Nobel Laureate talks about time, Einstein and super-cold science at RIT March 5

The event is free and open to the public

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Tom Brenner

Nobel Laureate physicist and 2014 RIT commencement speaker William Phillips will present “Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe” on March 5. His talk, like his commencement address, will include liquid nitrogen demonstrations.

Nobel Laureate physicist William Phillips will return to the Rochester Institute of Technology next month to give the RIT College of Science John Wiley Jones Distinguished Lecture.

Phillips, the 2014 RIT commencement speaker, will present “Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe” at 7 p.m. March 5 in Ingle Auditorium in the Student Alumni Union.

His talk will include liquid nitrogen demonstrations and a down-to-earth explanation of how scientists cool atoms to temperatures billions of times lower than anything else in the universe. He will show how this research, along with the theories of Albert Einstein, have led to the development of atomic clocks, accurate to better than a second every 300 million years, and the Global Positioning System.

Phillips is the leader of the Laser Cooling and Trapping Group of the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s Physical Measurement Laboratory and a Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland.

He won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing methods to cool and trap atoms using laser light. Phillips shared the prize with French physicist Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and Steven Chu, the Stanford University professor of materials science and engineering who later served as U.S. Secretary of Energy.

The John Wiley Jones Distinguished Lectureship is named for the late owner of the Caledonia-based company Jones Chemicals. Jones established the lecture in 1974 to bring eminent scientists to RIT to speak with students and faculty and deliver a public lecture.

Jones also established the John Wiley Jones Award for Outstanding Students in Science given to students in each of the academic units of the College of Science. The award recognizes academic achievement and their contribution to the entire campus as good citizens.

For more information, contact Mark Gillespie at