CU Wizards Series To Explore Physics Of Speed Jan. 24

January 20, 1998

Area youngsters will have the opportunity to learn the scientific principles of speed Saturday from a University of Colorado faculty member who used the concept to create a new form of matter.

CU faculty members Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman attracted worldwide attention in 1995 with their creation of the long-sought Bose-Einstein condensate, a state of matter achieved by supercooling atoms to 20 billionths of a degree above absolute zero. Cornell also is an employee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

He will explain how the team used laser cooling to slow atoms and will present a variety of other demonstrations on the topic of “Speed” in the next segment of the CU Wizards series on Saturday.

The free show, recommended for children in grades 5 through 9, begins at 9:30 a.m. in Duane Physics, room G-030, on the CU-Boulder campus. Duane Physics is located on Colorado Avenue south of Folsom Field.

“We’re going to have lots of different examples of fast and slow,’’ said Cornell, who has given talks to Nobel laureates during his career, but never yet to children.

“I have vivid memories of when I was 10 or 12, of going to a program similar to the CU Wizards in Cambridge, Mass., where I lived,” Cornell said. “I remember thinking how neat it was, how really interesting. I don’t know if that was the reason I became a scientist, but it certainly was a help at an early age to see science presented at an accessible level.”

Cornell and Wieman, both fellows of JILA, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and NIST, won the 1997 King Faisal International Prize in Science for their work.

Free parking for the show is available in the Regent Drive Autopark, lots 169 and 396 off of Folsom Street, and in part of lot 378 southeast of the stadium. Lot 360, immediately east of Duane Physics, will be open to visitors for $1 per hour.

Anyone with a disability or special need should notify the physics department at 492-6952 a few days in advance of the show. For general information about the CU Wizards program and schedule, call 492-4318.

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