50th Anniversary of Laser Brings Distinguished Physics Professor to Baylor

Oct. 1, 2010

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Baylor University physics department will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the laser with a lecture and colloquium series with Dr. John E. Thomas, the Fritz London Professor in the department of physics at Duke University, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 5, and at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6, in the Baylor Sciences Building (BSB) on the Baylor campus.

Thomas's public physics lecture on Oct. 5 will be held in room B.110 of the BSB. He will speak about "Bowls Made of Laser Light to Corral Ultracold Atoms" and will describe how ultracold atomic gas now tests predictions in nearly all fields of physics, from high temperature superconductors to neutron stars to the quark-gluon plasma of the Big Bang and even string theory.

The physics colloquium on Oct. 6 will be held in room E.125 of the BSB where he will discuss "Search for Perfect Fluidity in a Strongly Interacting Fermi Gas."

Thomas' lectures and the upcoming visit from Dr. Carlos Stroud, professor of optic physics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., have been organized by Dr. Linda Olafsen, professor of physics at Baylor, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the laser.

Along with the lectures, Olafsen, who conducts much of research on laser materials, will visit Waco area schools and will make presentations about the history and applications of lasers. She will give students optics discovery kits and laser pointers, which is given through the support of a SPIE Education Outreach grant.

For more information on the department of physics or the colloquium, visit www.baylor.edu/physics or call 254-710-2511.

by Alison Higgins, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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