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. This work will be the subject of his lecture at UConn: "Almost Absolute Zero: The Story of Laser Cooling and Trapping."

The use of laser light to slow atoms from the speed of a jet plane to that of a slow walk has revolutionized atomic physics. It has enabled the recent observation of "Bose-Einstein Condensation," a macroscopic quantum state of matter, and paved the way for the next generation of extraordinarily precise atomic clocks. Atomic vapors with temperatures well below a millikelvin are routinely prepared and extensions of the techniques allow submicrokelvin temperatures to be reached.

Phillips grew up in Pennsylvania and received a bachelor's degree in physics from Juniata College in 1970 and a Ph.D. from MIT in 1976. After two years as a Chaim Weismann postdoctoral fellow at MIT, he joined the staff at NIST (then the National Bureau of Standards) in 1978. He is currently leader of the Laser Cooling and Trapping Group in the Atomic Physics Division of NIST's Physics Laboratory, and is a NIST fellow.

Phillips is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of the Gold Medal of the U.S. Department of Commerce (1993), the Albert A. Michelson Medal of the Franklin Institute (1996), and the Schawlow Prize of the American Physical Society (1998).

The UConn Department of Physics has several connections with Phillips. Phillip Gould, professor of physics, worked as a postdoctoral fellow in his group at NIST before joining the UConn faculty in 1988. And there is currently a large research effort at the University involving a number of faculty members in the area of "ultracold physics," the field enabled by the techniques recognized by the Nobel Committee.

Study of the effects of weight training on seniors planned The Center for Health Fitness plans to launch a study of the effects of weight training on seniors later this month.

The study specializes in the effects of weight training on postural stability, as measured by balance, walking speed, and sit-to-stand speed.

Participants in the study, who must be at least 65 years old, cannot have lifted weights for at least six months prior to the study, must be able to navigate stairs, have transportation to get to the Storrs campus Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, and have a doctor's permission to participate in the study.

The study will run through December. To participate in the study or for more information, call Jeff Schlicht at (860) 486-5975.