Published: Nov. 27, 2017

The Department of Physics proudly presents the Saturday Physics Series, lectures geared toward high school students and adults to highlight the exciting research and practical potential of physics. 

“From Discovery of the Electron to Gravitational Waves: Physics Experiments behind the Modern World”

By Professor Dmitry Reznik

Abstract: Materials are made of atoms, atoms are made of nuclei and electrons, and the speed of light is the universal speed limit. How did humanity learn that this is true? Largely from brilliantly simple physics experiments. Their full impact did not become clear until decades or even centuries later. 

I will demonstrate how experimental tricks used to discover electrons and atoms went far beyond their original purpose: They spawned TVs, the semiconductor industry, and particle accelerators. Experiments to understand gravity began in the 16th century when Galileo supposedly threw things off the leaning tower of Pisa. The second part of the talk will highlight twists and turns of this journey that led to relativity, the GPS, and the discovery of gravitational waves.

All lectures are free and open to the public and located in Duane Physical Laboratories, room G1B30. Cookies and lemonade will be available after the lecture and talkback.